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Assessing the hydrological suitability of floodplains for species-rich meadow restoration: a case study of the Thames floodplain, UK

Duranel, AJ; Acreman, MC; Stratford, CJ; Thompson, JR; Mould, DJ; (2007) Assessing the hydrological suitability of floodplains for species-rich meadow restoration: a case study of the Thames floodplain, UK. HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES , 11 (1) 170 - 179. 10.5194/hess-11-170-2007. Green open access

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Abstract

The physical and chemical environment of a floodplain needs to be assessed to define conservation targets for restoring it to species-rich meadows from agricultural land. A straightforward technique, widely applicable by site managers for assessing the suitability of the hydrological and hydro-chemical regime of a floodplain for wet grassland restoration, has been tested by examining the feasibility of restoring plants characteristic of NVC MG4 and MG8 communities to the Castle Meadows, Wallingford (Oxfordshire, UK). Hydro-chemical suitability has been assessed by comparing phosphorus concentrations with species-rich meadows nearby. The flooding regime was estimated based on a rating curve and a digital elevation model and groundwater levels were measured monthly in dipwells and piezometers. The hydrological regime was then compared with published reference guidelines for communities of conservation interest. For the Castle Meadows, the maximum duration of flood events in autumn and winter exceeded MG4 and MG8 species requirements across half of the site, while the depth of the groundwater table in summer exceeded species requirements in the other half. It was shown that, depending on topography, MG5 or MG13 may be more realistic vegetation targets.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing the hydrological suitability of floodplains for species-rich meadow restoration: a case study of the Thames floodplain, UK
Location: Vienna, AUSTRIA
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/hess-11-170-2007
Publisher version: http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/11/170/2007/h...
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Keywords: floodplain meadow, restoration, conservation target, flooding regime, hydrology, Thames, ARABLE CLAY SOIL, WATER-QUALITY, LOWLAND GRASSLAND, PLANT-COMMUNITIES, WET GRASSLAND, RIVER THAMES, RE-CREATION, ESTABLISHMENT, LAND, SITE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/151329
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