Conservation and management of the Rhine nature reserves in France
Klein, J.-P.; Sanchez-Perez, J. M.; Tremolieres, M.
About 700 ha of the Rhine riverine landscape are today protected by four nature reserves. The study aim is to create a network of strictly protected areas alongside the French Rhine. The canalisation of the Rhine carried out during this century has isolated the river from its floodplain, so the ecosystem of the Rhine now needs management to perpetuate the biodiversity and specific functioning of alluvial zones. Specific research programmes are currently underway to improve our understanding of the Rhine ecocomplex. On the basis of research results we present some aspects of a large-scale restoration programme (i.e. management plan) which is in progress with two main goals: floods will be permitted to restore a variety of natural features in the alluvial strip, whilst preventing floods from occurring downstream of the canalised Rhine.