Identifying and understanding of processes in river landscapes based on innovative geodata

The project “FlussAu:WOW!” aimed to assess and evaluate crucial functions and processes of riverine landscapes particularly considering the floodplain area. Emphasis was placed on the investigations of integrative parameters, which reflect the ecological status of the river floodplains – comparable to landscape metrics in terrestrial ecosystem analyses. In combination with biological data it was investigated whether this set of parameters provides a spatial and functional comprehensive methodological approach.

High-resolution geodata („LiSA“ – Landinformationssystem Austria), which had been generated in the framework of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), formed the central database for these analyses. Thus a further goal of the research project was to evaluate the potential of this complemented data set e.g. for applied tasks of river basin management and scientific investigations of spatial attributes of river landscapes in two test areas.

Together with high school students the basics and requirements of geodata for ecological river management were developed and transferred in a field protocol with professional guidance. The protocol was practically applied at test areas in the course of student`s field mapping.

The results were incorporated into qualitative causal models. The students performed simulations with the help of these models and developed different river landscape scenarios. Thus the students‘ understanding of environmental processes in river landscapes is advanced. Against the background of changing social demands and human uses a more sustainable and environmentally conscious management of aquatic resources is essential.

The effectiveness of different methods of collaboration between scientists and high school students was evaluated during the whole project.

This project has been completed.