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Drift of macroinvertebrates because of hydropeaking

Hydropeaking of storage power stations results in flow and level fluctuations, which can have short- and long-term effects on aquatic communities. A rapid increase of flow leads to an increase of shear stress, flow velocity and water depth in running waters and leads to movements in parts of the channel bed. Aquatic invertebrates, which colonize the benthic zone, spend a lot of energy to resist those hydraulic forces and prevent a downstream dislocation/shift. Therefor hydraulic stress can have an extensive influence on drift and leachate of those invertebrates. This project examines the relationship between hydropeaking and the reaction of aquatic macroinvertebrates.

Goal of the project is to make predictions for the impact of remediation measures. Thereby the project is of high importance for hydropeaking restorations in Switzerland and the Alps.

Client and financing: BAFU