Robinson Christopher Thomas

Use of protected areas for freshwater biomonitoring – case studies in Switzerland

Project Number: CH-5455
Project Type: Research_Project
Project Duration: 12/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
Funding Source: EU ,
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:

general biology
environmental sciences

bioassessment, Swiss National Park, macroinvertebrates, diatoms, stream

The rapidity at which global landscapes are being transformed by environmental change has revived the importance of biological monitoring. Protected areas harbour some of the most biodiverse assemblages on the planet, typically show the least historical impacts from humans and likely represent areas showing natural patterns, process dynamics and fluctuations that can be compared with areas more directly impacted by humans, especially as the human population grows. This paper provides examples of different biomonitoring programmes in three protected areas in Switzerland, ranging from a large experimental flow program and recent land annex in the Swiss National Park, to a historical analysis of a designated floodplain of national importance. The data (1999 – present) from the experimental flood study have documented substantial changes in biota that have occurred 7–10 years after the initial flood results as the system enters new ecological states. Monitoring of the land annex in the national park since 2000 has allowed documentation of temporal shifts in physico-chemistry and diatoms that were related to environmental changes in Alpine landscapes. The analysis of historical photo’s of the protected floodplain showed the effects of earlier impacts on floodplain structure and function that are evident today. The results demonstrate the kinds of data that can be generated from biomonitoring programmes with different objectives and goals and how these data can be used to understand eco-evolutionary and ecosystem processes better in the face of rapid landscape transformation.


Christopher T. Robinson, Michael Doering, Laura Seelen (2011). Use of protected areas for freshwater biomonitoring – case studies in Switzerland. eco.mont 3-2, 13-22.

Last update: 12/29/16
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-5455

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