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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
October 1st 2000 - March 31st 2001

(Second 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 October 1st 2000 to March 31st 2001. 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 1.5)

  • Updating of the 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

  • Organise first meetings of local stakeholder committee in UK.
  • Literature searches on ecological flow needs, flow manipulation .
  • Literature searches on European floodplain vegetation types.

Workpackage 2

  • Monitoring hydrological parameters
  • Repairing damaged equipment and logging problems
  • Measurement of tree growth.

Workpackage 3

  • Installation of field equipment and interchange of vegetation turves between different levels of a riverbank on the Vindel River, Sweden.
  • Monitoring and recording species richness-season 1 at Swedish field site
  • Preparation for experimental work at UK field site

Workpackage 4

  • Quantification of sex ratios in dioecious plant species on floodplains.

Workpackage 5

  • Genetic analyses of samples collected in August, 2000
  • Analysis of vegetation disturbance in relation to hydrological records
  • Analysis of channel characteristics in channelized and non-channelized reaches

Workpackage 6

  • Compilation of a database of methods for estimating roughness coefficients.
  • Assessment of the theory of frictional drag of a series of rigid stems in overbank flow.
  • Flume studies of roughness properties of artificial vegetation elements.
  • Numerical methods to simulate cases of tree density, spacing and surface roughness.

Workpackage 7

  • Preparation for country case studies
  • 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

  • The advisory stakeholder committee met in Cambridge to discuss the contents of the guidelines proposed as the main deliverable from Workpackage 1. The committee currently includes representatives from the Environment Agency (EA), The Forestry Authority (FA), The UK River Restoration Centre (RRC), The Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), English Nature (EN), The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and an independent floodplain woodlands expert.
  • A Workpackage 1 sub-committee has been formed within FLOBAR2 which communicates electronically to discuss progress.
  • A review of river flow allocation techniques has been written and is included as a deliverable (Deliverable 1.2)
  • In Canada, work has continued on the definition of flow needs for a range of species found on floodplains in order to formulate more holistic flow allocation methods
  • In conjunction with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, based in Cambridge, research on the extent of different alluvial woodland types has been carried out and a series of maps has been created to show the extent of this ecosystem in Europe.
  • A draft table of contents for the guideline document has been prepared and was presented at the FLOBAR2 first annual meeting in Clermont Ferrand in February, 2001.

Workpackage 2

  • Sapflow sensors and dendrometers installed at field sites on the Garonne River proved to have unstable power inputs which gave unreliable measurements. The problem was solved with the production and adjunction of an electronic regulation box. The Dynamax alternative system to measure sap flow for small diameter cuttings was tested but was incompatible with project dataloggers and was abandoned.
  • No sapflow measurements were made in the field by either the Grenoble or Toulouse partners during the winter months.
  • 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.
  • In Canada, work has been carried out on the definition of ecophysiological measures best suited for practical monitoring of instreamflow sufficiency

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. At this site, the influence of hydrology and litter accumulation on seedling emergence and establishment in 18 floodplain plant species will be studied. Seed collection was made at the study site in October 2000 and the experiment will start in April 2001.

Workpackage 4

  • Variation in sex ratios along a hydrological gradient was studied at three sites along the Vindel River in Sweden. Sex ratios of the common floodplain shrubs Salix lapponum and S. myrsinifolia X phylicifolia were registered along an elevational transect perpendicular to the river, extending from the lowest willow to maximum water-level. No clear spatial separation of sexes was found along the gradients for either of the two species, but females were generally more common in both species. Age- and size determination proved to be difficult since many of the mapped individuals were apparently disturbed and fragmented, which prevented reliable measurements.
  • To study possible consequences of river regulation on sex ratios in dioecious shrubs a comparative study was made in the free-flowing Vindel River and the regulated Ume River. Along ten study reaches in each river, 50 individuals of each Salix lapponum and S. myrsinifolia X phylicifolia were sexed. This study also showed that females were generally more common in both rivers, but there was no significant difference in sex ratios between rivers.

Workpackage 5

  • AFLP analyses has been carried out on 102 leaf samples and results analysed using cluster analysis. Results were presented in a series of dendrograms.
  • Cross-sectional profile data was analysed for the constrained and unconstrained reaches and statistical comparisons made between the channel characteristics of both reaches; e.g. width to depth ratios, cross-sectional area, expected height of water level at similar flood discharge, grain-size distribution of surface sediments, coverage of different land-cover types, seedling recruitment etc.
  • The analysis of aerial photographs to understand patterns of change to woody vegetation in relation to hydrological records is in progress. APs of the study reaches (12 separate years between 1969-98) have been collected, scanned and rectified using ground control points collected along the Drome River (February 26-27, 2001) using a differential Geographical Information System. Digitising of different land-cover types and overlaying APs is currently underway.

Workpackage 6

  • Apparatus has been designed to collect field data on overbank flow velocities through floodplain woodland, employing tracers (salt solution) rather than current meters, to avoid sampling problems.
  • Mapping of patterns of density, age and size of trees in floodplain environments, along an 80km reach of the Isère from Albertville to Grenoble. These data include maps at a scale where densities of individual trees are known, and individual trees are mapped.
  • Backwater curve modelling of global head loss over the 50km of the Isère; depth-averaged 2D CFD modelling of the pattern of flow direction and velocity across the Brignoud Island during a flood inundation; and depth-averaged 2D CFD modelling of spatial patterns of velocity and shear stress in the Isère River around bars and islands.

 2D modelling of the velocity profile through trees and ground-level vegetation to investigate suspended sediment advection through the upper fast-flow region, and the trapping and deposition of suspended sediment in the lower slow-flow region.

Workpackage 7

The project team at IRS has during the reporting period:

  • Produced extensive draft databases of institutions of water management at national, regional and local levels in France, Germany, Sweden, England & Wales according to an original methodology devised specifically for the purposes of the FLOBAR 2 project.
  • Devised and produced draft diagrams according to a uniform structure to illustrate the spatial distribution and power relationships between the principal organisations of water management in each country.
  • Produced draft summaries of the distinctive features of institutions of water management in each country under study.
  • Produced draft tables illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of institutions of water management in each country under study on the basis of the databases above and classified according to criteria of institutional effectiveness.
  • Devised criteria for selecting projects suitable for case studies on institutional aspects of floodplain restoration.

1.3 Milestones and deliverables obtained

Workpackage 1

  • Meetings of the UK stakeholder committee took place in January and February 2001.
  • An outline of the guideline document on best practices for the restoration of alluvial woodlands has been produced and discussed with the stakeholder group.
  • A review of water allocation methods has been completed (Deliverable 1.2 ) and is included as an appendix.

Workpackage 2

  • The previous sap flow measurements made at the Monbéqui site on the Garonne River, France have been analysed and described in a paper: "Sap flow and water transfer measurements in poplar and willow" by L. Lambs and E. Muller, Annals of Forest Science (submitted).
  • The hydrologic parameters recorded during a high-magnitude flood in the Garonne River in June 2000 were analysed to monitor the recharge of ground water and to measure the elapsed time for equilbration to previous levels.

Workpackage 3

  • Preparatory work including site selection, installation of hydrological equipment, vegetation replacement and litter manipulation. Quantification of floodplain plant diversity along hydrological gradients.

Workpackage 4

  • Completion of establishment of field sites and mapping sex distributions.
  • Quantification of sex ratios on floodplains

Workpackage 5

  • Completion of genetic analyses on 102 P. nigra samples.
  • Completion of analyses and presentation of cross-sectional profile data.

Workpackage 6

  • Flume experiments to investigate the drag of submerged and exposed roughness elements
  • Construction of dilution-technique equipment for field monitoring of flow velocities in wooded floodplains
  • Vegetation mapping for estimating flow resistance in woody riparian vegetation
  • Initial numerical modelling of flow properties and sediment transport

Workpackage 7

  • None as yet

1.4 Deviations from the work plan

Workpackage 1

  • None during the reporting period

Workpackage 2

  • None (except for minor modification on Gantt Diagram)

Workpackage 3

  • A change in personnel structure is explained in a footnote accompanying the Umea cost statement and has led to minor modifications in the Gantt Diagram.

Workpackage 4

  • Minor modifications to Gantt Diagram.

Workpackage 5

  • More extensive sample collection of P. nigra for genetic analysis will be undertaken in months 14 and 15 and additional genetic analyses will be completed between months 15 and 18. Disturbance experiments will not begin until month 19.

Workpackage 6

 Recruitment of Ph.D. student in Cambridge from 1 October 2000 rather than 1 April 2001 (necessary because this is the normal starting date for Ph.D. students in U.K. Universities).

 First deliverable to be a review of methods of estimating flow resistance rather than a tabulation of values (month 18).

Workpackage 7

  • The only minor alteration to the work plan — as mentioned in the first 6-month report — 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 have been conducted on all levels for each of the four countries under study in order to demonstrate the relationships between levels more effectively.

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

  • The second project meeting took place in Clermont Ferrand, France on February 23rd and 24th, 2001. 20 representatives between the 6 partner groups attended this second meeting. Individual workpackage meetings were held between partners involved in each workpackage. The work during the previous year and the projected work for the following year was presented to the whole group for each workpackage by workpackage leaders at a plenary session. The minutes of the second meeting can be read on the project website.
  • The central project website has been updated by the coordinating partner and continues to be 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.
  • creation of a Flobar2 website in French, hosted by the CESAC partner of Toulouse http://www-cesac.cemes.fr/~flobar2
  • 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.
  • The first meetings of the FLOBAR2 Stakeholder Group in the UK took place in Cambridge on January 11th and February 2nd ,2001. Francine Hughes and Keith Richards presented the aims and work of FLOBAR2 and had excellent and fruitful discussions with the stakeholders on the focus and form for the proposed 'best-practice manual for restoring floodplain woodland'. This manual will be a significant output of the FLOBAR2 project.
  • On 8.-9.11.2000 a meeting was held between IRS and Bill Adams from the University of Cambridge to discuss Work Package 7 and its potential contribution to Work Package 1 on the basis of experience with the study of institutional aspects conducted under the predecessor project FLOBAR 1.
  • At the second FLOBAR 2 meeting on 23-24.02.2001 in Clermont-Ferrand project partners discussed in national sub-groups the findings from Activity 1 of Work Package 7, the proposed criteria for selecting case studies and potential case-study projects with respect to their own country.
  • Communication with other EU projects has taken place. K. Richards form the Coordinating partner visited Brussels in March 2001 to meet coordinators of the EU projects in the "Sustainable Management and Quality of Water' cluster. Following the meeting K. Richards prepared a concept note for the Commission 'Catchment Scale and Integration in Catchment Management"
  • A number of publications are published or in progress:
  • The Toulouse team has participated in the publication of a collective document: CRPF 2000. Définition et évaluation de modes de gestion en forêt privée sur projets de sites Natura 2000 en Région Midi-Pyérénées. CRPF, Toulouse, 220 p.
  • A paper on the implications of the WFD for local authorities in Germany by Moss and Weith is due to appear in Demokratische Gemeinde, May 2001.
  • The Grenoble team has published the following paper: Marigo, G., Peltier, J.-P., Girel, J. and Pautou, G. (2000) Success in the demographic expansion of Fraxinus excelsior L. Trees 15: 411-437.
  • A number of conferences have been organised or attended by representatives of various partner groups where papers on the work of FLOBAR and FLOBAR2 have been presented:
  • Poster presentation on ‘Détermination des jonctions eau de nappe / eau de rivière dans les forêts alluviales’ by L. Lambs et J-P Loudes at the First French Seminar on Stable Isotopes (Premières Journées Françaises des Isotopes Stables), Nancy, 13-15 December 2000.
  • Workshop in Lyon on 9 November 2000 (82 delegates, three equal groups of scientists, river managers and engineers) on Interactions entre l'évolution des cours d'eau et la végétation. Organised by Philippe Belleudy and Jean-Luc Peiry. (Societé Hydrotechnique de France).
  • Oral presentation by E. Muller on ‘Historical change in the management policy of the Garonne river’ at the workshop organized by Philippe Belleudy and Jean-Luc Peiry Interactions entre l'évolution des cours d'eau et la végétation   ,
  • J. Girel (Grenoble) presented a paper on 'Landuse history and changes in biodiversity in Alpine floodplains:the example of the Isere River' at a conference on 'Multifunctional Landscapes' at Roskilde, Denmark in Novermber 2000.
  • Presentation at conference on Riparian Landscapes, Ascona, March 2001 by Keith Richards, James Brasington and Francine Hughes and submission of written version, entitled: Geomorphic Dynamics of Floodplains: Ecological Implications
  • Preliminary findings from WP7 of the project have been disseminated at a workshop on 18.10.2000 with regional and local actors of water management in Brandenburg on the institutional implications of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) organised jointly by IRS and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (lecture by Moss) and at a workshop with water managers on the implementation of the WFD in the Spree-Havel catchment, organised by the Technical University of Berlin held on 24.01.2001 (lecture by Moss).

1.6 Difficulties encountered at management and co-ordination level

  • Foot and Mouth disease restrictions have forced changes of field sites in the UK. The work of WP3 and WP6 has been affected in minor ways and adjustments have been made to the work programme to accommodate this problem.

1.7 Participants Information table

See next page.