E2) Floodplain Ecosystem Services

Remon Koopman

"Developing a method for quantifying the spatio-temporal development of ecosystem services in relation to river management measures"

Practical Motivation

Rivers and their floodplains can provide numerous ecosystem services that are beneficial to mankind, such as water supply, food provisioning, biomass production and recreation (e.g. sport fishing). Such ecosystem services result from numerous abiotic and biotic interactions. The sustainable use of these services can contribute to cost-effective river management. However, the appropriate quantification of riverine ecosystem services is an important prerequisite for sustainable river management. In this project, we focus on the biophysical quantification of spatial and temporal development of ecosystem services in river-floodplain systems in relation to natural processes and management measures.

Management phase: Evaluation & Adjustment | Problem identification |

Management goals: Maintenance Efficiency |

Ecosystem services categorized according to the CICES classification (provisioning, regulating and cultural services) and including an extra category: abiotic resources (Source: Atlas Natuurlijk Kapitaal).

Research aim

The aims of the project are:

  • To develop novel and sound indicators for quantifying spatio-temporal development of riverine ecosystem services.
  • To incorporate these indicators into a tool that quantifies the spatio-temporal development of ecosystem services in river floodplain systems in relation to river management.

Temporal scale: Recent evolution (1-10years) | Seasonal measurements |


  • Identification of existing landscape classification systems that are suitable for biophysical quantification of spatiotemporal development of riverine ecosystem services.
  • Linking ecosystem services indicators to landscape classes of suitable landscape classification systems.
  • Quantification of ecosystem services and their spatio-temporal development in relation to riverine management. The following ecosystem services are quantified:
    • Biomass production of woody and non-woody vegetation of different vegetation roughness classes in floodplains along the rivers Waal, Nederrijn and IJssel (years 1997, 2005, 2008 and 2012).
    • Fish related ecosystem services.
    • Annual nutrient sequestration (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous) in floodplains.

Data-collection methods: Field survey measurements | Historical approach | Process-based modeling | Systematic review |

Main progress and next steps

  • Six Landscape classification systems were considered suitable for quantifying spatio-temporal development of ecosystem services at several scales (regional to global).
  • Biomass production of vegetation in floodplains along the river Rhine distributaries in the Netherlands was quantified.
  • The biomass production in the Netherlands showed a decreasing trend from 1997-2012, especially for floodplains along the Waal owing to flood defense measures. This trend is predominantly caused by a decrease in the biomass production of non-woody vegetation, since woody biomass production remains relatively constant over the 15 year period.
  • First results on the annual carbon sequestration of riparian vegetation at European scale already available. The average annual carbon sequestration potential of above-ground vegetation was calculated, based on Net Primary Productivity data, for different CORINE classes, which are present in European river systems.
  • Further study is needed to quantify nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous) sequestration at smaller scales and to determine the trade-offs with biomass production. Subsequently, other ecosystem services (e.g. fish related ecosystem services) will be quantified and trade-offs between them are assessed and applied in various case studies.

Study areas

Key study areas: IJssel river (The Netherlands) | Nederrijn-Lek river (The Netherlands) | Waal river (The Netherlands) See details in outputs >>

The relative changes in annual biomass production (%) between 1997 and 2012. (Source: Adapted from Figure 1 of this publication, Koopman et al., 2018)

Last modified: 17/06/2018

Main researcher

Remon Koopman

Supervisory team

dr. ir. Denie Augustijn


Rob Lenders


Prof. dr. Ton Breure


Contributing partners

Rijkswaterstaat Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

National Institute for Public Healthe and the Enviroment. Minsty of Health, Welfare and Sport.

ARCADIS Nederland BV

Bureau Waardenburg BV


Radboud University Nijmegen

University of Twente

Utrecht University

NWO Applied and Engineering Sciences

Jump to publications list

Featured Outputs

Suitable landscape classification systems for quantifying spatiotemporal development of riverine ecosystem services

17/10/2017 by Remon Koopman et al.

Contains: Journal publication

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Quantifying biomass production for assessing ecosystem services of riverine landscapes

01/05/2018 by Remon Koopman et al.

Contains: Journal publication

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Other publications

Jump to: Conference abstract

Conference abstract


  • Koopman, K.R., Straatsma, M.W., Augustijn, D.C.M., Breure, A.M., Lenders, H.J.R., Stax, S.J. and Leuven, R.S.E.W. (2018). Quantifying biomass production in floodplains along the Rhine river distributaries. In: Huismans, Y., Berends, K.D., Niesten, I., Mosselman, E (Eds.). The future river: NCR DAYS 2018 Proceedings. Netherland Centre for River Studies publication 42-2018, 8-9 February 2018, Deltares, Delft, pp. 98.


News and Press

Dutch serie “Vroege Vogels” (Early birds) about nature and ecology in the Netherlands

07/11/2017 by Remon Koopman

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Rivercare floodplain


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Project group
Project E

Contact details

Remon Koopman

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