Floodplain rehabilitation: Linking processes to landscape patterns

TYPE
PhD-Research

Persons involved
Harezlak (PhD candidate)
Hulscher (Promoter)
Augustijn (Daily supervisor)

Funding of the project
Technology Foundation STW
Rijkswaterstaat
RIVM
Bureau Waardenburg
Deltares
Arcadis

Duration
Jan 2015 dec 2019

Summary
In contrast to natural flowing rivers, the regulated rivers in the Netherlands allow vegetation in floodplains to mature to their climax succession stage. This climax stage is associated with high hydraulic roughness and little water storage capacity and can hence jeopardize water safety during high water discharges. To avoid such situations, all kind of measures are taken, like clearing floodplains trees, floodplain excavation, grazing, etc. However, the efficiency of those measures is not well understood and moreover, the other ecosystem services floodplains have to offer are often overlooked. This latter is a missed opportunity, as water safety can be combined with other ecosystem services, like biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water purification etc. Increasing knowledge on how to influence floodplain processes to guarantee water safety, while incorporating other ecosystem services, supports efficient floodplain management. Therefore, the aim of this research is to develop a process based, spatially explicit model that provides insight in important steering processes of floodplain vegetation development and what this vegetation development means in terms of multiple ecosystem services