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A systems approach to river restoration: a case study in the lower Seine valley, France

Durance, Isabelle ORCID:, Alard, D., Leuven, R. S. E. W. and Nienhuis, P. H. 2002. A systems approach to river restoration: a case study in the lower Seine valley, France. River Research and Applications 18 (3) , pp. 239-247. 10.1002/rra.667

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Restoration of regulated rivers presents fundamental challenges because of the complexity and adaptive nature of riverine ecosystems. It is now agreed that restoration strategies need to restore the system as a whole (structure, function and dynamics). Most studies are faced with the same difficulties concerning the right scale for restoration actions, the representative attributes of the riverine system and the measures capable of surveying restoration action impacts. This work proposes an approach to river restoration borrowed from the conceptual and theoretical background of landscape ecology. Leaning on experience on biodiversity restoration along the Lower Seine river, we propose a systemic approach based on the hierarchical nature of riverine systems. This approach suggests that like any system, riverine ecosystems can be simplified into basic units which are complementary and integrated in a hierarchical structure. Simplification leads to focusing on one component of the ecosystem at a relevant scale of space and time (organization level). Here, we focus on two attributes of this ecosystem at different scales: community organization and landscape organization. These organization measures, realized at different observation scales, provide insight to the ecological response of the system in time. They are measures of the stability of the system and can provide effective tools for predicting or following the impact of restoration actions on riverine landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: systems;rivers;restoration;biodiversity;landscape;organization;hierarchy
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1535-1459
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 10:25

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