Setting Attainable Goals of Stream Habitat Restoration from a Macroinvertebrate View

Authors

  • Bernd Spänhoff,

    Corresponding author
    1. Limnology Research Group, Institute of Ecology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 10, D-07745 Jena, Germany
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  • Jens Arle

    1. Limnology Research Group, Institute of Ecology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 10, D-07745 Jena, Germany
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Address correspondence to B. Spänhoff, email bernd.spaenhoff@smul.sachsen.de

Abstract

Many efforts have been undertaken to reduce the impairment of stream ecosystems by wastewaters and other pollution, leading to a remarkable improvement of the water quality in most parts of Central Europe. Actually, the most severe disturbance to stream systems in Central Europe is the structural degradation of stream morphology. Restoration practices increasing the structural heterogeneity of formerly degraded stream sections are necessary to create new habitats at different scales that could provide habitat for a diverse invertebrate community. Increasing biodiversity of aquatic invertebrates strengthens the ecological integrity of streams and is therefore a desirable goal in stream restoration. Nevertheless, recent studies focusing on the effect of structural restoration of stream sections often displayed results that did not really met the preset goal of increasing invertebrate diversity. This might be due to sometimes severe disturbance caused by the restoration practice itself, impairing the established invertebrate community in the restored stream section. Additionally, the potential for immigration of new species into the restored stream section is often limited. Therefore, several important prerequisites must be accounted for in the planning of restoration practices to improve structurally degraded stream sections, when the goal of restoration is increasing invertebrate diversity.

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