In the IMPACT project, different models will be coupled to predict the abiotic habitat conditions and the species pool available for colonizing a restored or natural reach. Finally, the fish and invertebrate assemblage that can be expected in the reach given the modelled abiotic and biotic conditions will be assessed:

  • A catchment rainfall/runoff model (e.g. SWAT) will be used to predict the effect of climate and land-use change on discharge, nutrient and fine sediment load.
  • Different geomorphological approaches will be tested to predict the effect of discharge changes on channel pattern and dimensions (channel width, depth, slope).
  • A 2D morphodynamic model will be used to predict the effect of discharge changes on the general bathymetry and channel dynamics. A 3D morphodynamic model will be used to model channel bathymetry in more detail and at a spatial scale relevant for invertebrates.
  • Dispersal models for selected fish and invertebrate species will be developed to assess which species can reach the natural / restored reach within an engineering time scale, i.e. to describe the species pool available for colonizing the “receiving reach”.
  • Different “habitat models” (using preference curves, niche models, more conceptual approaches) will be tested to describe the fish and invertebrate assemblage that can be expected in the reach given the modelled abiotic conditions and the (re-)colonization potential.



Impact model flowchart