For the Ostravice River, extensive gravel-bed formation is typical, although the river watercourse was almost continuously canalized in past. The bottom structures harbour a wide range of important habitats, since they also provide rich conditions for the otherwise uniform canalized watercourse environment.
Gravel bed habitats without vegetation, with small-reed, in North America also known as reedgrass, species Calamagrostis pseudophragmites and willow, e.g. the Rosemary Willow Salix eleagnos) have been extraordinarily well preserved: they depend on the dynamic changes in the course of floods, such as on breaking down or rearranging in strata by new sediments. For conserving the habitats, the Ostravice River was proposed as a Site of Community Importance (SCI) under the Habitats Directive (in Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the Protection of Nature and Landscape, as amended later, the term the Site of European Importance is used for the SCI). At present, there are only few sites with dynamically developing gravel beds in the Czech Republic. Therefore, the appropriate management of the canalized watercourses has been very topical and a watercourse manager should play important role during that process. Confronting the nature conservation interests with those of watercourse managers, particularly related to flood control measure management on the Ostravice River, when gravel beds are periodically removed, resulted into a model solution proposal. After the agreement between the Odra River Basin Management Authority and the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic, Ostrava Regional Office the model management was proposed to be implemented at six sites. At the model sites, gravel beds shall not be totally removed, but their height will be decreased. The management measures aim at flood simulations, when the current communities are destroyed and consequently the succession which is the necessary precondition for maintaining the target habitats is blocked. Model management effects will be monitored in a five-year period.