Restoration of the rivers Brede, Cole and Skerne: A joint Danish and British EU-LIFE demonstration project, V - Short-term impacts on the conservation value of aquatic macroinvertebrate and macrophyte assemblages

Jeremy Biggs*, A Corfield, Per Grøn, Hans Ole Hansen, David Walker, Mericia Whitfield, Penny Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

1. This paper describes the short-term effects of fiver restoration on the wetland macrophyte and aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages of two rivers, the R. Brede (Denmark) and the R. Cole (UK). The effects of the restoration work were assessed in terms of changes in species richness, rarity and abundance on (i) the restored sections and (ii) potentially impacted sections downstream of the restoration works. 2. In the restored areas of both rivers the species richness of wetland macrophyte assemblages recovered to at least pre-restoration levels 1-2 years after restoration. Macroinvertebrate species richness recovery was more variable. The abundance of macroinvertebrates and wetland macrophytes generally recovered less rapidly than species richness. For wetland macrophytes, the recovery process was enhanced by the presence of refugia. 3. Uncommon invertebrates were slower to recolonize the restored sections in the year after restoration (monitored on the R. Cole only). The number of uncommon wetland macrophyte species recorded was similar throughout the restoration and recovery period. 4. Potentially impacted sections of the fiver up to 1.2 km downstream of the restored area showed a relative decline in invertebrate species richness 1-2 months after the physical works were completed, but little difference from pre-restoration levels after 1 year. Plant surveys downstream of the restored area showed no evidence of a significant change in species richness, neither was there evidence that uncommon plant or invertebrate species were affected by downstream impacts (sediment or nutrient release) due to restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aquatic macroinvertebrates
  • Colonization
  • Downstream impact
  • Habitat restoration
  • Macrophytes
  • Rarity
  • River
  • Species richness

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