A decision support system for restoration planning of stream valley ecosystems

N.M. Pieterse, A.W.M. Verkroost, M. Wassen, H. Olde Venterink, C. Kwakernaak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Despite efforts that have been put into conservation, there is a continuing loss of species and ecosystems in Western Europe. There is a growing awareness that restoration is an essential step to stop this tide. Unfortunately, there is lack of understanding about the multitude of functions and the complexity of spatial interactions in a landscape. The focus of this paper is to demonstrate that an integrated decision support system (IDSS) is indispensable to offer insight into this complexity and to design efficient restoration programmes. The IDSS is applied in a lowland catchment on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium and leads to the following recommendations: the site conditions on the location where restoration is planned must be close to the range that is required for the target ecosystem; the manager has to decide for the most attainable targetecosystem, and accept the inevitable loss of other ecosystems as a result from this choice; restoration planning involves that the optimal measure for each catchment, subcatchment or region is assessed, being ecological, urban or agricultural; for each ecosystem an optimal set of measures must be selected. An analysis of the restoration efficiency (ecological gain divided by economic costs) is crucial for this selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-81
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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