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A FRAMEWORK TO DERIVE MOST EFFICIENT RESTORATION MEASURES FOR HUMAN MODIFIED LARGE RIVERS
With the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the European Union aims to reach the good ecological status of all surface water bodies of their member states until 2015. Slightly lower ecological quality aims will be accepted for artificial and heavily modified water bodies: the good ecological potential (GEP). However, until now only a common agreement exists about a restoration measures driven approach to derive the GEP, without proper evaluation of the measures itself. A comprehensive catalogue of 42 restoration measures has been compiled from various sources. By comparably evaluating their effectiveness for all four biological quality components macrophytes, phytoplankton, macroinvertebrates and fish inde-pendently, for the first time a most consensus group of 26 mitigation measures has been derived with more than average ecological effectiveness for more than one in-dicator taxon. In particular channel modifications in combination with reconnecting backwaters or the creation of shallow littorals have been identified as most promis-ing to reach the GEP in artificial and heavily modified water bodies. However, the mitigation measures suggested might also become part of river basin management plans were the good ecological status is the main objective. According to the pres-sures being addressed, this framework should allow identifying and selecting the most efficient methods to improve the ecological quality for all indicator groups within the narrow timeframe of the WFD.
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