Uehlinger Urs

Primary production and ecosystem respiration in River Spöl (Swiss National Park) below the Livigno Reservoir

Project Number: CH-1786
Project Type: Research_Project
Project Duration: 02/01/2000 - 12/01/2003 project completed
Funding Source: EAWAG ,
Project Leader: Dr. Urs Uehlinger
Phone: +41 (0) 44 823 51 73

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Research Areas:

hydrology, limnology, glaciology
environmental sciences
general biology

primary production, ecosystem respiration, alpine river
alpine stream ecology
applied limnology
water ma nagement
running water

Primary production and ecosystem respiration can be used to judge ecosystem stability in face of disturbance because both processes integrate the energy flow through organisms, populations and communities at the ecosystem level. Light, temperature, nutrients and flow are major factors controlling primary production and ecosystem respiration in lotic ecosystems (e.g. Fisher et al. 1982, Bott et al. 1985; Guasch et al. 1995, Uehlinger et al. 1998). Flow controls current velocity habitat volume, substratum stability and channel morphology. Floods or spates and zero flow are disturbances that eliminate or damage autotrophic and heterotrophic communites and thus, affect ecosystem metabolism (e.g., Grimm 1987, Fisher and Grimm 1988; Uehlinger 1991; Jones et al. 1995; Uehlinger and Naegeli 1998, Uehlinger 2000).
Results of investigations on allochthonous organic matter input to the Roseg River in the subalpine vegetation zone showed that terrestrial organic matter (leaf and needle litter) input is relatively small. The dam of Punt da Gall severely impedes the import of organic matter from the upper Spöl catchment. It is therefore expected that in this system in-stream primary production is the major energy input sustaining heterotrophic communities from bacteria to fish. Eliminating benthic algae by floods may temporarily reduce primary production and thus, strongly affect energy base of the ecosystem.
The objective of the proposed study is to assess the response of ecosystem metabolism in River Spöl to artificial floods below the dam of Punt dal Gall. In particular, resistance and resilience of primary production and ecosystem respiration will be evaluated.

Uehlinger U., Kawecka B. & Robinson C. 2003. Effects of experimental floods on periphyton and stream metabolism below a high dam in the Swiss Alps (River Spöl). Aquatic Sciences 65: 199-209.

Robinson C.T., Aebischer S. & Uehlinger U. 2004. Immediate and habitat-specific response of macroinvertebrates to sequential floods. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23: 853-867.

Robinson C.T., Uehlinger U. and Monaghan M.T. 2004. Stream ecosystem response to multiple experimental floods from a reservoir. River Research and Applications 20: 359-377.

Jakob C., Robinson C.T. & Uehlinger U. 2003. Longitudinal effects of experimental floods on stream benthos downstream of a large dam. Aquatic Sciences 65: 223-231.

Robinson C.T. & Uehlinger U. 2003. Using artifical floods for restoring river integrity. Aquatic Sciences 65:181-182.

Robinson C.T., Uehlinger U. & Monaghan M. 2003. Effects of a multi-year experimental flood regime on macroinvertebrates downstream of a reservoir. Aquatic Sciences 65: 210-222.

Last update: 12/16/16
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-1786

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