Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 56

Report outlining the sampling framework required to examine processes affecting habitat stability in lowland streams

This report describes the sampling framework required to examine processes affecting habitat stability in lowland streams and covers work being undertaken in WP 2 Tasks 2.2, 3.1 and 5. To ensure a cost efficient approach to the study of hydromorphological features of (restored) lowland streams, Tasks 2.2, 3.1 and 5 have been combined into one protocol. The required methods can be utilised, where appropriate, where only some of these tasks are being undertaken at a particular site. In general, where possible, methods can be combined at selected sites to reach an optimal performance.

The objectives are
i) To establish the habitat preference of indicator species.(Task 2.2)
ii) To establish the relationship between discharge dynamics, habitat stability and the population density of indicator species. (Task 3.1)
iii) To determine the effects of hydromorphological measures on the functioning and structure of the instream communities, and thus to establish the effects of natural development of the floodplain and/or of adding woody debris on the cause−effect−chain under different discharge regimes. (Task 5)

The hypotheses are
a) Indicators prefer specific habitats, either sand, detritus or gravel.
b) Discharge peaks initiate disruption e.g. through shifting sand, whirling/moving detritus patches or rolling gravel.
c) Indicators become more or less abundant if the habitat is disrupted
d) Recovery depends on habitat recovery time and thus time between extreme events
e) Restoration strives for the recovery of the habitat and return of the indicators
f) Discharge peaks prevent recovery from taking place.

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