Navigation Links
Putting ecology back into river restoration

An ambitious plan is under way in the ecological community to agree a set of standards for ecologically successful river restoration. The plan is being led by the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, which this month is publishing a special profile on river restoration. Opening the debate is a paper by 22 leading US river ecologists proposing five criteria for ecologically successful river restoration. Their aim is to arrive at an agreed set of standards which would eventually be endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Although billions of dollars are spent on river restoration projects worldwide, little agreement exists on how their success is measured. According to lead author Dr Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland: "Given the rapid rate of global degradation of fresh waters, and the fact that river and stream restoration has become a booming enterprise, it is time to agree on what constitutes successful river and stream restoration." Palmer and her colleagues say that the success of river restoration should be judged according to five criteria: a guiding image; improving ecosystems; increasing resilience; doing no lasting harm; and completing an ecological assessment.

The first step should be articulating a "guiding image" describing the ecologically healthy river that could exist at a given site. The second step should be to demonstrate that there have been measurable changes towards the guiding image, such as larger fish populations and clearer water. Palmer et al stress that restoration success should not be viewed as an all-or-nothing, single endpoint, but as an adaptive process where small improvements build up and lessons are learned from any failures.

The third criteria for successful river restoration is to create hydrological, geomorphological and ecological conditions that allow the river to be a resilient, self-sustaining system. The fourth criteria is to do no lasting harm. "For exampl e, a channel modification project should minimise loss of native vegetation during river reconstruction, and should avoid the fish spawning season for construction work," Palmer explains. The final criteria is ecological assessment. According to Palmer: "It is critical that the broad restoration community, including funding agencies, practitioners and citizen restoration groups, adopt criteria for defining and assessing ecological success in restoration. Standards are needed because progress in the science and practice of river restoration has been hampered by the lack of agreed upon criteria for judging ecological success."

The debate is timely given the many waterfront regeneration projects under way worldwide. But, Palmer argues, many such schemes lack an ecological dimension. "Riverfront revitalisation projects many be successful in increasing economic and social activity near a river, but can constrain natural processes of the river and floodplain. Projects labelled restoration successes should not be assumed to be ecological successes," Palmer says.


Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related biology news :

1. Putting an old drug to a new use
2. Diverse tropical forests defy metabolic ecology models
3. UMaine teams with fishermen to study affects of trawling on seafloor ecology
4. Amber reveals ecology of 30 million year old spiders
5. On the track of tiny larvae, a new model elucidates connections in marine ecology
6. Different strategies underlie the ecology of microbial invasions
7. Discovery of new cave millipedes casts light on Arizona cave ecology
8. Amazon source of 5-year-old river breath
9. Once given no respect, cells tiny RNAS take drivers seat
10. Driver of anthrax toxicity could lead to late-stage therapy
11. Contaminants linked to sturgeon decline in Columbia river
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/22/2016)... BETHESDA, Md. , June 22, 2016  The American ... by Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of ... Summit on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in ... based on the highest percentage of growth in each of ... number of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of ... during the major tournament Teleste, an ... systems and services, announced today that its video security solution ... to back up public safety across the country. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... GUELPH, ON , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM ... it has been advised by its major shareholders, Clean ... LP, United States based venture ... common shares of Biorem (on a fully diluted, as ... for the disposition of their entire equity holdings in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 ... trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which ... with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid biopsy ... PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) ... test has already been incorporated into numerous clinical ... Over 230 clinical trials are investigating ... PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: