The latest news from Eawag

The implementation of measures to protect biodiversity is lagging behind the targets – which makes it all the more important to plan revitalisation measures as optimally and purposefully as possible, like here on the River Emme near Utzenstorf (Photo: Luftaufnahmen Röthlisberger).
A list of priorities for the protection of biodiversity
July 9, 2024

Biodiversity is dwindling rapidly, while measures to protect it are lagging behind the targets. Only one thing can help: utilising scarce resources as efficiently as possible where they are most effective. The “Lanat-3” research project lays the foundation for this with the help of the latest data and AI-supported models.

Drawing Anne Dietzel, Eawag.
Pesticides in water bodies - there is still work to be ...
July 9, 2024

The VSA Water Quality Platform and Eawag have analysed the effects to date of the measures taken under the "Action Plan for Risk Reduction and Sustainable Use of Pesticides" on water quality. The number of limit value exceedances has decreased significantly since 2019. Nevertheless, many kilometres of rivers and streams are still contaminated. Pyrethroids pose a particularly high risk to watercourses.

The Aquascope is anchored to its buoy in Lake Zug (Photo: Eawag).
Underwater camera explores microcosms in Lake Zug
June 5, 2024

The Aquascope underwater camera has been installed in Lake Zug. It is the second permanent measuring station for plankton in Swiss water bodies.

Amphibian pond near Bremgarten. (Photo: Thomas Reich, WSL)
Four ponds, 100 square metres, diverse and fluctuating: ...
May 16, 2024

Number, size, surroundings and water level: for the first time, there are quantitative scientific recommendations when it comes to the development of new ecological infrastructures for amphibian conservation. A team of researchers from Eawag, WSL and info fauna karch has analysed the optimal conditions for life between water and land. 

Floodplains, like the Sense River near Plaffeien shown here, are some of the most diverse habitats in Switzerland. (Photo: Florian Altermatt, Eawag)
New book: Biodiversität zwischen Wasser und Land
May 7, 2024

This collaborative book from Eawag and WSL presents excursions through eight Swiss blue-green habitats. 

Not all Swiss streams are in a near-natural state like the Orbe in the Canton of Vaud (Photo: Adobe Stock).
Deficits in the ecological state of small Swiss streams
May 6, 2024

A survey of 99 small Swiss streams reveals that the majority of the studied streams have significant deficits in their ecological condition and can only fulfil their function as a habitat for animals to a limited extent. Insect larvae and other small animals that react sensitively to pesticides are missing in over 70% of the streams examined. Statistical analyses indicate that these aquatic organisms are particularly impacted when the structure and morphology of the stream bed has been altered or if the proportion of agricultural land in the catchment area is high.

Changing habitats increases risks for lake trout. (Photo: Michel Roggo)
The risky life of a lake trout
April 22, 2024

Lake trout migrate between different habitats many times over their lives. This helps them grow larger and have more offspring than sedentary trout. However, it also exposes them to dangers – both natural risks and from human intervention in their habitats. To be able to protect them better, researchers from Eawag are investigating the variety and ecological differences of lake trout as part of a nationwide research project in Switzerland.

The Himalayan Balsam is a widespread invasive species in Switzerland that can also affect neighbouring aquatic ecosystems. (Photo: Florian Altermatt, Eawag)
Impacts of invasive species transcend ecosystem ...
April 4, 2024

Invasive species influence biodiversity across larger spatial extents than previously thought. In a recently published study, researchers from Eawag and the University of Zurich show that the impacts of invasive species extend far beyond the ecosystems they invade and that three mechanisms are primarily responsible for this. These findings are of great importance for the management of ecosystems.

Revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance: ...
April 3, 2024

Eawag and the Ecotox Centre welcome a total revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance (PPPO). However, the two institutes are calling for improvements on important points, such as the adoption of EU authorisations or the precautionary principle. The ordinance must ensure that other regulations such as the Water Protection or the Environmental Protection Act are not undermined.