Degradation and recovery of the freshwater fauna in the lower sections of the rivers Rhine and Meuse

A. bij de Vaate

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


Exponential increase of anthropogenic stress in European rivers, like Rhine and Meuse, started several centuries ago when inhabitants of floodplains used them for an increasing number of purposes. Step by step, the river basins lost their naturalness and ecological integrity. Usually, river regulation was a first step. Floodplains in the lower parts were narrowed by the construction of levees and dikes for land reclamation and to protect inhabitants against floods. Rivers channels were shortened and normalised for discharge improvement, canalised for the purpose of navigation and regulated by weirs and sluices for water resource control and flood defence. Later on, rivers were also used for the downstream transport of wastes and waste water from the urban environment. River pollution became particularly manifest following the industrial revolution in Europe
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Scheffer, Marten, Promotor
  • van der Velde, G., Co-promotor, External person
Award date13 May 2003
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789058088444
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2003


  • aquatic animals
  • rivers
  • migration
  • water quality
  • rehabilitation
  • salmo trutta
  • mussels
  • river rhine
  • river meuse
  • aquatic ecosystems


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