LIFE Project Cover Photo

Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube

Reference: LIFE18 NAT/AT/000733 | Acronym: Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube



Alluvial forests and pioneer vegetation of mountain rivers like the upper Danube are among the most endangered habitat types in Europe. Their surface area has decreased dramatically in recent decades due to river regulation, hydropower plants, flood protection measures and forestry. Beyond that, riverbed degradation in free-flowing sections results in separation of the alluvial forests and drying out of the natural river branches. Fish biomass is decreasing dramatically and rheophilic (i.e. preferring fast-moving water) fish species are seriously affected.


The Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube project focuses on threatened riverine and alluvial habitats and endangered species along the Danube in eastern Austria and western Slovakia. Habitats along more than 100 km of the river will be involved, with improvements planned from the Danube-Auen National Park, east of Vienna (Austria), to ovsk luhy (Slovakia). Rheophilic fish species will benefit from measures in the whole project area, as will many other target species of the Habitats and Birds directives. A substantial amount of floodplain forests and muddy banks will be restored in both countries as well as natural hydromorphologic processes in order to ensure a favourable status in thelong run. Sites currently strongly affected by regulatory structures or other threats (e. g. invasive alien species) will be able to develop naturally. Hydrologic engineering measures will help reduce riverbed degradation. The idea is to achieve effective, sustainable results through minimal interventions and by stimulating natural processes. This best practice approach will be published on an international platform.

The projects main objectives are:

  • improvement of around 1 600 ha of alluvial forests;
  • reconnection of some 14 km of river branches;
  • dynamisation of about 11 km of river branches; and
  • renaturation of almost 4 km of riverbank.


    Expected results:

  • substantial improvements in these ecosystem functions and services: productivity of riverine and alluvial ecosystems, including fish and increased carbon sequestration; water retention capacity and flood protection; and river ecosystems capacity for natural degradation of organic pollution;
  • reconnection of Haslau-Regelsbrunn (Austria) river branch: dynamisation of about 10 km of river branch system, improving floodplain forests and muddy banks habitats on around 450 ha of floodplain. Improvement of 10 km of system for rheophilic fish;
  • renaturation of Haslau-Regelsbrunn river bank: almost 4 km of natural shores and river banks created as well as additional tributaries parallel to the Danube;
  • reconnection of Spittelauer Arm (Austria) river branches:reactivation and dynamisation of some 4 km of river branch system; calming of about 100 ha of alluvial forest and water habitats with prospective island creation. Additional benefit for an existing LIFE project at Thurhaufen by impeding accessibility;
  • reconnection of river branches within the Danube (Slovakia): connectivity of 11 km of river branches restored, mainly at Gabkovo, Bratislava, Medveov and Kovec;
  • over 1 000 ha of floodplain forests restored in the Danube floodplain area in Slovakia;
  • genetic sources of native tree species secured to restore target habitats; and
  • at least three best practice methodologies (on removal of invasive alien species, securing the genetic sources of native tree species, and restoration of native alluvial forests).

    Reference: LIFE18 NAT/AT/000733
    Acronym: Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube
    Start Date: 15/07/2019
    End Date: 30/06/2026
    Total Budget: 10,730,658 €
    EU Contribution: 6,438,393 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: via donau Oesterreichische Wasserstrassen-Gesellschaft mbH
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Donau-City-Strasse 1, 1220, Vienna, Österreich
    Contact Person: Robert Tögel
    Tel: 435043212612

    LIFE Project Map



    • Freshwater
    • Fish
    • River basin management


    • aquatic ecosystem
    • freshwater ecosystem
    • renaturation
    • river
    • restoration measure
    • river management
    • flood control


    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)


    • 3270 - Rivers with muddy banks with Chenopodion rubri p.p. and Bidention p.p. vegetation
    • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"
    • 91F0 - "Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia, along the great rivers (Ulmenion minoris)"


    Type Code Name
    SPA AT1204000 Donau-Auen östlich von Wien (DEPRECATED)
    SPA AT1204V00 Donau-Auen östlich von Wien (DEPRECATED)
    SCI SKUEV1182 Číčovské luhy (DEPRECATED)
    SCI SKUEV1293 Kľúčovské rameno (DEPRECATED)