River restoration and management

Responses of different organisms to hydromorphological restoration in Germany (see Pilotto et al., 2019)

In recent decades, increasing emphasis has been placed on the restoration of freshwater ecosystems globally. Despite significant expenditures, projects often do not meet their goals of restoring biodiversity. We analyse datasets to uncover the drivers of success or failure, including the role of dispersal and metacommunity dynamics.

Contemporary ecosystem management is guided by the principle of embracing the historical range of environmental variation when setting restoration targets for degraded systems. By pushing systems away from their historical envelope of variability, rapid climate change is increasingly putting this approach into question. We use models to forecast the potential outcomes of restorative or other human interventions on biodiversity into an uncertain hydro-climatic future.

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Jonathan Tonkin
Senior Lecturer & Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Publications

Prepare river ecosystems for an uncertain future

As the climate warms, we can’t restore waterways to pristine condition, but models can predict potential changes, argue Jonathan D. …

Diverging response patterns of terrestrial and aquatic species to hydromorphological restoration

Although experiences with ecological restoration continue to accumulate, the effectiveness of restoration for biota remains debated. We …

Reintroduction of freshwater macroinvertebrates: Challenges and opportunities

Species reintroductions - the translocation of individuals to areas in which a species has been extirpated with the aim of …

Characterizing fish responses to a river restoration over 21 years based on species' traits

Understanding restoration effectiveness is often impaired by a lack of high-quality, long-term monitoring data and, to date, few …

Scale-dependent effects of river habitat quality on benthic invertebrate communities - implications for stream restoration practice

Although most stream restoration projects succeed in improving hydromorphological habitat quality, the ecological quality of the stream …

Time is no healer: Increasing restoration age does not lead to improved benthic invertebrate communities in restored river reaches

Evidence for successful restoration of riverine communities is scarce, particularly for benthic invertebrates. Among the multitude of …

Dispersal distance and the pool of taxa, but not barriers, determine the colonisation of restored river reaches by benthic invertebrates

Restoration is an increasingly central theme in river ecology. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of the species pool in …