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BIO-SAFE: assessing the impact of physical reconstruction on protected and endangered species

de Nooij, R. J. W., Lenders, H. J. R., Leuven, R. S. E. W., de Blust, G., Geilen, N., Goldschmidt, B., Muller, S., Durance, Isabelle ORCID: and Nienhuis, P. H. 2004. BIO-SAFE: assessing the impact of physical reconstruction on protected and endangered species. River Research and Applications 20 (3) , pp. 299-315. 10.1002/rra.779

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Assessing actual and potential biodiversity of river–floodplain ecosystems on the basis of policy and legislation concerning endangered and protected species is necessary for consistency between different policy goals. It is thus a prerequisite to sustainable and integrated river management. This paper presents BIO-SAFE, a transnational model that quantifies the relevance of species and ecotopes, characteristic of the main channels and floodplains of the rivers Rhine and Meuse, on the basis of international treaties and directives and national Red Data Lists. BIO-SAFE was developed into a tool for biodiversity assessment with regard to design and evaluation of physical planning projects, Environmental Impact Assessments and comparative landscape–ecological studies. It was conceived to be applicable in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Taxonomic groups involved are higher plants, birds, herpetofauna, mammals, fish, butterflies, and dragonflies and damselflies. The linkage of habitat requirements of species to ecotopes allows the user to derive information at the level of several ecotope types and scales. The model requires input data on presence of species and/or surface area of ecotopes. BIO-SAFE has been applied to flood risk reduction projects along the rivers Rhine and Meuse. Results show that BIO-SAFE yields quantitative information regarding the degree to which actual situations, reconstruction designs and developments of species and ecotope composition meet national and international agreements on biodiversity conservation. Attuning biodiversity conservation and flood risk reduction measures is a major issue in applied ecology and spatial planning. Assessments with BIO-SAFE can help find an optimal balance. Because of its policy-based character, BIO-SAFE yields information that is complementary to ecological biodiversity indices, single-species habitat models and ecological network analysis. The development of BIO-SAFE was based on species characteristic of rivers and floodplains, but the method can easily be applied to other ecosystems as well.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity assessment;Habitats Directive;Birds Directive;Convention of Bern;Convention of Bonn;Red Lists;river floodplains;River Rhine;River Meuse
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1535-1459
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 10:25

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