Department Fish Ecology and Evolution

The rivers of Switzerland harbor a unique biodiversity due to its biogeographic location, which includes four of Europe’s major river drainage systems. Yet, as we are only learning about this rich diversity of genotypes, phenotypes and species, it is already being lost at an alarming rate due to anthropogenic impact on the fluvial ecosystems. To achieve effective conservation with finite resources, a large scale assessment of the present fish biodiversity of rivers across the country is needed. With this project, we aim to assess biodiversity of fish in Swiss fluvial ecosystems at all levels from genes to communities.

In Progetto Fiumi were are sampling fish and lower trophic levels (e.g. invertebrates and periphyton) in hundreds of streams all over Switzerland from small mountain streams to large lowland rivers. From each individual fish, we extract data on weight, length and habitat, take pictures for morphological- and color analyses, take fin clips for genetics and tissue samples for isotope analyses. Finally, we preserve fish individually to enable laboratory studies of e.g. stomach content and detailed morphology. Additionally to our data base, we thereby establish a reference collection of Swiss river fish from the years 2013-2018.


Dr. Jakob BrodersenTel. +41 58 765 2204Send Mail

Funding and Duration

Funding: BAFU