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Aims and objectives

Aims and objectives


Water allocation in river systems traditionally takes into account the needs of domestic water supply, industry and agriculture with some attention to minimum acceptable flow principles for the benefit of instream ecosystems. It is now recognised that such operational management models also need to take into account the water quantity needs of floodplain ecosystems.

An ability to maintain or improve the ecological quality and hydrological functions of floodplain ecosystems is a key principle in the EU Water Framework Directive and a necessary component of floodplain restoration projects.

The FLOBAR2 project has two main aims:

  1. To address knowledge-gaps in present scientific understanding of river-floodplain biological and physical systems by exploring:
    1. Scientific aspects of the impact of different flow regimes on the growth and regeneration of floodplain plant species.
    2. The impact of floodplain vegetation on flood retention.
  2. To integrate scientific understanding of these interactions between abiotic and biotic factors on floodplains with the decision-making mechanisms involved in water allocation in river catchments.

The work for FLOBAR2 is divided into 7 work packages (WP1-WP7) with the following objectives:

  1. To develop scientific guidelines for the application of river flow prescriptions which benefit floodplain ecosystems while maintaining acceptable levels of flood control (WP1).
  2. To quantify aspects of the relationships between hydrological inputs to a floodplain and plant response in terms of water consumption, growth and diversity of regeneration strategies (WP2-5).
    1. The influence of hydrology on water uptake and growth of woody, riparian species (WP2)
    2. The influence of hydrology and litter acculmulation on riparian species diversity (WP3)
    3. The influence of hydrology on sex ratios in dioecious floodplain species (WP4)
    4. The influence of hydrology on sexual and vegetative regeneration strategies in floodplain species (WP5)
  3. To investigate the flow resistance associated with woody riparian vegetation using field studies and mathematical and numerical modelling (WP6).
  4. To investigate and compare the effectiveness of selected institutional arrangements for restoring floodplain environments at different spatial scales and in different national/local settings (WP7).