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Flow regulation by dams affects ecosystem metabolism in Mediterranean rivers

Large dams regulate river hydrology and influence water chemistry, sediment dynamics, channel form and biotic communities. These effects may translate into important changes in river ecosystem processes, especially in rivers naturally subject to strong seasonality, such as those under Mediterranean climate. The effects of flow regulation on ecosystem metabolism [i.e. gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER)] were analysed by means of open-stream measurements. Organic matter accrual and metabolism were measured in reaches upstream and downstream from large reservoirs in three tributaries of the Ebro River (NE Iberian Peninsula) during three sampling campaigns. Dams reduced downstream hydrological variability, dampened floods and increased the duration of interflood periods. Benthic organic matter increased twofold and chlorophyll-a eightfold. GPP increased by 59% on average, whereas ER increased by 75%. In general, flow regulation intensified the capacity of downstream river reaches to store and process materials and energy, therefore increasing the amount of organic carbon processed and altering the whole flux of materials and energy along the river continuum

This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the project SCARCE Consolider-Ingenio CSD2009-00065. The compilation of environmental data was possible thanks to the Water Agencies of Ebro and the Water Agency of Catalonia. Laurie Boithias, Anna Giorgi, Lorea Flores and Lampros Nakis provided support in the field or in the laboratory. We also want to acknowledge financial support in terms of pre-doctoral grants from the University of the Basque Country (I. Aristi), the Basque Government (M. Arroita), as well as a postdoctoral grant ‘Juan de la Cierva’ (jci-2009-05604 and jci-2010-06397) (D von Schiller) and a Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant (PERG07-GA-2010-259219) (V Acu~na). This work was partly supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Consolidated Research Group 2009 SGR-00759) and the Basque Government (Consolidated Research Group: Stream Ecology 7-CA-18/10)

© Freshwater Biology, 2014, vol. 59, núm. 9, p.1816-1829

Wiley

Author: Aristi, Ibon
Arroita, Maite
Acuña i Salazar, Vicenç
Larrañaga Arrizabalaga, Aitor
Ponsatí Sánchez, Lídia
Sabater, Sergi
von Schiller, Daniel
Elosegi, Arturo
Date: 2014 January 1
Abstract: Large dams regulate river hydrology and influence water chemistry, sediment dynamics, channel form and biotic communities. These effects may translate into important changes in river ecosystem processes, especially in rivers naturally subject to strong seasonality, such as those under Mediterranean climate. The effects of flow regulation on ecosystem metabolism [i.e. gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER)] were analysed by means of open-stream measurements. Organic matter accrual and metabolism were measured in reaches upstream and downstream from large reservoirs in three tributaries of the Ebro River (NE Iberian Peninsula) during three sampling campaigns. Dams reduced downstream hydrological variability, dampened floods and increased the duration of interflood periods. Benthic organic matter increased twofold and chlorophyll-a eightfold. GPP increased by 59% on average, whereas ER increased by 75%. In general, flow regulation intensified the capacity of downstream river reaches to store and process materials and energy, therefore increasing the amount of organic carbon processed and altering the whole flux of materials and energy along the river continuum
This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the project SCARCE Consolider-Ingenio CSD2009-00065. The compilation of environmental data was possible thanks to the Water Agencies of Ebro and the Water Agency of Catalonia. Laurie Boithias, Anna Giorgi, Lorea Flores and Lampros Nakis provided support in the field or in the laboratory. We also want to acknowledge financial support in terms of pre-doctoral grants from the University of the Basque Country (I. Aristi), the Basque Government (M. Arroita), as well as a postdoctoral grant ‘Juan de la Cierva’ (jci-2009-05604 and jci-2010-06397) (D von Schiller) and a Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant (PERG07-GA-2010-259219) (V Acu~na). This work was partly supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Consolidated Research Group 2009 SGR-00759) and the Basque Government (Consolidated Research Group: Stream Ecology 7-CA-18/10)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 0046-5070 (versió paper)
1365-2427 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/13218
Language: eng
Publisher: Wiley
Collection: MICINN/PN 2009-2014/CSD2009-00065
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12385
Articles publicats (D-B)
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/259219
Is part of: © Freshwater Biology, 2014, vol. 59, núm. 9, p.1816-1829
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Preses (Enginyeria)
Dams
Ecologia d’aigua dolça
Freshwater ecology
Biologia d’aigua dolça
Freshwater biology
Title: Flow regulation by dams affects ecosystem metabolism in Mediterranean rivers
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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