Vegetative riverbank stabilisation to reduce phosphorus transfer (VEGESTAR)

  • Wahl, Niels Arne (Project Participant)

    Project Details


    The main objectives of the project are to identify vegetative methods for minimising P transfer from the riverbank/buffer zone to the stream and to set up a decision support system for identifying high risk areas in terms of P transfer. The study will include an investigation of P saturation and movement in riverbanks, examine how various vegetation types affect the P dynamics in the riverbank, studies of the root morphology, biomass and hydraulic properties’ effect on bank stabilisation and finally to set up a decision support-system to identify potential P transfer sites which may be suitable sites for the introduction of vegetative measures.

    The environmental state in many Danish streams, lakes and coastal areas do not fulfil the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. The third Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment prescribes the establishment of 30,000 ha 10 m buffer zones along streams and lakes over the next 5 years. Surface and bank erosion are the main sources of phosphorus to the aquatic environment and it is estimated that somewhere between 40 and 80 % of the suspended sediment in the streams stem from these sources. Research in more recent years has shown that phosphorus not only is transported via drains, but that macropore flow is an important and often neglected process.

    The vegetation on riverbanks and in the buffer zone plays an important role in terms of stabilising and withholding P-rich sediment, it helps in preventing the riverbanks from collapsing and it plays an important role in terms of its ability to take up and re-mineralise phosphorus. Hydraulic conditions also interact with the vegetation and play an important role when studying riverbank stability. The purpose of this project is to identify vegetation based methods for minimising P-transfer from the riverbanks/buffer zones to the streams.

    In this research project two stream reaches will be chosen in the counties of Ribe and Vestsjælland, respectively. A number of experimental plots representing different vegetation types will be established on each stream reach.
    Effective start/end date19/05/2010 → …


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