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ECOHAB: Improvement and evaluation of connectivity and habitat quality for sustainable hydropower

Research project With better knowledge of the environmental requirements and behavior of watercourse species with different water flows and riverbed and shoreline design, a group of researchers from four universities develops new methods to restore watercourses affected by hydropower.

The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate measures for regulated rivers that increase biodiversity and improve connectedness within catchments while maintaining hydropower production.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2018-08-31 2021-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research area

Biological sciences, Ecology
  • Project members
    Birgitta Malm-Renöfält
    Senior research assistant
    E-mail
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    Åsa Widén
    Other position
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    Email

    External project members

    Gunnar Hellström, Luleå University of Technology

    Eva Bergman, Karlstad University

    Larry Greenberg, Karlstad University

    Olle Calles, Karlstad University

    Leonard Sandin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Kjell Leonardsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Elin Hellmér, Energiforsk

    Mats Billstein, Vattenfall R&D

Project description

The purpose is to develop and evaluate measures for regulated rivers that increase biodiversity and improve connectedness within catchments while maintaining hydropower production. The goal is for the measures to contribute to achieving Good Ecological Status/Potential. We take a holistic approach as ecologists, hydraulic engineers and modelers cooperate within the project. We will work in rivers with different types of ecosystems, degree of hydropower impact and size. We will develop models/tools for hydraulic preferences of fish that are relevant for attraction, fishway entrance design, and what triggers migration. We will develop methods to increase flowing habitat by modifying riverbed and shoreline morphology. We will analyze how measures performed in tributaries increase ecological status of river main stems, and develop solutions to improve connectedness and environmental conditions in tributary mouths. Lastly, we will develop tools to predict the response of proposed measures.