La Trobe
1190936_Morden,R_2022.pdf (1.94 MB)
Download file

Small artificial impoundments have big implications for hydrology and freshwater biodiversity

Download (1.94 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2022, 23:53 authored by R Morden, A Horne, Nicholas BondNicholas Bond, R Nathan, JD Olden
Headwater streams are critical for freshwater ecosystems. Global and continental studies consistently show major dams as dominant sources of hydrological stress threatening biodiversity in the world’s major rivers, but cumulative impacts from small artificial impoundments (SAIs) concentrated in headwater streams have rarely been acknowledged. Using the Murray Darling River basin (Australia) and the Arkansas River basin (US) as case studies, we examined the hydrological impacts of SAIs. The extent of their influence is considerable, altering hydrology in 280–380% more waterways as compared to major dams. Hydrological impacts are concentrated in smaller streams (catchment area <100 km2), raising concerns that the often diverse and highly endemic biota found in these systems may be under threat. Adjusting existing biodiversity planning and management approaches to address the cumulative effects of many small and widely distributed artificial impoundments presents a rapidly emerging challenge for ecologically sustainable water management.

Funding

Y RM was funded by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (ARC DECRA) award (DE180100550). AH was funded through an ARC DECRA award (DE180100550).

History

Publication Date

01/04/2022

Journal

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Volume

20

Issue

3

Pagination

6p. (p. 141-146)

Publisher

Wiley

ISSN

1540-9295

Rights Statement

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.