Hotspots voor natuurontwikkeling langs de grote rivieren

Theo van der Sluis, Gilbert Maas, Eline van Elburg, Inez Woltjer & Bas Pedroli

ecotopen, landschapsecologie, kerngebieden, metapopulatiemodel, levensvatbare populatie

De uiterwaarden van de grote rivieren vertegenwoordigen een succesverhaal van natuurontwikkeling. Toch kunnen we voor veel kenmerkende diersoorten van het rivierecosysteem nog niet rekenen op duurzame populaties, zeker niet bij de te verwachten klimaatverandering. Het aanpassen van het landgebruik tot grote, aaneengesloten natuurgebieden (hotspots) langs de grote rivieren kan mogelijk aanzienlijke winst opleveren. Dit artikel verkent de bijdrage van vier van deze hotspots in 2050 voor een aantal riviergebonden gidssoorten met behulp van metapopulatiemodellering.

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Robust and climate proof river networks – Hotspots for rehabilitation of nature along the major Dutch
rivers

Theo van der Sluis, Gilbert Maas, Eline van Elburg, Inez Woltjer & Bas Pedroli

Nature targets, ecotopes, landscape ecology, core areas, metapopulation model, sustainable population

The aim of Dutch public authorities is to create a river system in which all habitats indicative for a robust river system as well as the characteristic species of the system are present. The focus is on four hotspots of large-scale coherent nature along the branches of the major Dutch rivers Rhine and Meuse. In addition to the ongoing development of a string of natural areas along the major rivers (corridors), the aspiration in these hotspots is to arrive at large contiguous areas with high nature quality, to serve as robust core areas and source populations for the surrounding parts of the river area. For a number
of indicator species (animal species representative of other species with similar habitat requirements) we have modelled with the metapopulation model LARCH whether they can develop sustainable populations. Subsequently, an estimate was made for 2050 of the habitat distribution in the hotspots that would result if all agricultural land on the riverside of the flood levees were given a nature destination, with or without shared agricultural use. Finally, based on modelling outcome additional measures were defined to realize sustainable populations of indicator species, increasing riparian forests and wet grasslands. From this semi-quantitative approach it appears that for most river-bound species significant habitat improvements can be achieved when focussing on nature rehabilitation in a limited number of promising hotspots.

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