Project number: CA16208
Project title: Knowledge conversion for enhancing management of European riparian ecosystems and services (http://converges.eu/)
Project leader: Simon Dufour (Jan Douda, participant)
Project schedule: 2017-2021
Total project budget of FES CULS: 0 ths. CZK
Vegetation is a central component of riparian landscapes, and provides multiple ecosystem services. The scientific community is aware of the importance of riparian vegetation and its role in both biological and physical processes. In recent decades such importance stimulated a steadily growing number of investigations focussing on riparian vegetation. However scientific investigations in this field are proceeding as isolated initiatives that translate to common practices at a very slow rate and with limited input from the practitioners. Evidence of poor knowledge conversion at societal levels includes the marginality of riparian vegetation in EU normative assets (e.g. the Water Framework Directive) and the complete neglection of vegetation-mediated processes in water policy debates. The limited consideration of riparian vegetation is also demonstrated by the widespread degradation of riparian forest resulting from centuries of water use and environmental pressures exerted by society on rivers. Such degradation motivated many restoration and mitigation projects aiming at the improvement of riparian status. Alas, many have failed because of scarce consideration of vegetation-mediated processes, so that public resources have been ineffectively allocated. In order to address the above-mentioned issues, this action aims to establish a baseline in the state of knowledge regarding riparian vegetation, coordinate research efforts, contribute to knowledge conversion from science to practitioners and to COST Inclusiveness Target Countries and to promote practitioners research interests in the scientific community.