Robinson Christopher Thomas

Dispersal and Refugia use by Macroinvertebrates in Resonse to Experimental Flooding (River Spöl, Swiss National Park)

Project Number: CH-1816
Project Type: Master
Project Duration: 02/01/2001 - 12/01/2001 project completed
Funding Source: EAWAG ,
Project Leader: PD Dr. Christopher Thomas Robinson
Fliessgewässerökologie, Fliessgewässersysteme
Aquatische Ökologie (ECO)
Überlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
Phone: +41 (0) 58 765 53 17 ; +41 (0) 58 765 51 32
FAX: +41 (0) 58 765 53 15
e-Mail: christopher.robinson(at)

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

Research Areas:

hydrology, limnology, glaciology
environmental sciences


Although flooding is a primary attribute of most streams and rivers, little information exists on the response of macroinvertebrates during and following flooding. Experimental evidence from disturbance studies suggests that the ramifications on community structure and dynamics can be extreme with both short and long term effects.
A major emphasis on riverine management has been to restore the ‘natural’ flow regime of rivers downstream of reservoirs. Other aspects of reservoir management have resulted in the actual removal of dams (especially common in the USA). Most dams in Europe and Switzerland, in particular, will likely remain in place for maintaining hydropower production and flow control. Consequently, the most promising avenue for restoring downstream receiving waters to near natural conditions is to implement flows that emulate expected natural regimes.

Many potential sites for restoring near natural flows below reservoirs have been highly regulated for 10s of years with consequent changes in macroinvertebrate assemblage structure. Its imperative that managers understand the consequences of restoring activities on the ecology of downstream receiving waters.

Compare different types of stream substrata and morphology as areas of refugia for macroinvertebrates during flooding.
Examine the dispersal of macroinvertebrates before, during and after flooding in a pre-defined stream reach.

Robinson CT, Aebischer S, Uehlinger U 2004: Immediate and habitat-specific responses of macroinvertebrates to sequentiel, experimental floods. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23(4): 853-867

Aebischer S 2001: Auswirkungen künstlicher Hochwasser auf die Drift und Habitate aquatischer Invertebraten (Spöl, Schweizerischer Nationalpark). Diplomarbeit, EAWAG & Departement Biologie, ETH Zürich

Last update: 12/16/16
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-1816

Go Back