Despite the growing number of dam removals, very few have been studied to understand their impacts on stream fish communities. An even smaller proportion of dam removal studies focus on the impacts of low-head dam removals, although they are the most common type of dam. Instead, the majority of removal studies focus on the impacts of larger dams. In this study, two previously impounded Illinois rivers were monitored to assess the impacts of low-head dam removal on the functional assemblage of stream fishes. Study sites were sampled each fall from 2012-2015 (pre-dam removal) and 2018-2020 (post-dam removal) in three habitat types: downstream of the dam, impounded areas, and runs of rivers. Fishes were aggregated into habitat and reproductive guilds, relating community changes to habitat, environmental metrics, and stream quality. Prior to removal, the slackwater guild was the most prevalent habitat guild throughout both rivers, while nest builders and benthic spawners were the most abundant reproductive guilds. During the two years following removal, habitat conditions and fish assemblages improved throughout both rivers, with improvements in QHEI, IBI, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen, as well as a shift to more evenly distributed representation of habitat and reproductive guilds. The improvements in environmental metrics and overall stream quality, particularly in the formerly impounded habitats, indicate diminished habitat homogeneity, and a shift towards natural habitat diversity. This habitat diversification likely led to the restoration of a range of potential niches, thereby increasing the array of guild types inhabiting these rivers, while simultaneously preventing single-guild dominance.
Numerical hydrodynamic models enable the simulation of hydraulic conditions under various scenarios and are thus suitable tools for hydropeaking related assessments. However, the choice of the necessary model complexity and the consequences of modelling choices are not trivial and only few guidelines exist. In this study we systematically evaluate numerical one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic models with varying spatial resolution regarding their suitability as input for hydropeaking-sensitive, ecologically relevant hydraulic parameters (ERHPs), and their computational efficiency. The considered ERHPs include the vertical dewatering velocity, the wetted area variation between base and peak flow and the bed shear stress as a proxy for macroinvertebrate drift. We then also quantified the habitat suitability of brown trout for different life stages. The evaluation is conducted for three channel planforms with morphological characteristics representative for regulated Alpine rivers, ranging from alternating bars to a braiding river morphology. Our results suggest, that while a highly resolved 1D model is sufficient for accurate predictions of the dewatering velocity and wetted area in the less complex alternating bar morphology, a 2D model is recommended for more complex wandering or braiding morphologies. For the prediction of habitat suitability and bed shear stress, a 1D model appears to be always insufficient, and a highly resolved 2D model is suggested. Reducing the spatial resolution of 2D models leads to computational efficiency similar to 1D, while providing more accurate results. This study can serve as guideline for researchers and practitioners in the selection and setup of hydrodynamic models for hydropeaking.
Hydropeaking operation leads to fluctuations in wetted area between base and peak flow and increases discharge-related hydraulic forces (e.g., flow velocity). These processes promote macroinvertebrate drift and stranding, often affecting benthic abundance and biomass. Our field experimental study – conducted in three hydropeaking-regulated Swiss rivers – aimed to quantify (i) the short-term effects of the combined increase in flow amplitude and up-ramping rate based on macroinvertebrate drift and stranding, as well as (ii) long-term effects based on the established community composition. Hydropeaking led to increased macroinvertebrate drift compared to base flow and to unaffected residual flow reaches. Moreover, stranding of macroinvertebrates was positively related to drift, especially during the up-ramping phase. Flow velocity and up-ramping rate were identified as major determinants for macroinvertebrate drift, while flow ratio and down-ramping rate for stranding. Particularly high sensitivity towards HP was found for Limnephilidae, whereas Heptageniidae seemed to be resistant in respect to short and long-term hydropeaking effects. In the long-term, hydropeaking did not considerably reduce benthic density of most taxa, especially of some highly resistant and resilient taxa such as Chironomidae and Baetidae, which dominated the community composition even though they showed comparably high drift and stranding responses. Therefore, we argue that high passive drift and/or stranding, especially of individual-rich taxa, does not necessarily indicate strong hydropeaking sensitivity. Finally, our results demonstrate the necessity to consider the differences in river-specific morphological complexity and hydropeaking intensity, since these factors strongly influence the community composition and short-term drift and stranding response of macroinvertebrates to hydropower pressure.
The hydrological regime is the main factor governing the functioning of floodplain rivers. A full comprehension of its dynamic leads to a better understanding of the system’s behaviour and of the proper methods that must be used. We analysed the daily water level of the Paraná River during the last century at three gauge stations using linear and non-linear tools to characterise the hydrological dynamic and to analyse to what extent chaotic behaviour prevails. The three water level time series were characterised as non-linear and non-stationary by power spectrum, autocorrelation function, and surrogate test analyses. A strange attractor was developed when the phase space was reconstructed, having a low dimensional chaos supported by correlation dimension, positive maximum Lyapunov exponents, and recurrence quantification analysis. In line with this, the system resulted unpredictable with a threshold by sample entropy, and with an intermediate hydrological complexity, while Hurst exponent characterised the system as persistent and with sensitive dependence on initial conditions. In a general overview, all the evidence obtained indicates that the Paraná River’s behaviour is at the edge of chaos. A latitudinal gradient of decreasing chaoticity was observed as the floodplain extent increased, whereas complexity was highest at the intermediate river station due to the inflow of tributaries with different hydrology. This paper attempts to offer some additional insights for understanding the hydrological behaviour of floodplain rivers and the proper methods to understand their complexity.
The dilution effect was originally proposed to describe the negative effect of increased host diversity on parasite abundance; with greater host diversity, parasite levels per host are predicted to be lower due to a higher probability of dispersing parasites encountering non-competent hosts. Dilution effects could also occur in many mutualisms if dispersing symbionts encounter hosts that vary in their competency. The introduction of non-native hosts can change community competency of a local group of host species. Crayfish introductions are occurring world-wide and these introductions are likely disrupting native crayfish-symbiont systems. Branchiobdellidan symbionts declined on native Cambarus crayfish occurring in the presence and absence of non-native Faxonius crayfish in the New River, USA. We performed an experiment investigating the effect of host density (1 vs 2 native hosts) and host diversity (1 native host and 1 introduced host) on branchiobdellidan abundance. The introduced F. cristavarius is a non-competent host for these worms. Six C. ingens were stocked on a C. chasmodactylus in each treatment and worm numbers were followed over 34 days. Worm numbers decreased over time on C. chasmodactylus alone and in the treatment in which a C. chasmodactylus was paired with an F. cristavarius. Worm numbers remained highest in the 2 C. chasmodactylus treatment . There was no significant effect of host diversity on worm reproduction. Crayfish invasions may have negative effects on mutualistic symbionts depending on the competence of introduced hosts. Loss of native symbionts is one of the potential hidden, negative effects of invasions on native freshwater diversity.
As in many other countries, Peru has the Water Quality Standard (WQS) as the primary tool for managing and diagnosing water resources. An analysis variable by variable to define water quality as poor or good was applied by setting concentration limits. A second group of tools commonly used are Biotic Indexes based on tolerance of benthic macroinvertebrates to pollution, that reflect the impacts caused by a group of variables, even though they cannot identify which variables determine the viability of the ecosystem. This research proposes to include the Stable States approach to evaluate the ecological integrity in central Andes rivers to explore an alternative approach with the capacity to represent a broader number of factors through multivariate analysis. A ten-year database of biological and physical-chemical variables measured in five Andean rivers were evaluated. Our results suggest these rivers fluctuate into two seasonal stable states (wet and dry season), accounting for approximately 31% of the system variability. In the wet season, the equilibrium of the state was dominated by the highest levels of suspended solids, turbidity, coliform, phosphorus, and some metals. During the dry season, the key variables were dissolved oxygen, flow, physical habitat, and biotic and diversity indexes. Likewise, there seems to be a third alternative state influenced by human pressures because of variables that exceed the WQS. Regarding water quality, the concentrations of coliforms, phosphorus, and lead usually exceeded the limits in two stations, but not every year. The ecological condition was better represented by ABI index than EPT.
Biological invasions are regarded as one of the largest threats to native biodiversity. The eradication of non-native parasites by culling of hosts are a controversial conservation strategy, particularly when using indiscriminate methods involving whole ecosystem collateral damage. While short-term effects are abundantly documented, long-term surveys are needed to detect potential wider ecosystem effects. Here, we report a six-year study on effects of the piscicide rotenone on invertebrate communities from a Norwegian water course using a Before-After-Control-Impact design. Kick-net samples of benthic invertebrates were collected from three lentic sampling stations and two lotic stations two to four times per year in both a control and a treated watershed. In general, only relatively minor short-term effects immediately after the treatment on species turnover, measured as temporal beta-diversity, of benthic invertebrates were observed both in lentic and lotic locations. However, the lotic fauna was temporarily severely negatively affected following a period of rotenone exposure from an upstream lake. Species turnover co-varied markedly between control and treatment locations, indicating that natural environmental variation override effects of rotenone treatment. Likewise, the abundance of invertebrate taxa varied considerably both over time and between control and treatment locations. Our study indicates minor short-term (i.e. < one month) or long-term (i.e. four years) effects of rotenone treatment on benthic invertebrates, but severe effects on the lotic fauna eight months after treatment. However, long-term effects are likely to be taxa-specific and vary depending on habitat connectivity and thus potential for re-colonization and will differ among locations and among taxa.
This study provides a comprehensive review of the existing river measurement data of South Korea. The specific sediment yield in the country is 5–1,500 tons/km 2·year. The watershed area decisively affects the shapes of the curves for flow duration, sediment rating, and cumulative distribution of water and sediment discharge, and it can determine the effects of topographic and anthropogenic characteristics on erosion and sedimentation processes. Regarding flow regime, small watersheds have flashy hydrographs and high sediment concentrations at a given flow discharge. The coefficient of the sediment rating curves for various rivers decreases from 1 to 0.02 as the watershed area increases from 100 to 20,000 km 2, with the exponent of the curves ranging from 1.5 to 2.0. Moreover, sediment transport in small watersheds depends on large floods. The half-yield discharge typically ranges from 5 to 40 times the mean discharge, and it decreases with increasing watershed area. This study proposes equations to calculate the annual discharges, flow duration curves, sediment yield, and cumulative distribution curves of the flow and sediment, as well as the sediment yield at reservoirs in South Korea. Additionally, the sediment regimes in the country are compared to those in other continental regions.