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Keywords:

  • river restoration;
  • reconstructed meanders;
  • groyne structures;
  • lowland rivers;
  • channel straightening;
  • macroinvertebrate community;
  • riverbed stability

Abstract

The effects of restoration of channel meandering and of groyne structures on physical variables and river-dwelling macroinvertebrates were examined in a lowland river, the Shibetsu River in Northern Japan. The lowland segment of the Shibetsu River, which previously meandered, was straightened by channelization and groynes installed on some portions of the channelized reach. In 2002, the channelization works were partly reversed to improve the degraded river ecosystem.

Physical environment variables and macroinvertebrate community structure and composition were compared among reconstructed meanders and channelized reaches with and without groynes. The shear stress of the river edge in reconstructed meanders and groyne reaches was lower than that in a channelized reach. In addition, the edge habitat near the stream bank created by the reconstructed meander and groyne reaches had higher total density and taxon richness of macroinvertebrates than those of the channelized reach. Restoration provided a relatively stable edge habitat, contributing to the recovery of macroinvertebrate communities in such channelized lowland rivers. The placement of groynes can be an effective method of in-stream habitat restoration for macroinvertebrates. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.