|Fish habitat modelling as a tool for river management|
|Mouton, A.M.; Schneider, M.; Depestele, J.; Goethals, P.L.M.; De Pauw, N. (2007). Fish habitat modelling as a tool for river management. Ecol. Eng. 29(3): 305-315. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2006.11.002|
|In: Ecological Engineering. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0925-8574, more|
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This paper presents an integrated modelling approach to simulate and assess ecological effects of physical habitat changes in rivers. An ecohydraulic simulation tool was created by combining a 1D hydraulic model based on HEC-RAS software and the fish habitat module of CASiMiR, a fuzzy logic-based ecohydraulic modelling system. This tool was applied on a river stretch commonly occurring in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe. In particular the effect of weir removal on habitat suitability for bullhead (Cottus gobio L.) was simulated. Physical conditions of the studied stretch after weir removal were simulated with a hydraulic model. CASiMiR linked these conditions to ecological expert knowledge to calculate habitat suitability for three life stages of bullhead at four different flow rates based on fuzzy logic. Results indicated that after weir removal, habitat suitability increased significantly for all life stages and all flow rates. The presented approach is promising regarding fish community assessment and ecological river engineering.