Mitigation, adaptation and restoration under changing conditions

We will evaluate the merits of various adaptation, mitigation and restoration methods to counteract effects of climate and land-use change on the structure and function of rivers. Existing strategies at the local scale in different European climate zone will be reviewed and the success rate and cost-effectiveness of projects according to water type and measure will be assessed. Differences in success rates for similar restoration methods across climatic zones, taking current land-use into consideration, will be highlighted. The main drivers of recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem structure and functioning in rivers will be identified.

REFRESH will evaluate current lake adaptive management and restoration measures (reducing nutrient and organic matter load, reducing internal loading, biomanipulation) in relation to climate change. We will identify the main drivers affecting recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem structure and functioning in European lakes and provide the scientific basis for innovative adaptive and cost-effective management (mitigation, adaptation, and restoration) strategies in relation to climate change. Existing adaptation/mitigation/restoration strategies will be assessed from a success and cost-effectiveness perspective. Additionally the interactions between temperature and multiple hydrological and water quality stressors in managed and restored lakes will be identified.

Restored Channel GermanyNetherlands Stream Restoration

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Above: Restored rivers and floodplains in Germany and The Netherlands
Photos: Merel Soons

REFRESH will evaluate the effects of current and future mitigation, adaptation and restoration strategies in counteracting the effects of climate change on the functioning and biodiversity of riparian wetlands. A map of riparian wetland distribution and status will identify priority areas for conservation and restoration at the European and at the catchment scale in combination with data on the success of management strategies applied to riparian wetlands. Data from natural, managed and restored wetland sites in Europe will be reviewed and used to assess success of management strategies. Predictive modelling will be applied to assess which strategies will be most successful in the future, given changes in temperature, water level fluctuations and nutrient loading. Models will build on existing evaluation tools models for dispersal and connectivity and on models developed in REFRESH. The predictions will be used to generate guidelines for climate-proof, adaptive and feasible restoration targets across Europe and provide recommendations for management of riparian wetlands.