The ecological functions of the Danubian floodplains and their restoration with special regard to the Lower Danube.
Starting from the loss of broad floodplain areas along the whole Danube, we draw the attention to the fact that the extent and the consequences of this loss may only be evaluated in due form if the functions of the floodplains are known. This is why operation mode, functions and value of the floodplains are analysed in the first part of this elaboration. These basic data are necessary to evaluate the ecological condition of the Danube floodplains. As part of an interdisciplinary team, the author participated both in the ecological evaluation of the Danube riverfloodplains and the evaluation of their restoration potential. As a result of this evaluation, large areas of the Lower Danube have been proposed for ecological restoration. Based on own experiences gathered in ecological restoration pilot projects, in particular in the Danube Delta, some general results are presented. The knowledge acquired in rehabilitation projects in the Danube Delta were the starting point for further restoration activities on the Lower Danube upstream the Delta. This elaboration should provide a comprehensive general view as for the importance of floodplains. It should serve as a basis for research activities in floodplain ecology and restoration in the frame of the still young branch of floodplain ecology of the International Association for Danube Research (IAD).