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Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems

Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems
Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems
Process-based restoration aims to reestablish normative rates and magnitudes of physical, chemical, and biological processes that sustain river and floodplain ecosystems. Ecosystem conditions at any site are governed by hierarchical regional, watershed, and reach-scale processes controlling hydrologic and sediment regimes; floodplain and aquatic habitat dynamics; and riparian and aquatic biota.

We outline and illustrate four process-based principles that ensure river restoration will be guided toward sustainable actions: (1) restoration actions should address the root causes of degradation, (2) actions must be consistent with the physical and biological potential of the site, (3) actions should be at a scale commensurate with environmental problems, and (4) actions should have clearly articulated expected outcomes for ecosystem dynamics.

Applying these principles will help avoid common pitfalls in river restoration, such as creating habitat types that are outside of a site's natural potential, attempting to build static habitats in dynamic environments, or constructing habitat features that are ultimately overwhelmed by unconsidered system drivers.
209-222
Beechie, Timothy J.
eacf1c29-2062-4e36-ab43-3ba02f01b731
Sear, David A.
ccd892ab-a93d-4073-a11c-b8bca42ecfd3
Olden, Julian D.
437f5025-1df8-48db-ae5a-67d7d1ea7e41
Pess, George R.
b6d1d144-cde1-4d84-9319-11ba8aa2b1ad
Buffington, John M.
eab381d7-eca4-431c-9b73-61274810d036
Moir, Hamish
9032e3c8-dc73-4641-bb34-02a71010255f
Roni, Philip
ed2f94b4-a50d-448f-b503-4c2d93a2dbbd
Pollock, Michael M.
cce05459-7a51-4a6b-8c40-bbdeb633ad22
Beechie, Timothy J.
eacf1c29-2062-4e36-ab43-3ba02f01b731
Sear, David A.
ccd892ab-a93d-4073-a11c-b8bca42ecfd3
Olden, Julian D.
437f5025-1df8-48db-ae5a-67d7d1ea7e41
Pess, George R.
b6d1d144-cde1-4d84-9319-11ba8aa2b1ad
Buffington, John M.
eab381d7-eca4-431c-9b73-61274810d036
Moir, Hamish
9032e3c8-dc73-4641-bb34-02a71010255f
Roni, Philip
ed2f94b4-a50d-448f-b503-4c2d93a2dbbd
Pollock, Michael M.
cce05459-7a51-4a6b-8c40-bbdeb633ad22

Beechie, Timothy J., Sear, David A., Olden, Julian D., Pess, George R., Buffington, John M., Moir, Hamish, Roni, Philip and Pollock, Michael M. (2010) Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems. BioScience, 60 (3), 209-222. (doi:10.1525/bio.2010.60.3.7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Process-based restoration aims to reestablish normative rates and magnitudes of physical, chemical, and biological processes that sustain river and floodplain ecosystems. Ecosystem conditions at any site are governed by hierarchical regional, watershed, and reach-scale processes controlling hydrologic and sediment regimes; floodplain and aquatic habitat dynamics; and riparian and aquatic biota.

We outline and illustrate four process-based principles that ensure river restoration will be guided toward sustainable actions: (1) restoration actions should address the root causes of degradation, (2) actions must be consistent with the physical and biological potential of the site, (3) actions should be at a scale commensurate with environmental problems, and (4) actions should have clearly articulated expected outcomes for ecosystem dynamics.

Applying these principles will help avoid common pitfalls in river restoration, such as creating habitat types that are outside of a site's natural potential, attempting to build static habitats in dynamic environments, or constructing habitat features that are ultimately overwhelmed by unconsidered system drivers.

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Published date: March 2010

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 147869
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/147869
PURE UUID: b8c5aa9a-2504-4a31-9323-0436196fb52d
ORCID for David A. Sear: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0191-6179

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Date deposited: 26 Apr 2010 15:50
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 01:16

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