Predicting patterns of riparian forest restoration.
Van Looy, Kris; Severyns, Jo; Jochems, Hans; De Smedt, F.
The river's morphodynamic processes are an intrinsic aspect of riparian forest development. Sedimentation and bar formation are prerequisites for the stages of germination and growth of riparian forests. Furthermore, the mechanical disturbance of plants by erosion and abrasion define the boundary conditions of establishing riparian forests. A field survey and hydraulic modelling of a 17 km river stretch revealed the patterns and processes of forest development in relation to hydromorphological and biological characteristics. These patterns were introduced in a modelling and prediction of riparian forest development within spatiotemporal sequences. The determined physical and biological components in forest restoration allow us to give guidelines for restoration strategies and plans at the different scale levels.