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Putting ecology back into river restoration

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.


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Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


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