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Environmental Management

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 931–946 | Cite as

Diverse Approaches to Implement and Monitor River Restoration: A Comparative Perspective in France and Germany

  • Bertrand MorandiEmail author
  • Jochem Kail
  • Anne Toedter
  • Christian Wolter
  • Hervé Piégay
Article

Abstract

River restoration is a main emphasis of river management in European countries. Cross-national comparisons of its implementation are still rare in scientific literature. Based on French and German national censuses, this study compares river restoration practices and monitoring by analysing 102 French and 270 German projects. This comparison aims to draw a spatial and temporal framework of restoration practices in both countries to identify potential drivers of cross-national similarities and differences. The results underline four major trends: (1) a lag of almost 15 years in river restoration implementation between France and Germany, with a consequently higher share of projects in Germany than in France, (2) substantial similarities in restored reach characteristics, short reach length, small rivers, and in “agricultural” areas, (3) good correspondences between stressors identified and restoration measures implemented. Morphological alterations were the most important highlighted stressors. River morphology enhancement, especially instream enhancements, were the most frequently implemented restoration measures. Some differences exist in specific restoration practices, as river continuity restoration were most frequently implemented in French projects, while large wood introduction or channel re-braiding were most frequently implemented in German projects, and (4) some quantitative and qualitative differences in monitoring practices and a significant lack of project monitoring, especially in Germany compared to France. These similarities and differences between Germany and France in restoration application and monitoring possibly result from a complex set of drivers that might be difficult to untangle (e.g., environmental, technical, political, cultural).

Keywords

River restoration Project monitoring Hydromorphologic alteration Mitigation measures France Germany 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the IWRM-Net project FORECASTER (German BMBF grant # 02WM1031) and the EU FP7 project REFORM (Grant Agreement No. 282656). The authors acknowledge the French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA) for financial and scientific support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertrand Morandi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jochem Kail
    • 2
  • Anne Toedter
    • 3
  • Christian Wolter
    • 4
  • Hervé Piégay
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Lyon, UMR 5600 EVS – CNRS15 Parvis René DescartesFrance
  2. 2.Department of Aquatic EcologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  3. 3.University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth- and Environmental SciencePotsdam-GolmGermany
  4. 4.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany

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