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Integrated monitoring of nature restoration along ecotones, the example of the Yser Estuary

Research output: Contribution to journalA3: Article in a journal without peer reviewResearch

Authors

  • S Adam
  • L Baert
  • D Bonte
  • N Chavatte
  • R Claus
  • Wim De Belder
  • Birgit De Fré
  • S Degraer
  • Davy De Groote
  • W Dekoninck
  • K Desender
  • H Engledow
  • P Grootaert
  • N Hardies
  • F Leliaert
  • Jean-Pierre Maelfait
  • J Monbaliu
  • E Stichelmans
  • E Toorman
  • H Van Nieuwenhuyse
  • M Vincx
  • J Wittoeck

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Abstract

Within the framework of LIFE, one of the larger nature restoration projects in Flanders was realized on the right bank of the estuarine part of the Yser. General aim of the initiative was to restore or create beach-dune-salt marsh ecotones with salt-fresh, dynamic-stable, wet-dry and mud-sand ecotones. In order to reach this goal, several large buildings and roads were broken down, an entire tidal dock was restructured and some 500,000m³ of dredging material was removed to restore or create intertidal and coastal dune habitats and their connecting ecotones. Measures were taken to avoid abrupt topographical transitions along potential ecological gradients. It was decided to begin monitoring (2001-2004) from the very start of the restoration process (1999-2003). Monitoring was multidisciplinary and realized in a partnership between several scientific institutes (Ghent University, Catholic University of Louvain, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and Institute of Nature Conservation with facility support of VLIZ). Monitoring included the most relevant abiotic conditions such as sedimentation and erosion, topography and ground water fluctuations, and biological response variables, i.e. flora and vegetation, terrestrial arthropods, benthic macrofauna and birds. It was decided to include two monitoring levels, an area-covering monitoring of the entire nature reserve (ca. 128ha) and a detailed monitoring of changes along transects perpendicular to the main ecological gradients. In this paper we present some results of the first three years of monitoring.
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