WP4 evaluates effects of river restoration by analysing existing data as well as performing field studies on paired catchments. In tasks 4.2 and 4.3 field studies will use examples of restored sites in which either one large scale measure (flagship restoration site) or smaller restoration measures (small restoration site) have been implemented. These restoration sites will be compared to “control sites” that are situated upstream and are still degraded (nested design). All case study sites comprise mid-sized mountain rivers or mid-sized lowland rivers throughout Europe.
For all case study sites we collect environmental data, biotic and functional parameters potentially supporting or spoiling restoration success. To manage the gathered data, a database was created in two steps. To collect the data from all case study partners a Microsoft Excel file with 33 sheets was created at first. In this file 10 key subjects are required - 5 abiotic and 5 biotic topics (Site information, Hydromorphology, Pressure types, Restoration measure types, Physico-chemical data; Fish, Invertebrates, Macrophytes, Riparian arthropods, Floodplain Vegetation). Secondly, the received datasets will be merged in a Microsoft Access database. Additionally the procedure of the selection and final determination of the parameters and field methods are described as well as the general sampling design and techniques. The site-specific record sets will be complemented by data at catchment scale.
To manage the gathered data, a database was created. The final section of this report provides an overview of the structure and organisation of the database and a compilation of tables showing the set of variables to be recorded and their detailed description.
Data on river hydromorphology (CEN compliant survey method and meso/microhabitat transect method) and functional parameter (stable isotope analyses) will be recorded during the first year. Methods have been discussed during the REFORM workshop at Florence in December 2011 and at the field training workshop at Silkeborg in May 2012.
The biotic parameters will be checked if available datasets are comparable and useful for data analyses. Biotic core parameters are fish, macroinvertebrates, macrophytes, riparian arthropods and floodplain vegetation.
D4.1. includes sampling manuals, field forms and protocols for all these abiotic and biotic parameters to ensure comparable datasets for all case study sites.