Assessing the societal benefits of river restoration using the ecosystem services approach

J.E. Vermaat, A.J. Wagtendonk, R. Brouwer, O.I. Sheremet, J.H. Ansink, T. Brockhoff, M. Plug, S. Hellsten, J. Aroviita, L. Tylec, M. Gielczewski, L. Kohut, K. Brabec, J. Haverkamp, M. Poppe, K. Böck, M. Coerssen, J. Segersten, D. Hering

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The success of river restoration was estimated using the ecosystem services approach. In eight pairs of restored–unrestored reaches and floodplains across Europe, we quantified provisioning (agricultural products, wood, reed for thatching, infiltrated drinking water), regulating (flooding and drainage, nutrient retention, carbon sequestration) and cultural (recreational hunting and fishing, kayaking, biodiversity conservation, appreciation of scenic landscapes) services for separate habitats within each reach, and summed these to annual economic value normalized per reach area. We used locally available data and literature, did surveys among inhabitants and visitors, and used a range of economic methods (market value, shadow price, replacement cost, avoided damage, willingness-to-pay survey, choice experiment) to provide final monetary service estimates. Total ecosystem service value was significantly increased in the restored reaches (difference 1400 ± 600 € ha
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-135
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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