A framework for predicting success of stream restoration

We will develop a framework to predict stream restoration success within catchments. Streams are inherently spatially hierarchical and nested. Geomorphic and biotic processes, form, and community composition at a smaller reach scale are governed by larger landscape scales. Thus, the potential for restoration success must be understood within a framework of the geomorphic and biotic processes acting on different scales and constraining recovery at smaller scales. We define landscape heterogeneity based on process domains, which are stream sections where specific geomorphic processes shape biotic communities. At the reach scale, heterogeneity is defined based on geomorphic complexity. We hypothesize that the distribution of process domains and degree of complexity play major roles in biotic recovery after restoration. We will use stream reaches restored after timber-floating activities to evaluate differences within catchments in biotic dispersal potential, community composition and geomorphic complexity compared to still impacted and unimpacted stream reaches. Catchment-scale processes related to complexity, organism sources and dispersal pathways will be studied using remote sensing analyses; riparian and in-stream plant communities and fish will be sampled in the field. The project addresses a need for more effective stream restoration to restore biodiversity. We will share results with stakeholders and give advice on effective stream restoration at different spatial scales.

The project is run by researchers at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University and is funded by a grant from the Swedish Research Council Formas.

Page Editor: Elisabet Carlborg

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