|Ecological restoration in coastal areas in the Netherlands: concepts, dilemmas and some examples|De Jonge, V.N.; de Jong, D.J. (2002). Ecological restoration in coastal areas in the Netherlands: concepts, dilemmas and some examples. Hydrobiologia 478(1-3): 7-28. dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1021014310819
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
ecological restoration; coastal ecosystems; (former) estuaries; Wadden Sea; brackish inland ecosystems; process orientation; sustainable development
|Authors|| || Top |
- De Jonge, V.N.
- de Jong, D.J.
This chapter gives an overview of attempts in the Netherlands to restore coastal ecosystems and habitats, and explains how scientific and non-scientific information has been used to meet the goals. Indications for successes and failures of management measures taken so far, as well as dilemmas to cope with, are given. Up to now only small scale restoration projects have been executed, while large scale projects generally are not further then the thinking or planning phase. A special type of `restoration projects' are the large civil engineering works, particularly in the south-west of the Netherlands. Although these works were not planned and executed as restoration projects, but designed for safety against flooding from the sea, they have led to significant changes in the boundary conditions of the systems concerned. For restoration projects yet to be executed one can learn very much from these developments, particularly regarding the sensitivity of coastal systems for changes in boundary conditions and about the (im)possibilities to `steer' ecological developments. Physical, chemical and biological processes form the basis of restoration measures of coastal habitats, and this means that a thorough knowledge of these processes is essential. Coastal ecosystems are the result of complex interactions of large-scale and small-scale processes, implying a holistic approach in scientific investigations. Consequently, restoration of these systems primarily has to be realised by influencing the basic processes. This is the only way to preserve or regain in a sustainable way ecological values, such as species composition. Focusing only at one particular species (e.g. breeding terns) or a specific habitat (e.g. a salt marsh) may easily ignore the underlying processes. In general, coastal restoration should focus on the redirection of processes towards a desired status by stimulating certain process parameters. Monitoring of the results and, if necessary, gradual readjustment of the governing factors, is an essential part of this approach.