Alpine Research and Citizen Science toward Microbial Conservation of High-Mountain Lakes in Switzerland

Alpine lakes located above the 2000-meter tree line are sentinels of climate change, as their chemistry and biology respond rapidly to environmental forcing.

The Swiss Alps are host to over 1500 alpine lakes, many of which have been newly mapped and thus never studied. Microorganisms play major ecological roles in these ecosystems, including primary production, cycling of elements, and attenuation of contaminants, but it is uncertain how physical climatic changes may affect microbial communities and their activities in alpine lakes.

This project aims to record and monitor the unexplored microbial diversity in Swiss alpine lakes, and engage citizens about environmental conservation through participation in field campaigns.

2000Lakes is a project of alpine citizen science aiming to understand the ecological impacts of climate change in alpine lakes and to promote the conservation of microbial ecosystems. The project is funded by the UNIL-EPFL CLIMACT Center.