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Integrated Modelling of Ecological Potentials of New Restoration Sites Along The River Meuse

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract book 6th European Conference on Ecological Restoration
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationGent
PublisherInstituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek
Publication date12-Sep-2008
Publication statusPublished - 12-Sep-2008

Abstract

: To evaluate restoration measures along the Common Meuse an integrated, dynamic ecological expert model ECODYN was developed. It predicts the potential for habitat development and species presence under changed river dynamics at restoration sites. Data generated by hydromorphological and hydrological models are integrated to predict spatial distribution of habitats in a restored river ecosystem. In this model, variations in river and ground water dynamics are considered to be the main drivers for ecotope differentiation. Area specific knowledge on 1. boundary conditions in river dynamics for forest development in the riverbed, 2. vegetation succession in present pilot project areas and 3. impact of grazing on floodplain grasslands, determines spatial development potentials in each river zone. The model output gives us information on potential distribution for Natura2000 habitats: running water (3260), muddy banks (3270) and calcareous pioneer grassland on sandy (6120) and stony substrate (6110). To predict floodplain habitat development, two management options (grazing and autonomous development) were included in the model, giving predictions on potentials of mesophile grasslands (65) and tall herb meadows (6430 and 6210).
For the Dutch - Belgian restoration plans of the River Meuse project different restoration measures and management scenarios are compared and habitat potentials are evaluated. Bottlenecks arising from these restoration measures are revealed and alternatives are suggested. Integration of hydromorphological, hydrological and ecological modelling appears a powerful tool to evaluate and adjust restoration measures along the river Meuse so the appropriate restoration objectives could be realised.

EWI Biomedical sciences

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