Ecological functioning | Scheldemonitor

Ecological functioning

From an ecological point of view the Scheldt estaury is quite unique. The high dynamics (with a tide difference up to 6m) and the presence of a full gradient from fresh to salt, including a 60 km freshwater tidal area and its typical fauna and flora, make the Scheldt estuary to an exceptional system for Europe. The intense use of the Scheldt estuary however leads to severe pollution, eutrofication and morphological changes. Both the Netherlands and Flanders have started to restore the ecological values of the estuary since the last century. They also work towards a sustainable use of the area.

To gain insight in the ecological functioning of the estuary, not only monitoring of fauna and flora, but also their connection to other physical and biochemical parameters influencing the ecological system, is of utmost importance.