Swiss Junior Water Prize 2018

Littorella uniflora on the upper shore of Lake Zurich – Human impact on the ecology and distribution of an endangered species

By Laura Bauer

Littorella uniflora (L. u.) is an aquatic plant which is endangered in southern central Europe. Because of its sensitivity to environmental changes, it reflects the complexity of ecosystems along lake shore lines. This study therefore examined the north shore of the upper Lake Zurich for the presence of L. u. and characterised the ecological conditions under which the species grows applying a broad spectrum of wide-ranging surveys including transects, comparisons of different sites, and soil and water analyses. These different ecological approaches enabled the identification of some factors critical for the survival of the few remaining populations in Lake Zurich, and could serve as a reference for the conservation of this plant in other places where it is struggling to survive as well.