Danube - Upper

What do we know about the natural productivity of riparian forests on large rivers prior to regulation and about their function as a source of raw materials and renewable energy? Can we draw conclusions for a sustainable resource management based on a historical reconstruction of the available timber resources centuries ago?
The project "Enough wood for city and river? Vienna’s wood resources in dynamic Danube floodplains" is designed to answer these questions.

The bilateral Austrian-Russian research project DYNAFISH systematically investigated written historical sources and archaeological fish remains to reconstruct historical changes of riverine fish communities. The results produced by the interdisciplinary team of fish ecologists, environmental historians and ichthyo-archaeologists have advanced the historical ecology of riverine fish, a still underdeveloped research field compared with the marine environment.

The interdisciplinary project URBWATER investigates fundamental changes of Vienna’s waterscape from 1683-1918 and analyzes the influence of the dynamic aquatic environment for Vienna’s urban development. While the Danube and the adjacent riparian area have been reconstructed back to 1529 in the precursor project ENVIEDAN, the environmental history of its tributary system remains largely unknown.

The DIAnet Schools offer a unique opportunity for young researchers to familiarize with issues regarding the sustainable development of the Danube River Basin. The main goal is to provide systematic knowledge of a humanities-driven interdisciplinary research.

Researchers from different countries and different fields of study can work together to tackle sustainability issues of the Danube River Basin through an interdisciplinary perspective.

ENVIEDAN produced the first integrated environmental history of the Viennese Danube from 1500 to the early 20th century. The project was carried out by an interdisciplinary team of environmental historians, social ecologists and river morphologists. It created new scientific knowledge by demonstrating the longevity of the river´s transformation from a dynamic fluvial system into a straight river channel with fixed banks. For reconstructing past hydro-morphological patterns and dynamics a new method, the “regressive-iterative-approach”, was developed.