Restoration of wetlands

Restoration of wetlands
The removal of trees and shrubs is a measure for the renaturation of fens and bogs. © Bund Naturschutz Ostallgaeu

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Forestry, Water management, Spatial planning, Tourism and leisure, Nature protection

Affected habitats

Bogs and fens, wetlands

Description

Wetland habitats are especially species-rich and are a dominant feature of the natural landscape structure in the Alpine region and the pre-Alps. Wetlands also provide a habitat for numerous rare and highly endangered species (e.g. the Azure Hawker (Aeshna caerulea)) and are therefore important elements of a biotope network. Wetland restoration measures can bring about an improvement in the hydrological regime of degraded wetlands and generally enhance habitat quality. Peat growth resumes in the rewetted areas, allowing an increase in typical wetland species. This also improves the function of wetlands as CO2 sinks and water stores, supporting the avoidance of and adaptation to climate change. Rewetting can include impounding measures, e.g. blocking drainage ditches, changes in the type of use, and management measures such as the removal of tree and shrub cover.

Impact

Impact in particular on Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Insects
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats Improving the quality of wetland habitats (typical wetland vegetation and fauna) through mowing of wet meadows and litter meadows, debushing and impoundment. Development of structurally rich forest/open land transitions as habitats for black grouse and wood grouse (capercaillie).
Element of ecological network Intact peat bogs are important elements of a network of different wetlands (headwaters, humid forests, etc.)
Time of realisation for measure Years: Wetland restoration measures must be long-term in focus and constantly reviewed. Depending on the measure and the starting conditions, impacts may be achieved quickly or over the long term.
Impact scope Regional: The scope of impact can be increased if relevant measures are embedded in a comprehensive (regional) strategy.

Implementation

Implementation period Years: Wetland restoration measures should be embedded in a long-term comprehensive strategy, although individual measures can be implemented over the short term.
Frequency Recurring: Includes a wide variety of measures, many of which should be long-term and repeated regularly.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Medium (10'000-100'000 EUR): Costs vary with size of area, measures to be implemented and implementation period (approx. € 150-6000/ha).
Socio-economic impacts Low: Tourism and marketing strategies can be promoted as part of a comprehensive strategy (e.g. use of litter, "peat bog tourism").
Sources of financing Private sponsor, Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation Wetland restoration mesures can be integrated into various countryside management programmes and receive appropriate funding on that basis.

Further information

Evaluation Numerous wetland restoration initiatives exist. Often, such measures are successfully implemented as part of biotope network initiatives. Socio-economic aspects such as sensitising and informing the public and political decision-makers, promoting "peat bog tourism" and the development of marketing strategies for agricultural products from the region play a role (e.g. Allgäuer Moorallianz).
Information Other: http://www.cipra.org/de/cc.alps/wettbewerb/moorrenaturierung , http://www.bfn.eu/allgaeu110.html
Contact Germany: Dr. Christine Margraf, Bund Naturschutz in Bayern e.V. christine.margraf@bund-naturschutz.de
Good Practice Wetland restoration in the Bavarian Alps: the Allgäuer Moorallianz
Renaturation des tourbières : l’exemple de l’Allgäuer Moorallianz
Rinaturalizzazione delle torbiere: l’esempio della Allgäuer Moorallianz

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