, Volume 769, Issue 1, pp 93–104 | Cite as

Effects of river restoration on riparian ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in Europe

  • Kathrin JanuschkeEmail author
  • Ralf C. M. Verdonschot


Studies addressing the effects of river and floodplain restoration on riparian ground beetles mainly focus on single river sections or regions. We conducted a large-scale study of twenty paired restored and degraded river sections throughout Europe. It was tested (i) if restoration had an overall positive effect on total species richness, Shannon–Wiener diversity and richness of riparian, wetland and floodplain forest specialists, and (ii) if the effects depended on river and project characteristics as well as habitat differences caused by restoration. Groupwise comparison of the restored and degraded river sections showed that restoration had a significant positive effect on one out of the five metrics investigated (the number of riparian specialists), and pairwise comparison of the restored sections with the corresponding degraded sections revealed an additional positive effect of restoration on total species richness. These positive effects were related to a co-occurring set of environmental variables, with the effects being more apparent in widened river sections of high-gradient cobble/gravel-bed rivers where restoration decreased riparian woody vegetation and increased sparsely vegetated banks. These results clearly indicate that the effect of restoration on riparian ground beetle richness depends on the creation of such pioneer habitats.


Carabidae Riparian zone River restoration Floodplain Semi-terrestrial invertebrates 



We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their thorough review of the manuscript and suggestions for improvement.  We are grateful to many colleagues who spent time in the field to sample the ground beetles. The study was supported by the EU-funded Integrated Project REFORM (REstoring rivers FOR effective catchment Management; European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development under Grant Agreement No. 282656).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aquatic EcologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Alterra, Wageningen URWageningenThe Netherlands

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