Nav: Home

Restoring Europe's river connectivity

July 12, 2016

The University of Southampton is part of a 6.2 million Euro project to produce the first comprehensive map of river barriers across Europe and help to reconnect its rivers.

The Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers (AMBER) multi-disciplinary research project is a collaboration with 20 partners from 11 countries. It will work with hydroelectric companies, water providers, NGOs, anglers and local authorities to restore river connectivity in a way that maximises the benefits of water extraction for agriculture, energy and industry but reduces environmental impacts.

The project will encourage citizens to become involved in efforts to reconnect Europe's rivers by mapping the location of more than one million barriers and assessing their impacts on freshwater species and ecosystems with the help of a smartphone app.

The Southampton research team will receive just over 400,000 Euros to help develop more effective fish passes to enable fish to get past dams and weirs in an effort to restore dwindling populations.

Professor Paul Kemp from the University's International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (ICER), along with postdoctoral researchers Andrew Vowles and Jim Kerr, will conduct innovative research using ICER's large-scale flume facilities at the Chilworth Science Park. The aim is to determine the swimming capabilities and behavioural response of seldom considered, yet often overlooked, species of high conservation concern to hydrodynamics.

Professor Kemp said: "Knowing which barriers to mitigate, and which ones to optimise, is key for effective restoration of stream connectivity. Our aim is to apply adaptive barrier management to help reconnect Europe's rivers, the smart way. We will make the first global assessment of stream connectivity across Europe, and use the power of citizen science and the latest developments in remote sensing, molecular methods and assessment of ecosystem services to prioritise areas for conservation and optimise barrier management."

AMBER seeks to raise awareness of the problems posed by stream fragmentation, the pressures on freshwater ecosystems and the need for innovative solutions to restore river connectivity. All major rivers in Europe are disconnected from the sea and this has had a catastrophic impact on many species, including some iconic migratory fish such as salmon or eels that have in some cases become extinct. For example, in the Netherlands and Germany barriers along the River Rhine prevent the migration of salmon, sturgeon and shad, while in the Iberian peninsula salmon has disappeared from all but a handful of rivers.

University of Southampton

Related Salmon Articles:

New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations
Three new viruses -- including one from a group of viruses never before shown to infect fish -- have been discovered in endangered Chinook and sockeye salmon populations.
Salmon get a major athletic boost via a single enzyme
A single enzyme anchored to the walls of salmons' blood vessels helps reduce how hard their hearts have to work during exercise by up to 27%.
Salmon are shrinking and it shows in their genes
Male salmon are maturing earlier and becoming smaller, and it shows in their genes.
Young salmon may leap to 'oust the louse'
A study by Simon Fraser University aquatic ecologists Emma Atkinson and John Reynolds reveals that young salmon may jump out of water to remove sea lice.
Fishy chemicals in farmed salmon
The American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology featured research by Carla Ng, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, on the cover of its June 19 issue.
More Salmon News and Salmon Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...