Ecological development behind longitudinal training dams

Level: Bachelor or Master
Start: Anytime
Project duration: 12 weeks to 6 months
Project form: Field surveys, literature review
Supervision: Frank Collas
Mail addresses:

Description of the project:

In order to prepare the Dutch rivers for the next century and beyond novel river training structures are being developed, one of them being longitudinal training dams (LTDs, figure 1). Currently, a 10 km long LTD is being constructed in the river Waal near the city of Tiel. LTDs constrict the flow to the navigable part of a river during low flows and at the same time increase discharge capacities during floods. Additionally, training dams might exert a favourable influence on habitat diversity and ecological conditions.
Shores along rivers that are regulated by traditional structures (groynes and rip-rap banks) are highly dynamic and have a low complexity. The conditions at river banks are harsh due to the high disturbance caused by navigation, resulting in low biodiversity and dominance of invasive exotic species. The construction of LTDs might result in shallow and sheltered lotic habitats and gentle slopes that experience less disturbance. These habitats will likely result in higher biodiversity values.
In order to assess the ecological development behind longitudinal training dams regular species monitoring is needed. Moreover, a dataset is needed on already existing LTD like structures in the Netherlands and abroad and any monitoring that was performed near these structures. The acquired results can be used to improve the design of LTDs.
Thus the aim of this project is 1) to perform species monitoring and 2) to compile an extensive database on existing LTD like structures. Species monitoring can be performed for a wide range of species depending on your personal preference (macrophytes, macroinvertebrates or fish).

Longitidunal training dam in the River Waal near Tiel.