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ESSEM COST Action 626
European aquatic habitat modelling

The main objective of the proposed Action was to define and develop integrated methods and models of assessing the interactions between aquatic flora and fauna and riverine habitats on reach scale and provide transferability to a catchments scale.

The ecologically sensitive management of river corridors and freshwater resources is one of the key issues being addressed by hydrological and ecological scientists throughout the world. In Europe in particular, past river and water resource management practices have resulted in widespread impacts on the ecology of streams and rivers. Increasing concern over the human impacts on the flora and fauna of European rivers has produced a strong demand for operational tools and assessment frameworks to assess these issues and to develop mitigation procedures. Many recent publications have shown the urgent need for ecologically sound river management practices to maintain the natural environment within future resource development projects. The Action has given an insight in how biotic and abiotic data are sampled for habitat models. State-of-the-art physical habitat measurement techniques and instrumentation are described. Special focus is given to collecting fish data for micro- and mesohabitat modelling, community orientated models, experimental channel studies, bioenergetic and population models. It also includes a comprehensive description of modelling techniques in use for habitat modelling. An inventory of the most important research needs was carried out. The results included a summary of how and to whom river habitat models are useful. A handbook for good modelling practise was published. More information can be found on the Action web page

(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Chair of the Action:

Dr Atle HARBY (NO)

Science officer of the Action:


Administrative officer of the Action:



Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF

Final Report

Download Final Report as PDF


Action website:

* content provided by e-COST.
Data is synchronised once per night.


Last updated: 02 May 2011 top of page