Waste Not, Want Not: The Need to Utilize Existing Artificial Structures for Habitat Improvement along Urban Rivers

Francis, R.A. and S.P.G. Hoggart

Publication Date:

Most river restoration techniques are not feasible within large urban rivers, and so there is a need to develop novel methodologies. Artificial structures such as river walls can function as habitat for plant and invertebrate species in urban rivers, and in some cases can be more diverse than remnant habitat. Along the River Thames through central London, plant species richness was found to be significantly higher on river walls than intertidal foreshore, which represents the only remnant habitat for riparian species. Both this survey and other studies have suggested that the physical and environmental characteristics of river walls are likely to influence their capacity to function as ecological habitat, for example, walls composed of more complex construction materials (brick and boulders) being more diverse than simpler structures (concrete and sheet piling).

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology