Basic Principles and Ecological Consequences of Altered Flow Regimes for Aquatic Biodiversity

  title={Basic Principles and Ecological Consequences of Altered Flow Regimes for Aquatic Biodiversity},
  author={Stuart E. Bunn and Angela H. Arthington},
  journal={Environmental Management},
The flow regime is regarded by many aquatic ecologists to be the key driver of river and floodplain wetland ecosystems. We have focused this literature review around four key principles to highlight the important mechanisms that link hydrology and aquatic biodiversity and to illustrate the consequent impacts of altered flow regimes: Firstly, flow is a major determinant of physical habitat in streams, which in turn is a major determinant of biotic composition; Secondly, aquatic species have… 
Mechanistic effects of low-flow hydrology on riverine ecosystems: ecological principles and consequences of alteration
The mechanistic links described in this synthesis can be used to develop and test hypotheses of low-flow hydrological–ecological response relationships in a cause–effect framework that will have value for both research and river flow management.
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Alteration of natural flow regime is considered a major threat to biodiversity in river floodplain ecosystems. Measurements of quantitative relationships between flow regime change and biodiversity
Assessment of River Ecosystems and Environmental Flows: Role of Flow Regimes and Physical Habitat Variables
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Large rivers and their floodplains support a significant proportion of the world's biodiversity and provide important goods and ecological services to society, including fisheries. Riverine
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Avian Community Responses to Variability in River Hydrology
River flow is a major driver of morphological structure and community dynamics in riverine-floodplain ecosystems. Flow influences in-stream communities through changes in water velocity, depth,


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Legitimizing Fluvial Ecosystems as Users of Water: An Overview
It is suggested that fluvial ecosystems are legitimate users of water and that there are basic ecological principles guiding the maintenance of long-term ecological vitality, and basic principles for maintaining the vitality of fluvials ecosystems are presented.
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The basic principles proposed are: the flow regime determines the successional evolution of riparian plant communities and ecological processes, and the riparian corridor serves as a pathway for redistribution of organic and inorganic material that influences plant communities along rivers.
The Role of Disturbance in Stream Ecology
We define disturbance in stream ecosystems to be: any relatively discrete event in time that is characterized by a frequency, intensity, and severity outside a predictable range, and that disrupts
Need for Ecosystem Management of Large Rivers and Their Floodplains These phenomenally productive ecosystems produce fish and wildlife and preserve species
The history of floodplain and flood plain management is described and the importance of large river-floodplain ecosystems and some of the consequences of altering the natural river processes, functions, and connectivity are focused on.
The habitat diversity and fish reproductive function of floodplain ecosystems
  • G. Copp
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental Biology of Fishes
  • 2004
The results demonstrate the lotic-to-lentic succession of floodplain ecosystems to be a series of non-sequential reproductive zones, with spawning conditions being reflected by the specific composition and guild structure of the YOY fish assemblages.
The role of sexual reproduction and water regime in shaping the distribution patterns of clonal emergent aquatic plants
The reproductive characteristics of T. procerum in three lagoons in the Mediterranean south-east of South Australia were used to investigate the role of water regime in the often heterogeneous and
Structure and ecological production of the fish taxocene of a small floodplain system
Number of days of stream connection in the spring was not significantly correlated with fish species richness in the pools, and a significant correlation was found between species richness and the logarithm of pool area.
A perspective on dryland river ecosystems
The ecosystem concept should be reappraised as a basic model for rivers, with regard for flow as an organizing variable. This would facilitate comparisons between the large rivers of humid climates,
Invasion Resistance to Introduced Species by a Native Assemblage of California Stream Fishes.
  • D. Baltz, P. Moyle
  • Environmental Science
    Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
  • 1993
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