Diverse Approaches to Implement and Monitor River Restoration: A Comparative Perspective in France and Germany (Morandi et al. 2017)

River restoration is a main emphasis of river management in European countries. Cross-national comparisons of its implementation are still rare in scientific literature. Based on French and German national censuses, this study compares river restoration practices and monitoring by analysing 102 French and 270 German projects. This comparison aims to draw a spatial and temporal framework of restoration practices in both countries to identify potential drivers of cross-national similarities and differences.

The results underline four major trends: (1) a lag of almost 15 years in river restoration implementation between France and Germany, with a consequently higher share of projects in Germany than in France, (2) substantial similarities in restored reach characteristics, short reach length, small rivers, and in “agricultural” areas, (3) good correspondences between stressors identified and restoration measures implemented. Morphological alterations were the most important highlighted stressors. River morphology enhancement, especially instream enhancements, were the most frequently implemented restoration measures. Some differences exist in specific restoration practices, as river continuity restoration were most frequently implemented in French projects, while large wood introduction or channel re-braiding were most frequently implemented in German projects, and (4) some quantitative and qualitative differences in monitoring practices and a significant lack of project monitoring, especially in Germany compared to France. These similarities and differences between Germany and France in restoration application and monitoring possibly result from a complex set of drivers that might be difficult to untangle (e.g., environmental, technical, political, cultural).

River restoration Project monitoring Hydromorphologic alteration Mitigation measures France Germany 

Publication Date: 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Full reference: 

Morandi, B., Kail, J., Toedter, A., Wolter, C., & Piégay, H. (2017). Diverse Approaches to Implement and Monitor River Restoration: A Comparative Perspective in France and Germany. Environmental management, 60(5), 931-946.