Rehabilitation of large rivers: references, achievements and integration into river management.
Buijse, A. D.; Klijn, F.; Leuven, R. S. E. W.; Middelkoop, H.; Schiemer, F.; Thorp, J. H.; Wolfert, H. P.
The physical degradation of large regulated rivers in Europe and North America and the need for rehabilitation have become issues since the 1980s. Over the past years we have greatly increased our understanding of the ecological functioning of natural rivers, evaluated the ecological impacts of river regulation, and established various approaches for river rehabilitation and restoration. Complete restoration of large rivers may be a utopian idea because of the manifold functions they serve. It is not surprising, therefore, that rehabilitation attempts so far have only recovered stretches or certain features of rivers. The steps to be taken now are to share our expertise on river functioning, river management and rehabilitation, and to put this expertise into practice.