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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2009-12-09
    Type: inbook
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: ecological integrity ; running waters ; fish ecology ; extended serial discontinuity concept ; connectivity
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Current ecological theories and concepts describe running waters as four-dimensional systems, their longitudinal, lateral and vertical linkages, interactions and exchange processes varying over time and over different scales. According to Ward & Stanford's (1983) extended serial discontinuity concept (ESDC), along a three-reach river, model the relative strength of the longitudinal pathways is highest in the constrained headwaters, vertical interactions reach their maximum in the braided middle course and lateral connectivity plays the major role in alluvial floodplain rivers. The present paper examines the general tenets of the ESDC from a fundamental fish ecology perspective. Specifically, it focuses on the degree to which the spatial/temporal connectivity requirements of fish communities or key fish species along a schematic longitudinal river course are compatible with the underlying principles of the ESDC and whether these requirements provide basic criteria for assessing the ecological integrity of running waters. From the fish ecological perspective, the examples provided here demonstrate a principle agreement with the concept of the four-dimensional nature of running waters, whose key functional and structural elements are spatial/temporal fluvial dynamics, disturbances, connectivity, succession and ecotones. Fish are particularly useful indicators of the temporally variable connectivities on the full range of scales at the three spatial dimensions. As far as the habitat requirements of typical species/developmental stages are concerned, two major modifications of the ESDC are needed. In constrained headwaters, in addition to longitudinal connectivity, the crucial importance of the vertical pathway river/bed sediments for reproduction must be emphasized. Also, in addition to lateral connectivity, longitudinal connectivity remains a vital basis for potamal fish communities in alluvial braided and meandering zones.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: habitat assessment ; abiotic criteria ; physical environment ; ecological integrity ; habitat integrity ; habitat quality
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Based upon well-known relations between abiotic and biotic components of river systems, habitat assessment can serve as an indirect procedure to evaluate the ecological integrity by demonstrating the degree of man-induced alterations of the physical environment. Detailed habitat analysis has been an integral part of aut- or synecological investigations in aquatic environments. In many countries, however, the assessment of the physical environment on a larger spatial scale has become a regular part of watershed management programmes. A primary methodological aspect of large-scale habitat assessment is the selection and definition of evaluation criteria specifically designed to identify key functions and processes of intact river systems. Therefore, special emphasis has to be given to integrative parameters, that reflect the spatial and temporal dynamics of running waters as well as the interactions between rivers and their wetlands. Four groups of evaluation criteria are discussed within the framework of their relevance for aquatic biocoenoses and their validity to identify severe human impacts on running water ecosystems: (1) discharge regime; (2) morphological character; (3) lateral connectivity and (4) longitudinal corridor.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Hydrobiologia 303 (1995), S. 183-194 
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: river restoration ; revitalization ; river management ; ecological improvement
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract An analysis of restoration projects carried out both in Austria and abroad shows that most projects are limited to design measures within the river bed with the general intention to increase habitat diversity. The various measures are not based on the type-specific characteristics of the river and thus there is a danger of creating uniform restoration stretches, independent of the specific landscape area, river morphology, discharge regime or site specific biocoenoses. Such proceeding lacks in considering a comprehensive improvement of ecological functioning of the whole river-system. To meet those demands a type-specific guiding view (‘Leitbild’) has to be developed based on the pristine river conditions. The comparison of the river pattern including the characteristic features of its unmodified state with the actual situation leads to a comprehensive set of measures. The essential goals of such management-concepts are the integrity of the river habitat, self-regulation and self-regeneration, the preservation of intact resources, as well as the possibility to experience the uniqueness, diversity and beauty of natural river landscapes.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: river restoration ; instream structures ; land/water ecotone ; fish fauna
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Investigations of fifteen sections of seven Austrian epipotamal (barbel region) streams between 1981 and 1984 demonstrate the impact of instream river bed structures on fish communities. Reduced spatial heterogeneity due to river straightening resulted in decreasing species number, diversity, stock density and biomass. Reincreased variability of the river bed in the frame of a subsequent restructuring project improved all community-specific values significantly within a 3-year investigation period (1988–1990). Besides the regained habitat variability in form of riffle pool sequences and other instream structures, the newly created riparian zones obviously provided important niches, e.g. as refuge areas during flooding and as nursery grounds for fish fry. The positive effects of the recreated land/water ecotone are discussed with respect to river restoration projects.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: assessment ; ecological integrity ; concept ; Water Framework Directive
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The term `Oekologische Funktionsfaehigkeit', synonymously used as ecological integrity, has become a pivotal word within both Austrian water management and limnological research. Incorporated in the most important laws concerning water management issues, the term ecological integrity reflects the necessity of considering water bodies as ecological systems. Although ecological integrity of running waters is and must remain a holistic concept, the current Austrian methodology aims at assessing it by investigating a number of key components: hydromorphological aspects (particularly habitat structures, flow regime, connectivity), physico-chemical parameters, macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages, biological water quality assessment and ecotoxicological evaluations. The classification is based on the assessment of these individual criteria by means of a comparison between a river-type-specific reference state and the current conditions. This approach, which has been laid down in the Austrian Standard M 6232 `Guidelines for the ecological study and assessment of rivers', also meets the general requirements of the classification of the ecological status of running waters discussed in the EU Water Framework Directive. Besides describing the Austrian way of assessing the ecological integrity of running waters, some nation-wide programmes concerning water quality, habitat assessment, and river typology are briefly presented.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1573-5117
    Keywords: water quality ; assessment criteria ; biological hierarchy ; reference conditions ; MuLFA ; Austria ; Europe
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract We propose a multi-level concept for fish-based assessment (MuLFA) of the ecological integrity of running waters. This concept is designed for large-scale monitoring programmes such as required for the proposed Water Framework Directive of the EU. Out of five different biological organisation levels (fauna, community, guild, population and individual), we propose seven criteria: River-type-specific species, species with self-sustaining populations, fish region, number of guilds, guild composition, population size and population age structure. The principle of the MuLFA is based on assessing the deviation from undisturbed reference conditions. Reference conditions have to be compiled for every distinct river type using historical fish and abiotic data, present river-type-specific reference sites and reference models. The final assessment procedure is done by comparing the assessment reach with the reference conditions using a 5-tiered normative scheme and assigning that reach to the level of highest coincidence. The benefit of the MuLFA is its potential for consistent sensitivity to low- and high-dose human alterations, and due to its general character, its adaptability to all river types.
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford UK : Blackwell Science Ltd.
    Freshwater biology 47 (2002), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-2427
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: 1. River–floodplain systems are among the most diverse and complex ecosystems. The lack of detailed information about functional relationships and processes at the landscape and catchment scale currently hampers assessment of their ecological status.2. Intensive use and alteration of riverine landscapes by humans have led to severe degradation of river–floodplain systems, especially in highly industrialised countries. Recent water-related regulations and legislation focussing on high standards of ecological integrity back efforts to restore or rehabilitate these systems.3. Most restoration projects in the past have suffered from a range of deficits, which pertain to project design, the planning process, the integration of associated disciplines, scaling issues and monitoring.4. The so-called `Leitbild' (i.e. a target vision) assumes a key role in river restoration and the assessment of ecological integrity in general. The development of such a Leitbild requires a multistep approach. Including explicitly the first step that defines the natural, type-specific reference condition (i.e. a visionary as opposed to an operational Leitbild), has great practical advantages for restoration efforts, primarily because it provides an objective benchmark, as is required by the European Water Framework Directive and other legal documents.5. Clearly defined assessment criteria are crucial for evaluating ecological integrity, especially in the pre- and postrestoration monitoring phases. Criteria that reflect processes and functions should play a primary role in future assessments, so as to preserve and restore functional integrity as a fundamental component of ecological integrity.6. Case studies on the Kissimmee River (U.S.A.), the Rhine River (Netherlands and Germany), and the Drau River (Austria) are used to illustrate the fundamental principles underlying successful restoration projects of river–floodplain systems.
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2012-06-06
    Description: Cultural ecosystem services (ES) are consistently recognized but not yet adequately defined or integrated within the ES framework. A substantial body of models, methods, and data relevant to cultural services has been developed within the social and behavioral sciences before and outside of the ES approach. A selective review of work in landscape aesthetics, cultural heritage, outdoor recreation, and spiritual significance demonstrates opportunities for operationally defining cultural services in terms of socioecological models, consistent with the larger set of ES. Such models explicitly link ecological structures and functions with cultural values and benefits, facilitating communication between scientists and stakeholders and enabling economic, multicriterion, deliberative evaluation and other methods that can clarify tradeoffs and synergies involving cultural ES. Based on this approach, a common representation is offered that frames cultural services, along with all ES, by the relative contribution of relevant ecological structures and functions and by applicable social evaluation approaches. This perspective provides a foundation for merging ecological and social science epistemologies to define and integrate cultural services better within the broader ES framework.
    Keywords: Sustainability Science
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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