Restoration of lowland streams: an introduction*


  • *

    A large portion of this paper is based on a collective discussion of more than 100 participants of the 1st International Workshop on Lowland Stream Restoration. The authors of this manuscript served to summarize the arguments and discussions.


  • 1 This paper introduces the Lowland Streams Restoration Workshop that was held in Lund, Sweden in August 1991.
  • 2 Attenders at the Workshop participated in working groups which discussed and reported on the state of knowledge of stream restoration and identified critical areas of information need. Currently, most restoration efforts are emission-orientated (i.e. waste-water management), while the imitation of the geomorphology or of the riparian vegetation of a quasi-natural or natural reference channel receives less attention.
  • 3 Successful stream restoration requires a multidisciplinary approach within a holistic system framework. Monitoring the outcome of past, existing and future steam-restoration projects is required for information on the feasibility of alternative techniques and approaches.
  • 4 It was recommended that systems in pristine condition serve as a point of reference and not as a goal for most stream restoration projects. Restoration goals must be carefully defined so that everyone at every level understands the aim of the project. At the very least, all restoration programmes should consider geomorphic, hydrological, biological, aesthetic, and water quality aspects of the system.
  • 5 Restoration programmes should aim to create a system with a stable channel, or a channel in dynamic equilibrium that supports a self-sustaining and functionally diverse community assemblage; it should not concentrate on one species or group, except at the local level. Preserving the terrestrial -aquatic interface by setting aside riparian land corridors is critical to all stages of restoration. Additional information on the temporal and regional variability in important system processes and functions is needed.