The fourth REFRESH project meeting was held in Antalya (Turkey) from 22nd to 26th March, 2012. The meeting was jointly hosted by our colleagues from the Middle East technical University (METU). The agenda comprised a mixture of plenary sessions (introductory and reporting back), work package workshops and integrated workshops cutting across two or more work packages. Intranet Users - see the Project Meetings section for information.
A new special issue in the journal "Hydrobiologia" appeared in March 2013, entitled "Water Bodies in Europe - integrative systems to assess ecological status and recovery". It summarises the results of the EU-funded project WISER (www.wiser.eu). The special issue includes 31 peer-reviewed papers, addressing the assessment and restoration of lakes, coastal and transitional waters, and rivers in Europe. For lakes and coastal/transitional waters individual papers address new assessment systems using phytoplankton, macrophytes, benthic invertebrates and fish. For all ecosystem types the effects of restoration measures are addressed. The results are based on the analysis of a huge data source, covering different organism groups and ecosystem types in almost all European ecoregions. A special focus is on uncertainty in bioassessment methods. Link to the Special Issue: http://link.springer.com/journal/10750/704/1/page/1).
The beaver population is steadily increasing in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. Since the introduction of 33 beavers in 2002, the population has increased to approximately 200 individuals. Recently, signs of beaver activity have been encountered at the REFRESH research location at the Groote Molenbeek. During last summer’s field work for REFRESH, the Dutch team found several logged Salix trees (picture left). Surprisingly, these trees were located in the proximity of the dam construction of the flooding experiment. During the following months no beaver dams were encountered close to the experimental section.
On January 3rd 2013 the Dutch National news program NOS showed a news item concerning the increasing beaver population in Northern Limburg. The beaver dams discussed here are located approximately five kilometers downstream of our research sections. At this location, the Groote Molenbeek flows next to a major road (A73). The beaver dams even form a threat to the stability of this road. Currently, managing this natural water engineer’s population is daily business in Northern Limburg. Dutch governmental costs for managing the beaver population: 400 tons per year.
The video can be viewed (in Dutch) at:http://nos.nl/video/458003-bevers-doen-het-goed-in-limburg.html
As part of REFRESH efforts to 'ground-truth' its economic analysis a stakeholder workshop was held in Dunecht, Aberdeenshire, in September 2012, to gather local stakeholder views on how (dis)proportional and (un)evenly distributed the costs of measures to improve water quality are in relation to the benefits they provide in the Loch of Skene and Leuchar Burn sub-catchments in Scotland. Wider benefits of these measures beyond the water environment were also identified, through a participatory approach implemented via break-out groups and plenary discussions. This workshop builds up on the previous stakeholder engagement process undertaken in this area as part of REFRESH on the collaborative scoping of solutions for water quality.