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Knowledge Conversion for Enhancing the Management of European Riparian Ecosystems and Services


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Project Description

CONVERGES is a COST Action dedicated to riparian ecosystems. COST framework supports collaborative transnational activities under a system of networks of investigators based on open access and bottom-up principles, covering all scientific and technological domains.


Vegetation is a central element of riparian landscapes and plays multiple socio-ecological roles. Biodiversity, water quality, bank erosion and flooding are all issues where riparian plants are directly involved. The scientific community is aware of the importance of riparian ecosystems, which has stimulated research and given rise to numerous studies in recent decades in Europe. Despite this work, progress in preserving riparian zones has been very limited. Vegetation-related processes tend to be neglected in water policy debates, and riparian forests are degrading.

In order to promote the dissemination of knowledge related to riparian zones, the European CONVERGES network was initiated within the framework of the European programme COST. This action aims to establish a baseline on the state of knowledge concerning riparian vegetation, to coordinate research efforts, to contribute to knowledge conversion from science to practitioners, and to promote the research interests of practitioners within the scientific community.

This project currently brings together more than 50 participants working in more than 30 countries for a period of four years.

Principal research coordination objectives:

  • Synthesize current knowledge to characterise the status of RV, their main stressors and management responses across Europe.
  • Convey and share riparian knowledge among scientists, policy makers and stakeholders from different scientific disciplines, geographical regions and management contexts to understand how RV is framed by different communities and thereby facilitate effective knowledge conversion.
  • Identify misalignments among actors in how the understand and conceptualize of RV in order to prioritise areas for knowledge conversion efforts as well as research gaps and policy/strategy.
  • Determine evidence-based best practice in riparian management and develop effective tools and indicators to assess ecological status using RV, which can be effectively conveyed to practitioners in order to fulfil relevant policy targets. 

Project Details:

Action No.: CA16208

Type of project: COST actions

Coordinator: Rennes 2 University

Project Chair: Simon Dufour

Research Centre: LETG

Grant Amount :

Period 1: 84,000.97 €

Period 2: 166 809.96 €

Period 3: 163 990.00 €

Period 4: 137 050.10 €


Duration: From 01.12.2017 through 31.10.2021 (46 months)


Keywords: water policy, riparian vegetation, fluvial processes, ecosystem services, riparian zones, resilient management