The EU-funded project Oscar (Optimising the configuration of woody riparian buffer strips along rivers to enhance biodiversity and eco-system services) synthesises existing and emerging knowledge on woody riparian buffer strips. It will investigate both the biodiversity benefits of woody buffer strips as well as the ecosystem services they can provide which both depend on their spatial arrangement (e.g. connected or fragmented).
An integrated assessment of effects of woody riparian buffers on ecosystem function and service provision will provide the basis for environmental policy and management recommendations, e.g. the effectiveness of different spatial configurations of woody buffer strips under different management and climate change scenarios. Oscar will produce a GIS-based decision analysis tool which will help guide management and policy decision-making.
Our aim is to provide water managers and policy makers with recommendations about how woody buffer strip conservation and restoration might be optimised. Communication of project findings will take place through local stakeholder engagement in different case-study catchments, and with working groups at the national and EU level.
University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, GERMANY (Coordinator)
Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l’Environnement et l’Agrictulture, Lyon-Villeurbane, FRANCE
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, NORWAY