Ralf Verdonschot, Bart Brugmans, Maarten Veldhuis & Piet Verdonschot

beekherstel, kleinschalige maatregelen, adaptief beheer, Building with Nature, ecologische kwaliteit

Stream restoration by means of small-scale measures

stream restoration, in stream measures, adaptive management, Building with Nature, ecological quality

The last decade stream restoration in the Netherlands shifted from primarily hydromorphological restoration practices, such as bed widening or remeandering of the stream channel, to the application of small-scale instream measures. These measures re-establish or stimulate natural stream ecosystem processes or functions and the related biological, chemical, and physical conditions. In this article we describe which measures are currently applied, assess their effectiveness and give recommendations for improvement. Decreasing the instream vegetation mowing frequency is the most commonly applied measure throughout the Netherlands, although the exact application of this measure varies among the different water boards. Riparian forest development and the addition of dead woody debris to streams is applied on a local scale. Recently experiments started with artificially supplying sand to incised streams, creating sand slugs which elevate the streambed and reconnect the stream to its riparian zone. Only extensive mowing is applied in agricultural areas, the application of other measures is limited to nature reserves. At the moment, uncertainties about the hydrological impacts of the measures hamper large scale application. Adaptive management, based on well-designed monitoring programs, in combination with clearly informing stakeholders might pave the road for larger-scale application of these restoration measures in the future.

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