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Floodplain Biodiversity and Restoration: Integrated natural science and socio-economic approaches to catchment management

Floodplain Biodiversity and Restoration: Integrated natural science and socio-economic approaches to catchment management

Management and Resource usage Summary, related to the reporting period
April 1st 2000 - September 30th 2000

(First 6-monthly management report)

FLOodplain Biodiversity And Restoration 2: Integrated natural science and socio-economic approaches to catchment flow management

FLOBAR 2

CONTRACT No.:EVK1-CT-1999-00031 FLOBAR2

PROJECT COORDINATOR: University of Cambridge (UK) (1)

CONTRACTORS:

Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning(D)(2)
Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble 1(F) (3)
University of Lethbridge (Canada) (4)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique ,Toulouse (F) (5)
Umeå University (S) (6)

DURATION: 36 months

HOMEPAGE: http://www-flobar.geog.cam.ac.uk

CONTENTS:

1.1 Objectives of the Reporting Period.
1.2 Scientific/technical progress by work package, Gantt chart update, Manpower/financial resources.
1.3 Milestones and deliverables.
1.4 Deviations from workplan.
1.5 Project co-ordination.
1.6 Difficulties encountered in management or co-ordination.
1.7 Participants information sheet

 1.1 Objectives of the reporting period

The reporting period is April 1st 2000 to September 30th 2000. During this period there were general objectives applying to all partners and research areas and specific objectives outlined for each workpackage.

General project objectives (outcomes discussed in section 1.6)

  • Organisation of a first meeting of all partners.
  • Creation of a project website.
  • Direct and continuous communication between all partners.
  • Communication between members of each partner group
  • Communication with other EU projects.

Workpackage Objectives

Workpackage 1

  • Establishment of a local consultative committee.
  • Literature searches on ecological flow needs, flow manipulation .
  • Literature searches on European floodplain vegetation types.

Workpackage 2

  • Installation of field equipment.

Workpackage 3

  • Installation of field equipment and interchange of vegetation turves between different levels of a riverbank.
  • Monitoring and recording species richness-season 1
Workpackage 4
  • Quantification of sex ratios in dioecious plant species on floodplains.
  • Age structures measurements.

Workpackage 5

  • Locate field sites and collect samples for genetic analysis.

Workpackage 6

  • The objectives for WP6 were to undertake a literature search, and to initiate collection of a database of flow resistance data.

Workpackage 7

  • The objective of Work Package 7 for the reporting period is to conduct a review of the institutional framework of river basin management, analysing water management institutions at EU, national, regional and local levels in the U.K., Sweden, France and Germany , a task to be completed by month 18.

1.2 Scientific/Technical progress made in different work packages according to the planned time schedule.

Workpackage 1

  • An advisory committee has been established by the co-ordinating partner at Cambridge to work on the guidelines proposed as the main deliverable from Workpackage 1. Representatives from the Environment Agency (EA), The Forestry Authority (FA), The UK River Restoration Centre (RRC), The Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) and an independent floodplain woodlands expert have been invited to join the committee. In addition, it is hoped that a representative of either the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) will join the committee. The first meeting will take place during the next 6-month project period.
  • Literature searches have commenced on ecological flow needs, flow manipulation and vegetation types on European floodplains.
  • The partner at IRS has contributed draft classifications of river types, human uses of rivers and measures of floodplain restoration designed to assist the subsequent selection of European rivers for case-study and to enable greater comparison/transferability of the research findings

Workpackage 2

  • Field equipment has been installed by the Grenoble and Toulouse partners . The Toulouse partner is carrying out sap flow measurements on Populus nigra and Salix alba. The Grenoble team is observing the functional diversity of the water status regulation in several alluvial trees including Fraxinus excelsior, Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer opalus, Acer platanoides, Alnus glutinosa, Robinia pseudacacia, and Quercus robur.
  • At the Toulouse partner's field site on the Garonne River, a 50 year flood was experienced on June 11th 2000 which inundated nearly all the floodplain. All current regulation boxes of the sap flux system were damaged but have now been cleaned, repaired and replaced . The impact of this exceptional flood on the microtopography and vegetation of the field site is under investigation.
  • At the site in Sweden, to obtain a long-term data set on tree growth in relation to hydrological variation in floodplains, tensiometer recordings and growth measurements were continued on Alnus and Salix in the field site established during FLOBAR 1.

Workpackage 3

  • A field site at the Vindel River, 90 km from Umeå, was chosen for the experiment by the Umea partner. A total of 96 plots were established in a 200 x 50 m grassland floodplain. Plots were distributed on three elevational levels on the riverbank. Vegetation was interchanged in 72 of the plots. Groundwater levels are measured at each elevational level and soil moisture is measured in one fourth of the plots. In each plot, frequency of all vascular plant species was recorded and plant biomass was harvested from a subplot. Riverborne litter has been collected and will be applied to a subset of the plots after spring flood.
  • A field site has been located in the UK at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve by the Cambridge partner. Seed collection will take place in month 7 of the project and the experiment set up at this site in the spring of 2001.

Workpackage 4

  • At three study sites along the Vindel River in Sweden, sex ratios of the common floodplain shrubs Salix lapponum and S. myrsinifolia X phylicifolia were registered along a elevational transect perpendicular to the river, extending from the lowest willow to maximum water-level gradients. Along ten study reaches in each of the free-flowing Vindel River and the regulated Ume River, 50 individuals of each Salix lapponum and S. myrsinifolia X phylicifolia were sexed.
  • Permission to use the IPGRI/EUROPOP black poplar clone banks (established in Holland and Italy) in order to collect cuttings for a greenhouse experiment in Cambridge on male and female growth performance, has been obtained.

Workpackage 5

  • On the basis of visits to the sites by the Cambridge partner, and the availability of data on the rivers (aerial photos, hydrological records etc.) three rivers in the south of France, the Eigues, the Ouveze and the Drôme, were identified as potential field sites. Finally, 2 reaches of the River Drôme, one braided and the other channelised, were chosen for the study.
  • Cross-sectional profiles were measured in detail at these sites in order to characterise the nature of the river channels, disturbance levels in different parts of the floodplain and the structure of floodplain vegetation.
  • As indicated in the initial Gantt diagram, samples of black poplar (120 individual trees) have been collected for the analysis of amplified fragment polymorphisms (AFLP) by the Cambridge partner. The leaf material has been taken back to Cambridge and DNA extraction has begun in preparation for the analysis of AFLPs.
  • Samples of DNA from female and male plants contained in the European clone bank at Casale Monferrato have been supplied by Dr. J. Cottrell for pooled DNA analysis in order to look for sex specific marker. These samples will be analysed along with the material collected from the Drôme.
  • Preliminary experimental designs have been discussed by the Lethbridge, Cambridge and Toulouse partners for work to be carried out in the second year.

Workpackage 6

  • The literature search is under way, and a database is under construction following liaison with colleagues in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service (Dr L Schmidt), and NIWA, New Zealand (Dr G Smart).
  • Research students with engineering hydrology/hydraulics experience have been recruited in Grenoble (M Catherine Allain) and Cambridge (Ms Rachel Horn).
  • Flume experiments have been performed by M Allain in Montréal to characterise head loss through vertical rigid rods representing trees, with variable rod diameter and density, and cases of water depth greater than vegetation height. Patterns of flow distribution depended on density and size of rods ("trees"), and on site of measurement in the rod field, reflecting sheltering effects. The experiments were compared to available theories for head-loss through rigid obstacles. The results will be compared with numerical modelling results in due course.
  • Preliminary development of a design for field monitoring of flow velocity through forest has been undertaken in Cambridge. Distance-averaged velocity in field measurements will enable comparison with point measurements. In Grenoble, installation of water-level and pressure recorders is in progress. Locally (100 m) these will characterise flow pattern and head loss in relation to vegetation and its variability in a secondary flow zone within the river bed. On a large scale (30 km), they will determine flood propagation in relation to changes in vegetation due both to natural colonisation and to plan vegetation cutting.
  • Formal description of flow patterns through and above submerged vegetation has included head-loss calculation on a macro-scale, and will cover 1-D and 2-D numerical modelling. Sediment transport and deposition will also be modelled.

Workpackage 7

The partner at IRS has carried out the following work:

  • Devised a methodology for analysing institutions of water management at EU, national, regional and local levels, subdivided into:
    1. Organised actors
    2. Regulatory framework
  • Applied and tested this methodology with an analysis of water management institutions in Germany
  • Commenced analyses of water management institutions in Sweden and the UK (England and Wales) using the same methodology
  • Devised draft diagrams for representing the sectoral competence, spatial remit and power relationships between organised actors of water management in each country to be used for subsequent cross-national comparison
  • Planned and organised a seminar on the institutional implications of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) for regional and local actors in Brandenburg, to be held on 18.10.2000
  • Conducted initial expert interviews with water managers/policy-makers on the implementation of the WFD in Germany and the UK

1.3 Milestones and deliverables obtained

Workpackage 1

The only deliverable for FLOBAR 2 by month 6 of the project was establishment of a local consultative committee by the Cambridge partner (Deliverable D1.1). This has been achieved.

 Workpackage 2

The existing micro-dendrometer was modified to be adapted to large tree diameter (i.e. up to 35 cm) and has been successfully tested in Toulouse. It is now ready to be installed on the field site.
Hydrologic parameters were recorded on a continuous basis for the Garonne river especially during the big flood of June.
The importance of the stomatal regulation and the change in hydraulic conductance was summarised in a new paper: Success in thedemographic expansion of Fraxinus excelsior L. by G. Marigo, J.P. Peltier, J. Girel, G. Pautou. Trees (accepted)

Workpackage 3

Preparatory work including site selection, installation of hydrological equipment, vegetation replacement and litter manipulation.

Workpackage 4

None as yet

Workpackage 5

Collection of 120 samples of black poplar for genetic analysis

Workpackage 6

A Report has been prepared of the experiments conducted by M Allain at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal.

Workpackage 7

None as yet

1.4 Deviations from the work plan

Workpackage 1

None

Workpackage 2

In Toulouse, there is a minor deviation due to the abnormal flood and the consequential problems with damaged equipment, but the two next activities (1: measuring of tree growth and stress and 2: monitoring of environmental parameters) should not be delayed.

Workpackage 3

None

Workpackage 4

None

Workpackage 5

The genetic analysis, which was predicted to take place between months 12-24, has been brought forward to months 6-12 (see Gantt chart). This will allow an early assessment of the sampling technique used and sites selected, permitting further sample collection in months 12-18 if this is considered necessary to complement results obtained by then.

Workpackage 6

Recruitment of a PhD student in Cambridge is slightly later than planned (because of the timing of the academic year relative to the project start data). M Allainís work is actually ahead of schedule.

Workpackage 7

The only minor alteration to the work plan has been to restructure the review of water management institutions so as to permit multi-level analysis in each country. Rather than conducting separate reviews of EU and national institutions on the one hand (step 1 of WP description) and regional and local institutions on the other (step 2), the reviews are being conducted on all levels for each of the four countries under study in order to demonstrate the relationships between levels more effectively. An interim deliverable , in the form of a draft data base of water management institutions in each of the four countries and draft descriptive models representing key components of the institutional framework , will be provided at month 12.

 

1.5 Co-ordination of the information between partners and communication activities

  • The first project meeting took place in Cambridge 11th-13th May 2000. 21 representatives between the 6 partner groups attended this first meeting. In addition to the general project meeting, individual workpackage meetings were held between partners involved in each workpackage. General discussions were then held about the work of all workpackages, led by the individual workpackage leaders. The minutes of the first meeting can be read on the project website.
  • A central project website has recently been completed by the coordinating partner and linked to websites maintained for FLOBAR2 by all the other partners. The FLOBAR2 website can be found at http://www-flobar.geog.cam.ac.uk
  • Communication between partners has successfully been achieved through e-mail. Some partners involved in the same workpackage have planned meetings outside the annual meeting schedule.
  • Regular meetings have been held between members of each partner group.
  • Communication with other EU projects has taken place. A representative of the Toulouse partner attended the first project meeting of the PAEQUANN project in Toulouse. The Cambridge partner attended a meeting of the EUROPOP project in Avignon. There has been communication with the BIOSET project.
  • A number of conferences have been attended by representatives of various partner groups where papers on the work of FLOBAR and FLOBAR2 have been presented:
    • .BBSRC Molecular Evolution and Diversity Summer School held at Edinburgh University (Cambridge: Winfield)
    • River Restoration 2000 in Wageningen, Holland. (Cambridge: Hughes, Barsoum)
    • Eighth International Symposium on Regulated Streams EISORS (July 17-21, 2000) Toulouse, France (organised by the Toulouse partner) (Cambridge: Hughes, Richards, Barsoum; Toulouse: Decamps, Muller, Guilloy, Lambs; Grenoble: Peiry, Girel)
    • Clone 2000 (August 20-25, 2000) Innsbruck, Austria.(Cambridge:Barsoum)
    • Gravel Bed Rivers 2000 conference (28 Aug-1 Sept, Christchurch, New Zealand) (Cambridge :Richards)
    • Organisation of a workshop on Interactions of vegetation, hydrology and sediment transport in rivers, involving scientists (biologists, hydrologists, river morphologists), engineers, and institutions in charge of river maintenance and flood protection. (Grenoble:Belleudy,Peiry)
    • The Water requirements of poplar- a technical seminar organized by The Regional Centre for Forestry Property (CRPF) in France (annual attendance by Toulouse partner)
  • Information on the Flobar2 project was given to the public through a special exhibition on the Garonne river on June 2000, for the inauguration of the Toulouse museum "Les Abattoirs", specialized in Modern and Contemporary Art. We are testing two new ways of transmitting scientific knowledge : (1) participation in a painting project "líoeuvre collective" 24 June-15 October 2000 with 36 other participants (our painting is called "Ripisylve"i.e. riparian forest ) and (2) participation in the three-year project "Garonne" of two Californian "ecological-artists" Helen Mayer & Newton Harrison.
  • Besides participation at the first FLOBAR 2 meeting, the IRS team has received information from project partners on institutions of water management in Sweden and France and is currently planning a meeting with Bill Adams (University of Cambridge) to discuss the data collected and findings made relating to institutional aspects of the FLOBAR 1 project. The project team is a participant in the research network River Basin Management and Socio-Economics coordinated by the Environmental Research Centre, Leipzig. An initial dissemination activity is planned for 18.10.2000 at a seminar on the institutional implications of the WFD for regional and local actors in Brandenburg, organised jointly by IRS and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation and including a presentation on the early findings from Work Package 7.

1.6 Difficulties encountered at management and co-ordination level

  • The rate of exchange between the EURO and national currencies of the United Kingdom and Sweden is posing considerable problems since the budgets of the Cambridge and Umea partners are significantly smaller than initially envisaged. Some manpower hours will have to be cut accordingly.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is proposing to increase the grant for PhD students. It will be necessary to match this change because the studentship in Cambridge was advertised with comparability with NERC Studentships in order to ensure satisfactory recruitment. The Cambridge group has entered preliminary negotiations over the possibility of using unspent equipment money to increase the PhD grant of the PhD student in Workpackage 6. Details will have to await the formal announcement by the NERC of the new rates.
  • Some workpackages will have to adjust the timing of some seasonal (vegetation-related) activities because of the start date of the contract .

 1.7 Participants Information table

See next page.