Wetland restoration ecology?

Wetland restoration ecology

Guided by ecological theory, we develop knowledge on novel restoration measure-effect relations. Examples include building new islands (Marker Wadden) in lake Marker and rehabilitating stream valley marshes. Furthermore, the effects of climate and global change are taken into account.

Examples of projects

  • Flow through marshes: Geeserstroom, Oostrumsche beek, Broekbossen, Groote Molenbeek
  • Building new islands: Building the Markerwadden, NMIJ Waterproeftuin I
  • Space for the river: Analysis of river restoration projects
  • Climate change: EU-EUROLIMPACS, EU-REFRESH, Natuurdoelen en klimaat, Klimaat en biodiversiteit, Klimaatveranderingen en KRW keuzen
  • Hydrological restoration: Integraal Natuurherstel beekdalen


Shading streams to mitigate the effects of climate change

Forested riparian zones appeared to be effective to mitigate the stream water temperature rise in small streams induced by climate change in North-western Europe. Furthermore, among other benefits, it helps to maintain or restore the habitat for coldstenothermic stream organisms. We study the effects of shaded-to-open and an open-to-shaded transitions on stream water temperature and on the biological communities inhabiting these streams.  

Wetland construction

Fine sediments are abundant in urbanized deltas around the world and provide a potential source of building material for wetland construction. In the Netherlands, the MarkerWadden project has embarked aiming at creating a dynamic wetland system in lake Markermeer with gradients in topography, sediments, and rich benthic and wetland biodiversity. Fine sediments will be accumulated into atolls, which eventually develop into valuable ecosystems. We study the interplay of biological, chemical and physical interactions in lake Markermeer. The acquired scientific knowledge will be used to assess which ecosystem services will evolve and how such systems should be managed.

Recovery processes in rivers, lakes, estuarine and coastal waters

Knowledge of responses of aquatic assemblages to recovery processes that occur after measures have been taken to reduce major stressors is urgently required. In a systematic literature review we comparatively assessed recovery measures across the four major water categories. Despite the many studies only few provide evidence of how ecological knowledge might enhance restoration success. We plea to bridge the gap between ecological theory / knowledge and water management in practice.

Major publications

Publications, tools, presentations