Monitoring of biotopes of national importance for plant protection products

Monitoring of biotopes of national importance for plant protection products

One of the objectives of the federal action plan for risk reduction and sustainable use of plant protection products (PPPs) is to protect non-target organisms and biotopes from the negative impacts of PPPs. Numerous data on the pollution of watercourses have already been collected as part of the NAWA SPEZ and TREND monitoring programs. However, we know little about PPP contamination of biotopes of national importance, including ponds and dry meadows and pastures; this applies to aquatic (water, sediment) and terrestrial (soil) ecosystems.

PPPs are also expected to enter biotopes of national importance, for example, through runoff from fields that drain into ponds or from streams that flood wetlands. Drift and rainfall deposition can also result in the entry of PPPs into dry grasslands, pastures, and upland bogs. However, little is known about the transport of PPPs through the air. Therefore, a strategy will be developed to establish monitoring methods and to obtain monitoring data on the occurrence and input of PPPs into biotopes of national importance. This should answer the following questions:

  • Which methods are suitable for sampling remote ponds and the air?
  • To what extent are biotopes of national importance polluted with PPPs?
  • Where do these PPPs come from?
  • Are there spatial trends in PPP exposure?

The goal is to establish robust sampling and chemical analysis methods and obtain a baseline screening data set by the end of 2023. This will provide a basis for future monitoring and methods to assess exposure of biotopes of national importance to PPPs.

Project reports

Report 2020

Report 2021


Photo: Kurt Schläpfer, Carbotech


Dr. Etienne Vermeirssen
Dr. Etienne Vermeirssen Send mail Tel. +41 58 765 5295


23. November 2023

Biotopes of national importance are also contaminated with plant protection products

The investigation of nine amphibian spawning grounds and three fens has shown that these biotopes of national importance are contaminated with numerous plant protection products. Insecticides from the pyrethroid group in particular exceeded the legal limits and chronic quality criteria, in some cases many fold.

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