Managing bank instability and erosion

Effectiveness for Biological Quality Elements

There is currently little empirical evidence that bank stabilisation techniques directly benefit phytoplankton, macrophytes, benthic inverebrates and fish. However, the techniques can lead to the development of improved bank habitats, which are likely to be benficial for macrophytes and benthic invertebrates (Clarke and Wharton, 2000; Gulickx et al., 2007).

There is little evidence to suggest that phytoplankton benefit from bank rehabilitation, although the provision of high quality bank habitats and improved in-channel conditions may lead to improvements in phytoplankton habitat. Furthermore, evidence suggests that although fish populations increase when bank habitats are improved, they do not necessarily reach levels observed in natural, unmodified banks (Peters et al., 1998).

Academic references

Clarke, S.J. and Wharton, G. (2000) An investigation of marginal habitat and macrophyte community enhancement on the River Torne, UK. Regulated Rivers: Research & Management 16, 225-244.

Gulickx, M.M.C., Beecroft, R.C. and Green, A.C. (2007) Recovery of sections of river bank using willow Salix barriers along the River Carn at Kingfishers Bridge, Cambridgeshire, England. Conservation Evidence 4, 45-48.