In 2016 serious concerns on the achievement of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 targets, due to the continuing loss of biodiversity and degradation of aquatic habitats, led to the urgent adoption of a new Resolution for implementing ecosystem restoration measures. Moreover, on December 2018 the EU raised to 32% the binding renewable energy target for 2030, bringing further input to hydropower development. Meeting these targets sets challenging issues for mitigating the impacts of man-made structures in rivers that fragment habitats and prevent movement and migration of aquatic organisms.
RIBES (River flow regulation, fish BEhaviour and Status) European Training Network (ETN) will train 15 ESRs in the interdisciplinary field of Ecohydraulics to find innovative solutions for freshwater fish protection and river continuity restoration in anthropogenically altered rivers.
The RIBES project, funded under the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, has a duration of 4 years, from January 2020 to December 2023
RIBES Early Stage Researcher Sophia Schumann (University of Padova), together with fellow RIBES ESR Gloria Mozzi (Politecnico di Torino), and others recentrly published the paper "Social buffering of oxidative stress and cortisol in an endemic cyprinid fish" in the journal Scientifc Reports. In the paper, they present a flume study on the physiological response group size (one, two or six fish) of Italian riffle dace in running water.
Paper: A habitat connectivity reality check for fish physical habitat model results and decision-making for river restoration
Recently, RIBES Early Stage Researcher Henry Hansen, together with Matthias Schneider and Tobias Hägele, published the paper " A habitat connectivity reality check for fish physical habitat model results and decision-making for river restoration". In a case study, they explore the effect of habitat connectivity on river restoration outcomes using European grayling and common nase as model species. They take in tto account habitat shifts during the life cycle of the fish, distance between habitats, and concludes that a perfect migration corridor does not necessarily provide habitat connectivity.