Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

River Restoration Related Abstracts

5 Judging Restoration Success of Kamisaigo River Japan

Authors: Rita Lopa, Yukihiro Shimatani

Abstract:

The focus of this research is 880m extension development along the Kamisaigo River. The river is flowing tributary of grade 2 rivers Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. This river is a small-scale urban river and the river was formerly a straight concrete sea wall construction. The river runs through National Highway No. 3 from the confluence of Saigo River. The study covers the river basin about 326 ha with a catchment area of 20.63 ha and 4,700 m3 capacity regulating pond. The river is not wide, shallow, and has a straight alignment with active (un-vegetated) river channel sinuosity (ratio of river length to valley length) ranging between 1 and 1.3. However, the alignment of the low-flow river channel does have meandering or sinuous characteristics. Flooding is likely to occur. It has become difficult to live in the environment for organisms of the river. Hydrophilic is very low (children cannot play). There is little connection with the local community. Overall, the Kamisaigo River watershed is heavily urbanized and from a morphological, biological and habitat perspective, Kamisaigo River functions marginally not well. For river improvement and maintenance of the Kamisaigo River, the workshop was conducted in the form of planning for the proposed model is presented by the Watershed Management Laboratory. This workshop showed the relationship between citizens, City Government, and University of mutual trust has been established, that have been made landscape, environment, usage, etc.: retaining wall maintenance, hydrophilic zone, landscape zone, nature walks zone: adjacent medical facilities and adjacent to large commercial facilities. Propose of Nature walks zone with point of the design: provide slope that the wheelchair can access and walking paths to enjoy the scenery, and summary of the Kamisaigo River workshop: creating a multi-model study and creation of natural rivers.

Keywords: River Restoration, river improvement, natural rivers, Saigo River

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4 Impact of Ecosystem Engineers on Soil Structuration in a Restored Floodplain in Switzerland

Authors: Andreas Schomburg, Claire Le Bayon, Claire Guenat, Philip Brunner

Abstract:

Numerous river restoration projects have been established in Switzerland in recent years after decades of human activity in floodplains. The success of restoration projects in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem functions largely depend on the development of the floodplain soil system. Plants and earthworms as ecosystem engineers are known to be able to build up a stable soil structure by incorporating soil organic matter into the soil matrix that creates water stable soil aggregates. Their engineering efficiency however largely depends on changing soil properties and frequent floods along an evolutive floodplain transect. This study, therefore, aims to quantify the effect of flood frequency and duration as well as of physico-chemical soil parameters on plants’ and earthworms’ engineering efficiency. It is furthermore predicted that these influences may have a different impact on one of the engineers that leads to a varying contribution to aggregate formation within the floodplain transect. Ecosystem engineers were sampled and described in three different floodplain habitats differentiated according to the evolutionary stages of the vegetation ranging from pioneer to forest vegetation in a floodplain restored 15 years ago. In addition, the same analyses were performed in an embanked adjacent pasture as a reference for the pre-restored state. Soil aggregates were collected and analyzed for their organic matter quantity and quality using Rock Eval pyrolysis. Water level and discharge measurements dating back until 2008 were used to quantify the return period of major floods. Our results show an increasing amount of water stable aggregates in soil with increasing distance to the river and show largest values in the reference site. A decreasing flood frequency and the proportion of silt and clay in the soil texture explain these findings according to F values from one way ANOVA of a fitted mixed effect model. Significantly larger amounts of labile organic matter signatures were found in soil aggregates in the forest habitat and in the reference site that indicates a larger contribution of plants to soil aggregation in these habitats compared to the pioneer vegetation zone. Earthworms’ contribution to soil aggregation does not show significant differences in the floodplain transect, but their effect could be identified even in the pioneer vegetation with its large proportion of coarse sand in the soil texture and frequent inundations. These findings indicate that ecosystem engineers seem to be able to create soil aggregates even under unfavorable soil conditions and under frequent floods. A restoration success can therefore be expected even in ecosystems with harsh soil properties and frequent external disturbances.

Keywords: River Restoration, flood frequency, ecosystem engineers, floodplains, rock eval pyrolysis, soil organic matter incorporation, soil structuration

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3 Using the UK as a Case Study to Assess the Current State of Large Woody Debris Restoration as a Tool for Improving the Ecological Status of Natural Watercourses Globally

Authors: Isabelle Barrett

Abstract:

Natural watercourses provide a range of vital ecosystem services, notably freshwater provision. They also offer highly heterogeneous habitat which supports an extreme diversity of aquatic life. Exploitation of rivers, changing land use and flood prevention measures have led to habitat degradation and subsequent biodiversity loss; indeed, freshwater species currently face a disproportionate rate of extinction compared to their terrestrial and marine counterparts. Large woody debris (LWD) encompasses the trees, large branches and logs which fall into watercourses, and is responsible for important habitat characteristics. Historically, natural LWD has been removed from streams under the assumption that it is not aesthetically pleasing and is thus ecologically unfavourable, despite extensive evidence contradicting this. Restoration efforts aim to replace lost LWD in order to reinstate habitat heterogeneity. This paper aims to assess the current state of such restoration schemes for improving fluvial ecological health in the UK. A detailed review of the scientific literature was conducted alongside a meta-analysis of 25 UK-based projects involving LWD restoration. Projects were chosen for which sufficient information was attainable for analysis, covering a broad range of budgets and scales. The most effective strategies for river restoration encompass ecological success, stakeholder engagement and scientific advancement, however few projects surveyed showed sensitivity to all three; for example, only 32% of projects stated biological aims. Focus tended to be on stakeholder engagement and public approval, since this is often a key funding driver. Consequently, there is a tendency to focus on the aesthetic outcomes of a project, however physical habitat restoration does not necessarily lead to direct biodiversity increases. This highlights the significance of rivers as highly heterogeneous environments with multiple interlinked processes, and emphasises a need for a stronger scientific presence in project planning. Poor scientific rigour means monitoring is often lacking, with varying, if any, definitions of success which are rarely pre-determined. A tendency to overlook negative or neutral results was apparent, with unjustified focus often put on qualitative results. The temporal scale of monitoring is typically inadequate to facilitate scientific conclusions, with only 20% of projects surveyed reporting any pre-restoration monitoring. Furthermore, monitoring is often limited to a few variables, with biotic monitoring often fish-focussed. Due to their longer life cycles and dispersal capability, fish are usually poor indicators of environmental change, making it difficult to attribute any changes in ecological health to restoration efforts. Although the potential impact of LWD restoration may be positive, this method of restoration could simply be making short-term, small-scale improvements; without addressing the underlying symptoms of degradation, for example water quality, the issue cannot be fully resolved. Promotion of standardised monitoring for LWD projects could help establish a deeper understanding of the ecology surrounding the practice, supporting movement towards adaptive management in which scientific evidence feeds back to practitioners, enabling the design of more efficient projects with greater ecological success. By highlighting LWD, this study hopes to address the difficulties faced within river management, and emphasise the need for a more holistic international and inter-institutional approach to tackling problems associated with degradation.

Keywords: Biological Monitoring, River Management, River Restoration, ecological health, large woody debris

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2 Science and Monitoring Underpinning River Restoration: A Case Study

Authors: Geoffrey Gilfillan, Peter Barham, Lisa Smallwood, David Harper

Abstract:

The ‘Welland for People and Wildlife’ project aimed to improve the River Welland’s ecology and water quality, and to make it more accessible to the community of Market Harborough. A joint monitoring project by the Welland Rivers Trust & University of Leicester was incorporated into the design. The techniques that have been used to measure its success are hydrological, geomorphological, and water quality monitoring, species and habitat surveys, and community engagement. Early results show improvements to flow and habitat diversity, water quality and biodiversity of the river environment. Barrier removal has increased stickleback mating activity, and decreased parasitically infected fish in sample catches. The habitats provided by the berms now boast over 25 native plant species, and the river is clearer, cleaner and with better-oxygenated water.

Keywords: Water Quality, Community Engagement, Ecological Monitoring, River Restoration

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1 Restoring, Revitalizing and Recovering Brazilian Rivers: Application of the Concept to Small Basins in the City of São Paulo, Brazil

Authors: Juliana C. Alencar, Monica Ferreira do Amaral Porto

Abstract:

Watercourses in Brazilian urban areas are constantly being degraded due to the unplanned use of the urban space; however, due to the different contexts of land use and occupation in the river watersheds, different intervention strategies are required to requalify them. When it comes to requalifying watercourses, we can list three main techniques to fulfill this purpose: restoration, revitalization and recovery; each one being indicated for specific contexts of land use and occupation in the basin. In this study, it was demonstrated that the application of these three techniques to three small basins in São Paulo city, listing the aspects involved in each of the contexts and techniques of requalification. For a protected watercourse within a forest park, renaturalization was proposed, where the watercourse is preserved in a state closer to the natural one. For a watercourse in an urban context that still preserves open spaces for its maintenance as a landscape element, an intervention was proposed following the principles of revitalization, integrating the watercourse with the landscape and the population. In the case of a watercourse in a harder context, only recovery was proposed, since the watercourse is found under the road system, which makes it difficult to integrate it into the landscape.

Keywords: Sustainable Drainage, River Restoration, river revitalization, river recovery

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