Identifying and perceiving of river landscape functions and understanding of catchment processes within the case study Traisen

Traisen.w³ was based on experiences and research results of the Sparkling Science project “FlussAu:WOW!”. In this project a need for fostering natural scientific competencies and interdisciplinary approaches in dealing with ecological issues was detected. Based on that finding, in the project at hand the focus will be placed on youths’ understandings of catchment based processes in river landscapes.

At the catchment level of the river Traisen ecological and cultural ecosystem services (ES) in river landscapes was investigated and displayed on maps. ES were identified based on available geodata as well as mappings that are carried out by students. The focus was laid on the different perspective between the “digital” (geodata) and the “real” river landscape (mapping). In using open source software and freely available geodata their practicability for planning tasks in ecological river landscape management were tested. Additionally questionnaires were used to investigate perceptions of processes and functions in river landscapes of both youths and their relatives living in the study region. The results of landscape analyses (among others, by means of landscape metrics), mappings and investigation of perceptions lead to an assessment of ecological and cultural river landscape functions in the Traisen river catchment.

A further project objective was to foster youths’ system understanding through applying different communication and education methods (the ES concept as well as modelling complex cause-effect correlations using the software “DynaLearn”). Based on analyses of results achieved by the students, recommendations for applying the ES and the DynaLearn approach in future river landscape management processes was given.

This project has been completed.