Podschun, S.A., Thiele, J., Dehnhardt, A., Mehl, D., Hoffmann, T.G., Albert, C., von Haaren, C., Deutschmann, K., Fischer, C., Scholz, M., Costea, G., Pusch, M.T. (2018): Das Konzept der Ökosystemleistungen – eine Chance für Integratives Gewässermanagement – Hydrologie & Wasserbewirtschaftung, 62, (6), 453-468; DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2018.6 _7


The ecosystem service concept –
A chance for integrative water resource management


The planning and implementation of management measures to improve the status of freshwaters and the natural flood retention potential
of rivers and floodplains (Water Framework Directive, Natura2000, Floods directive) are often challenging due to the various users
and diverse legal frameworks involved. The decision-making process could benefit from the assessment and evaluation of ecosystem
services (ES) though the complementary knowledge about the effects of management options. ES can be understood as the direct and
indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being.
Research is needed on how the ES concept could be applied in riverine landscapes. Hence, the RESI (River Ecosystem Service Index) project
developed a concept and a method for the assessment and evaluation of ES in rivers and floodplains in inter- and transdisciplinary
cooperation across both theory and practice. Based on literature and feedback from experts in water management, the project aimed at
defining key conceptual terms (such as offered ES, used ES, and human input) and an ES classification that is adapted to the application
on riverine landscapes. For the resulting list of provisioning, regulating and cultural ES, methods for the spatially explicit assessment
and evaluation were developed, which are presented here by the example of the regulating ES flood regulation and the cultural ES
unspecific interaction with the riverine landscape.
The results and the reflection of the practical relevance of ES show that the ES concept is applicable for river and floodplain management,
and at the same time, stakeholders are interested in using it. The application of the RESI in planning scenarios created a crosssectoral
basis for communication and knowledge exchange among all stakeholders, which facilitates the development of integrative
management options and thus enables solving conflicts of interest.


Ecosystem services, rivers, floodplain, planning, management, scenario, cross-sectoral approach