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Macrophytes (Aquatic plants)

With the newly published module draft for macrophyte assessment „Makrophyten – Stufe F (flächendeckend) und Stufe S (systembezogen)“ an assessment procedure for this important biological quality element is now available.

Macrophytes - i.e. vascular plants, bryophytes and macroscopic algae - are an important bio-logical component of many Swiss rivers and streams. Macrophytes provide habitat for fish and macroinvertebrates, protect them from strong currents and predators, offer substrates for egg-deposition, and as primary producers are an important component of the food-chain. In addition they contribute significantly to the oxygen-balance as well as nutrient cycling. Macrophytes are widely distributed in un-shaded streams and rivers with moderate slopes. They are sessile and perennial, and hence integrate environmental and human impacts over longer time-periods. In addition they are easy to monitor and determine in the field. Since they are closely linked to the hydraulic and structural habitat conditions, they are a particularly well indicators of related human impacts (e.g. modification of river-banks or -beds).

The published methodology provides a guideline to investigate and assess macrophyte community condition in wadable rivers and streams on a regional (Level I / Stufe F) or system scale (Level II / Stufe S). The evaluation is based on aquatic as well as helophytic species of regularly flooded areas of the adjacent river bank. The method is based on a river typology and type specific reference conditions, and integrates both ecological (e.g. diversity, biomass) as well as conservation (e.g. neophytes, priority species) attributes. For the analysis of the collected data an electronic tool is provided.




Photo: Daniel Küry, Life Science AG

Modul Makrophyten
  • Methodenbeschrieb Stufe F und S [PDF]
  • Digitale Anhänge [ZIP]
  • Elektronisches Tool, inkl. ergänzende Dokumente [ZIP]

(Available in German and in French on the French page of the website)

The electronic tool is still under consultation and may therefore be updated . Please make sure that you have the latest version.



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