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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-15 - 2023-07-14

Stream restoration contributes significantly to the improvement of biological and physico-chemical parameters. However, river restoration is also associated with increased socio-cultural value. This is because intact and near-natural riverine landscapes offer a wide variety of functions and services to a diversity of users and to society, such as recreational opportunities, the experience of nature and spirituality. Until recently, however, there was no standardized approach in Austria to assess the potential of these cultural ecosystem services (CESS) at watercourses. The study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BML) to develop methods for evaluating cultural ecosystem services of renaturation measures on watercourses (ResCulES I) was completed in May 2021. Based on this, the developed evaluation method was applied to four pilot waters of the EU-funded project "Integrated River Solutions Austria - LIFE IP IRIS Austria" and further tested (ResCulES II). The present project aims at developing the individual methodological steps with regard to a standardized procedure in a user-friendly QGIS application. The QGIS tool should enable a simple practical application of the survey and evaluation steps as well as the presentation of the results and thus support experts in planning and administration in the application of the ResCulES assessment method.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-17 - 2024-06-16

The focus of the project is on the detailed description of the first larval and juvenile habitats of the huchen in the River Pielach. This knowledge represents an essential auto-ecological basis, which is indispensable for the efficiency of future species protection projects. In addition, the spawning sites are to be mapped and counted, and the current adult fish population is to be surveyed. The River Pielach is particularly suitable for this purpose, as it can draw on many years of methodically identical monitoring data, which should be taken into account in the interpretation of the results, for example by showing current development trends of the Huchen stock. On the one hand, knowledge about the habitat preferences of all age classes and the development of the population on the other hand, by comparing the existing habitat conditions and stressors (continuum breaks, residual water stretches, etc.) with the data collected on the habitat preferences of all age stages and the development of the population, clear statements can be made about the habitat requirements of the huchen.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-01 - 2025-02-28

Eight sturgeon species occur in Europe’s rivers and seas. All species feature in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species1, with six of them in critically endangered status. The Habitats Directive, one of the two main pieces of EU nature legislation, lists all eight species in its annexes and thus their conservation is a legal obligation for the Member States of the EU. The Pan-European Action Plan for Sturgeons (PANEUAP) was adopted in November 2018 by the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention to which both the EU and its Member States are parties. This mandated the Secretariat of the Bern Convention to closely monitor the implementation of the Action Plan and to coordinate the implementation of regular reporting on the implementation of the Action Plan at national level. In May 2019, the EU Nature Directives Expert Group (NADEG) also recommended the implementation of the Action Plan to EU Member States. The overall goal of the PANEUAP is “to restore all existing sturgeon populations to “least concern” (IUCN) or “favourable” (Habitats Directive) status and re-establish self-sustaining sturgeon populations as well as their life-cycle habitat in their historic range to an extent that ensures species survival and representation of the subpopulations where possible.”

Supervised Theses and Dissertations