Current status and restoration options for floodplains along the Danube River

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Last Updated 13 December 2018, 13:40 (Europe/Berlin)
Created 13 December 2018, 13:39 (Europe/Berlin)
Language Eng
Original language English
Abstract Publication in "Science of the Total Environment": Floodplains are key ecosystems of riverine landscapes and provide a multitude of ecosystem services. In most of the large river systems worldwide, a tremendous reduction of floodplain area has occurred in the last 100 years and this loss continues due to pressures such as land use change, river regulation, and dam construction. In the Danube River Basin, the extent of floodplains has been reduced by 68% compared to their pre-regulation area, with the highest losses occurring in the Upper Danube and the lowest in the Danube Delta. In this paper, we il- lustrate the restoration potential of floodplains along the Danube and its major tributaries. Via two case studies in the Upper and Lower Danube, we demonstrate the effects of restoration measures on the river ecosystem, ad- dressing different drivers, pressures, and opportunities in these regions. The potential area for floodplain resto- ration based on land use and hydromorphological characteristics amounts to 8102 km2 for the whole Danube River, of which estimated 75% have a high restoration potential. A comparison of floodplain status and options for restoration in the Upper and Lower Danube shows clear differences in drivers and pressures, but certain com- mon options apply in both sections if the local context of stakeholders and societal needs are considered. New approaches to flood protection using natural water retention measures offer increased opportunities for flood- plain restoration, but conflicting societal needs and legal frameworks may restrict implementation. Emerging is- sues such as climate change and invasive non-native species will need careful consideration in future restoration planning to minimize unintended effects and to increase the resilience of floodplains to these and other pressures.
License Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0)
Classification Environment
Creation date 2018-10-08
Publication date 2015-10-23
INSPIRE theme Habitats and biotopes
Free keywords river restoration, Water Framework Directive, floodplains, Danube, flood protection
Responsible party Organisation: BOKU
Role: Resource provider
Spatial extent - North 50.24
Spatial extent - South 42.08
Spatial extent - East 29.76
Spatial extent - West 8.15

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