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Defining Recovery Potential in River Restoration: A Biological Data-Driven Approach

Best Practices for Monitoring and Assessing the Ecological Response to River Restoration

Environment Agency, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford OX10 8BD, UK
APEM Ltd., Riverview, Stockport SK4 3GN, UK
James Hutton Institute Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
School of Applied Sciences, Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH11 4BN, UK
CEFAS, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Portland Square, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
River Restoration Centre, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
CBEC Eco-Engineering UK Ltd., Unit 11, Beta Centre, Stirling University Innovation Park, Stirling FK9 4NF, UK
NatureScot, Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness IV3 8NW, UK
Natural England, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford OX10 8BD, UK
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3LG, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rui Manuel Vitor Cortes
Water 2021, 13(23), 3352;
Received: 30 October 2021 / Revised: 19 November 2021 / Accepted: 21 November 2021 / Published: 26 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue River Restoration: Monitoring, Appraisal and Management)
Nature-based solutions are widely advocated for freshwater ecosystem conservation and restoration. As increasing amounts of river restoration are undertaken, the need to understand the ecological response to different measures and where measures are best applied becomes more pressing. It is essential that appraisal methods follow a sound scientific approach. Here, experienced restoration appraisal experts review current best practice and academic knowledge to make recommendations and provide guidance that will enable practitioners to gather and analyse meaningful data, using scientific rigor to appraise restoration success. What should be monitored depends on the river type and the type and scale of intervention. By understanding how habitats are likely to change we can anticipate what species, life stages, and communities are likely to be affected. Monitoring should therefore be integrated and include both environmental/habitat and biota assessments. A robust scientific approach to monitoring and appraisal is resource intensive. We recommend that appraisal efforts be directed to where they will provide the greatest evidence, including ‘flagship’ restoration schemes for detailed long-term monitoring. Such an approach will provide the evidence needed to understand which restoration measures work where and ensure that they can be applied with confidence elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: river restoration; monitoring; appraisal; best practice; BACI river restoration; monitoring; appraisal; best practice; BACI
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MDPI and ACS Style

England, J.; Angelopoulos, N.; Cooksley, S.; Dodd, J.; Gill, A.; Gilvear, D.; Johnson, M.; Naura, M.; O’Hare, M.; Tree, A.; Wheeldon, J.; Wilkes, M.A. Best Practices for Monitoring and Assessing the Ecological Response to River Restoration. Water 2021, 13, 3352.

AMA Style

England J, Angelopoulos N, Cooksley S, Dodd J, Gill A, Gilvear D, Johnson M, Naura M, O’Hare M, Tree A, Wheeldon J, Wilkes MA. Best Practices for Monitoring and Assessing the Ecological Response to River Restoration. Water. 2021; 13(23):3352.

Chicago/Turabian Style

England, Judy, Natalie Angelopoulos, Susan Cooksley, Jennifer Dodd, Andrew Gill, David Gilvear, Matthew Johnson, Marc Naura, Matthew O’Hare, Angus Tree, Jennifer Wheeldon, and Martin A. Wilkes. 2021. "Best Practices for Monitoring and Assessing the Ecological Response to River Restoration" Water 13, no. 23: 3352.

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