For Managers: Management of Streams

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REFRESH work on streams created a basis to apply knowledge on the effects of climate change and land use change on the structure, functioning and biodiversity in rivers and the effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation measures to restore rivers.

The shading experiments provided quantified insights in the role of temperature in rivers and the potential ecological gain to use shade to compensate temperature rise. The related shading and temperature reviews made a wider application and generalisation of the experimental results possible. Furthermore, shading also supplies organic material to rivers which improves the ecological functioning and thus adds to the objectives of the Water Framework Directive and the Habitat Directives. Shading as a measure is also of low cost. The indicators for temperature and wooded river banks were renewed and can improve the assessment techniques that accompany the WFD implementation.

The shading experiments were prepared and performed in about 48 streams spread over the Atlantic region of Europe, each in direct cooperation with local stakeholders (mostly regional water authorities). The results were communicated directly to the respective stakeholder and will help them in applying this type of measures.

 The stagnation and drought experiments provided quantified insights in the role of low flow and drought in rivers and the potential ecological losses. The experiment provided thresholds for low flow and drought in Atlantic lowland rivers. The related low flow and drought reviews made a wider application and generalisation of the experimental results possible. Furthermore, flow and oxygen appeared crucial for rivers and decide the ecological functioning. Thus good oxygen regimes and healthy flow conditions are primary targets in any part of measures to reach the objectives of the Water Framework Directive and the Habitat Directives. The indicators for flow and oxygen were selected and can improve the assessment techniques that accompany the WFD implementation.