Case study:Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse: the Johnsbach Beck restoration

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Location: 47° 34' 37", 14° 35' 20"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life.php?navid=102
Themes Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Monitoring, Social benefits
Country Austria
Main contact forename Daniel
Main contact surname Kreiner
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Gesäuse National Park
Contact organisation web site http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life.php
Partner organisations
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Project summary

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The River Johnsbach, a tributary to the River Enns, was heavily regulated and deprived of biological and hydromorphological diversity. Of particular concern was the inability of fishes to overcome the high concrete structures and the spawning habitat shortage all along the river corridor. Part of the LIFE+ multi-site project for the restoration of the River Enns and its surrounding ecosystems was delivered in the Johnsbach Brook. The works targeted a stretch of several kilometres, were bank reinforcement structures were take-off and the mouth of the river was ecologically enhanced (i.e. gravel banks, etc.). Restoration outcomes are positive overall. In particular, fish are now able to migrate and greater habitat diversity significantly supports in-site species populations (i.e. Common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)). However there is still a technical problem related with the adjustment of the river slope and the high steps imposed by old sills. There is a deficit of dynamic gravel resulting from the long-lasting excavation in the Johnsbach valle. Overtime, changing erosion processes as well as variable flooding will continually modify the site while the river network is regaining its natural functionality.

The River Restoration Centre would like to thank Daniel Kreiner from the Gesäuse National Park for providing the information and photographs for this case study.

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Catchment and subcatchment

Catchment

River basin district Danube
River basin Enns

Subcatchment

River name
Area category
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Ecoregion
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Other case studies in this subcatchment: Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse: the River Enns restoration


Site

Name
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name River Johnsbach
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation Austria - Nationalpark
Local/regional site designations Natura 2000, National Park
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest Alcedo atthis, Bombina variegata, Bonasa bonasia, Cottus gobio, Cypripedium calceolus, Dendrocopos leucotos, Eudontomyzon spp., Ficedula parva, Leuciscus souffia, Lutra lutra, Picoides tridactylus, Picus canus, Rosalia alpina, Tetrao tetrix tetrix, Tetrao urogallus
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use
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Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2005/02/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2011/08/01
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) 2,363.206
2,363.206 k€
2,363,206 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources EU LIFE III

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance
Monitoring

Supplementary funding information

Total budget 2,363,206.00 € EU contribution 1,181,603.00 €



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Regulation of water courses, intensive forestry practices, tourism, traffic
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Creation of gravel banks, Removal of bank reinforcements
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)
Other


Monitoring

Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
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Physico-chemical quality elements

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Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
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Monitoring documents



Additional documents and videos


Additional links and references

Link Description
http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life-gewaesser-johnsbach.php Gesäuse National Park (2008) Revitalisierung "Johnsbach" 2006-2010 (Partnerprojekt)
http://http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life.ph Life-Project: Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse

Supplementary Information

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