“A rolling stone gathers no moss.” This is the saying credited with giving the famous British rock band its name…but does it hold true from an ecological or hydraulic engineering perspective? What flora and fauna live in and around streams with pronounced bed-load dynamics? And how do rivers function that have too little gravel movement? These are some of the questions that are answered in a new batch of information sheets in the “Environmental Knowledge” series published by the FOEN. The information sheets present interdisciplinary results from the research project entitled “Bed-load and habitat dynamics”, which is part of the “Hydraulic Engineering and Ecology” programme operated jointly by FOEN, Eawag, WSL and the hydraulic engineering laboratories of ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. The eight information sheets provide an overview of the practical relevance of research findings on the topic of the bed-material budget and restoration of bed-load dynamics using engineering and operational measures (e.g. diversion tunnels, gravel fillings, etc.).
The collaborative research of the four institutions is now entering a new phase: The “Riverscape” project, set to run until 2021, will continue to focus on bed-load dynamics, but will place a particular emphasis on the lateral networks of waterbodies with reference to the riparian zone.