Modification and channelization of streams and rivers have been conducted extensively throughout the world during the past century. Subsequently, much effort has been directed at re-creating the lost habitats and thereby improving living conditions for aquatic organisms. However, as restoration methods are plentiful, it is difficult to determine which one to use to get the anticipated result. The aim of this study was to compare two commonly used methods in small Danish streams to improve the physical condition: re-meandering and passive restoration through cease of maintenance. Our investigation included measurement of the physical conditions in 29 stream reaches covering four different groups: (1) re-meandered streams, (2) LDC streams (the least disturbed streams available), (3) passively restored streams (>10 years stop of aintenance) and (4) channelized and non-restored streams. The in-stream habitats were compared through analysis of the measured physical parameters and by applying a habitat model. We found that re-meandering is a more effective way of re-creating near-natural physical conditions in small streams compared to passive restoration. This is probably due to the limited energy in small streams which restricts re-shaping of the stream channel. However, based on habitat suitability modelling, the change to the physical condition did not translate into improved habitat suitability for young of the year brown trout highlighting the value of using several methods when evaluating restoration success.
Geografisk Tidsskrift, 2013, Vol 113, Issue 2, p. 109-120
stream morphology; stream restoration; habitat quality; brown trout