IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Riparian zone assessment as a tool for planning nature-based solutions

Jiří Jakubínský1, Pavel Cudlín1, Vilém Pechanec2, Kateřina Machová1, Ondřej Cudlín1, Lenka Štěrbová1, Jan Purkyt1, and Marcela Prokopová1
Jiří Jakubínský et al.
  • 1Global Change Research Institute CAS, Department of Carbon Storage in the Landscape, Brno, Czechia (jakubinsky.j@czechglobe.cz)
  • 2Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University Olomouc, Olomouc, Czechia (vilem.pechanec@upol.cz)

Riparian habitats represent an important ecosystem providing a number of functions and services that are important to humans - such as promoting biodiversity, reducing erosion risk, or transporting pollutants from the surrounding landscape into waterways. At the same time, unfortunately, it is an environment that has very often come under considerable pressure as a result of agricultural cultivation of the landscape or the development of industrial and human settlement activities. Thus, a large number of riparian ecosystems have disappeared or deteriorated. The assessment of the overall ecological status of riparian habitats is therefore an important source of information for the needs of water management and landscape planning in the riparian landscape, the aim of which should be to maintain the good status or improve the currently unsatisfactory status of these habitats. In the Czech Republic, there is not yet a comprehensive assessment procedure that takes into account not only the important sub-variables that influence the current status (e.g. the morphological condition of the watercourse or the predominant land use categories in the surrounding area), but also the potential reference status. For this reason, a tool (Riparian Habitat Quality Index) was developed by the author's team to assess the ecological status of riparian habitats. The created web platform "RipaSoft" allows streamlining the whole assessment process. Our contribution describes the assessment procedures and selected results of applying the methodology to several case study sites (small stream watersheds). The results can significantly contribute to the identification of sites suitable for the implementation of nature-based solutions aimed at mitigating vulnerability to hydrological risks (not only the risk of droughts and flash floods, but also the pollution of surface waters due to the transport of fertilizers and other pollutants from the surrounding landscape).

How to cite: Jakubínský, J., Cudlín, P., Pechanec, V., Machová, K., Cudlín, O., Štěrbová, L., Purkyt, J., and Prokopová, M.: Riparian zone assessment as a tool for planning nature-based solutions, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-174, https://doi.org/10.5194/iahs2022-174, 2022.