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"The editors...make a strong case that we should focus on what we hope our rivers will look like in the future, rather than trying to return them to what they looked like in the past."
Across much of the industrialized world, rivers that were physically transformed and ecologically ruined to facilitate industrial and agricultural development are now the focus of restoration and rehabilitation efforts. River Futures discusses the emergence of this new era of river repair and documents a comprehensive biophysical framework for river science and management.
The book considers what can be done to maximize prospects for improving river health while maintaining or enhancing the provision of ecosystem services over the next fifty to one-hundred years. It provides a holistic overview of considerations that underpin the use of science in river management, emphasizing cross-disciplinary understanding that builds on a landscape template.
Case studies explore practical applications in different parts of the world, highlighting approaches to the use of integrative river science, measures of success, and steps that could be taken to improve performance in future efforts.
River Futures offers a positive, practical, and constructive focus that directly addresses the major challenge of a new era of river conservation and rehabilitation—that of bringing together the diverse and typically discipline-bound sets of knowledge and practices that are involved in repairing rivers. It is a valuable resource for anyone involved in river restoration and management, including restorationists, scientists, managers, and policymakers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.
"Focusing on the future rather than the past, an eco-system perspective, and integrating biological and social interests are among the strategies that these earth and environmental scientists apply to restoring rivers that have been damaged by human activity. Most of the contributors, and most of the case studies, are from Australia and New Zealand, but Europe, Japan, South Africa, and Colorado are also represented."