Temperature constraints on management success

REFRESH addresses the effects of climate-driven changes in temperature regimes on the success of management measures in rivers, on structure and functioning of river ecosystems, and on changes in river biodiversity. Shading, either by re-vegetation of wooded banks or by restoration of buffer strips or wooded riparian floodplain wetlands, can help to lower temperature especially, in smaller streams. Field/mesocosm experiments will be used to investigate temperature change effects on river ecosystem structure and functioning along a gradient from un-shaded to fully shaded lowland streams.

Shading

Above: Increased shading (and cooling) due to re-vegetation or restoration of wooded floodplains

The effect of climate-driven changes in temperature regimes on structure and function of lakes and reservoirs across Europe will be assessed by

  1. continuing longer-term field mesocosm experiments with a focus will be on metabolisms, including oxygen dynamics, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and carbon (C) turnover and accumulation;
  2. analysing the temperature effect on physical conditions, nutrient level, trophic structure, metabolisms, phenology and biodiversity using existing long-term data series and monitoring data. Special focus will be on lakes in recovery from eutrophication and subjected to lake restoration (e.g. biomanipulation, chemical treatment).

We will examine the effects of climate-driven changes in temperature on the hydrology, chemistry, ecological functioning and biodiversity of riparian wetlands. The aim is to assess impacts on the success of management strategies applied to riparian wetlands for the restoration and conservation of wetland functioning and biodiversity or mitigation of climate change effects on catchments. We will use a unique cross-European experimental set-up in six climate regions along the latitudinal climate gradient (Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, north and south of France, Spain) in which studies on streams and adjacent riparian wetlands are combined. We will focus on riparian wetlands along small streams in open terrain and results will be scaled up to larger riparian wetlands. We will study the effects of the main mitigation, adaptation and restoration strategies applied to these wetlands (e.g.re-creation or enlargement of wetland area and increased frequency and duration of flooding aimed at increasing water storage capacity).