Innovative Ecological Assessment and Water Management Strategy for the Protection of Ecosystem Services in Alpine Lakes and Rivers


Inland waters are one of the most precious natural resources on Earth, but they are also highly endangered by human activities. To detect changes in inland waters, a regular monitoring is indispensable. Eco-AlpsWater improved the traditional monitoring approaches by using advanced DNA sequencing techniques such as metabarcoding. It makes use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to analyse environmental DNA in waterbodies. This technique allows for rapid and improved species identification at low costs (e.g. fish or bacteria) as well as an automation in data processing, data storage and information retrieval. The method was tested and optimized in 37 lakes and 23 rivers, and the new findings and experiences were gathered in a toolbox shared with decision makers and water managers.


  • 2014 – 2020
  • Liveable
  • Enhance the protection, the conservation and the ecological connectivity of Alpine Space ecosystems
    • Group 6: To preserve and valorise natural resources, including water and cultural resources
  • 04/2018
  • 10/2021
  • 1.804.495 EUR
  • 1.447.667 EUR


Edmund Mach Foundation (Lead partner)
  • Lead partner
  • Italy
  • Provincia Autonoma di Trento
  • San Michele all'Adige
    University of Innsbruck
    • Austria
    • OberAustria
    • Mondsee
        Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Prevention of Veneto
        • Italy
        • Veneto
        • Padova
            National Institute of Biology
            • Slovenia
            • Zahodna Slovenia
            • Ljubljana
                Slovenian Environment Agency
                • Slovenia
                • Zahodna Slovenia
                • Ljubljana
                    National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
                    • France
                    • Rhône-Alpes
                    • Villeurbanne
                        Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture
                        • Germany
                        • Oberbayern
                        • Starnberg
                            Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
                            • Austria
                            • Wien
                            • Vienna
                                ltalian National lnstitute for Environment Protection and Research
                                • Italy
                                • Lazio
                                • Roma
                                    Bavarian Environment Agency
                                    • Germany
                                    • Oberbayern
                                    • Wielenbach
                                        FRENCH BIODIVERSITY AGENCY
                                        • France
                                        • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
                                        • Aix-en-Provence Cedex
                                            University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
                                            • Switzerland
                                            • Ticino
                                            • Canobbio
                                                • 46.193535411.1339798
                                                • 47.8495732513.342094597238123
                                                • 45.403206611.8845538
                                                • 46.051076614.46985
                                                • 46.065384214.5129303
                                                • 45.77335734.8868454
                                                • 47.993806711.334663442187502
                                                • 48.21940116.35524
                                                • 41.893320312.4829321
                                                • 47.874358611.1588674
                                                • 46.6033541.8883335
                                                • 46.03279168.9637383


                                                • Protocols for freshwater eDNA

                                                  Complete protocols for freshwater eDNA sampling, extraction, library preparation etc.

                                                • Alpine waters and eDNA for general public understanding

                                                  Also complicated molecular biology with eDNA can be explained in understandable language.

                                                • Perspectives on eDNA monitoring in Alpine waters - for stakeholders

                                                  Exciting results, perspectives, guidelines and policy recommendations for eDNA monitoring in waters

                                                • Toolbox - how to use Eco-AlpsWater results

                                                  Eco-AlpsWater Toolbox for the implementation of innovative monitoring approaches

                                                • EAW Taxa Analysis Tool

                                                  There are various possibilities to compare and visualize traditional and eDNA results