Title: Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems
Author: Beechie, Timothy J.; Sear, David A.; Olden, Julian D.; Pess, George R.; Buffington, John M.; Moir, Hamish; Roni, Philip; Pollock, Michael M.
Source: BioScience. 60(3): 209-222.
Description: Process-based restoration aims to reestablish normative rates
and magnitudes of physical, chemical, and biological processes
that sustain river and floodplain ecosystems. Ecosystem conditions
at any site are governed by hierarchical regional, watershed,
and reach-scale processes controlling hydrologic and sediment
regimes; floodplain and aquatic habitat dynamics; and riparian
and aquatic biota. We outline and illustrate four process-based
principles that ensure river restoration will be guided toward
sustainable actions: (1) restoration actions should address the
root causes of degradation, (2) actions must be consistent with
the physical and biological potential of the site, (3) actions
should be at a scale commensurate with environmental problems,
and (4) actions should have clearly articulated expected outcomes
for ecosystem dynamics. Applying these principles will help avoid
common pitfalls in river restoration, such as creating habitat
types that are outside of a site's natural potential, attempting
to build static habitats in dynamic environments, or constructing
habitat features that are ultimately overwhelmed by unconsidered
Keywords: river restoration, ecosystem dynamics, ecosystem processes
View and Print this Publication (681.67 KB)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility
Beechie, Timothy J.; Sear, David A.; Olden, Julian D.; Pess, George R.; Buffington, John M.; Moir, Hamish; Roni, Philip; Pollock, Michael M. 2010. Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems. BioScience. 60(3): 209-222..