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Ecological risks and opportunities from engineered artificial flooding as a means of achieving environmental flow objectives

Citation

Bond, N and Costelloe, J and King, A and Warfe, DM and Reich, P and Balcombe, S, Ecological risks and opportunities from engineered artificial flooding as a means of achieving environmental flow objectives, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12, (7) pp. 386-394. ISSN 1540-9295 (2014) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

© 2014 The Ecological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1890/130259

Abstract

Restoration of floodplain ecosystems through the reinstatement of floods is often hampered by insufficient water as a result of competing human demands. An emerging alternative approach relies on floodplain infrastructure – such as levees, weirs, regulators, and pumps – to control water levels within floodplains without requiring landscape-scale overbank floods. This technique, albeit water efficient and capable of achieving some ecological targets, does not mimic the hydraulics, hydrodynamics, and lateral connectivity of natural floods. Engineering approaches like this may risk detrimental ecological outcomes, including reductions in biotic connectivity, river–floodplain productivity, and water quality, and thus may fail to support the range of ecological processes required to sustain healthy river–floodplain systems. Here, we review the potential benefits, risks, and mitigation options associated with engineered artificial flooding. Given the growing challenge of equitable water allocation, further research and monitoring of engineered floods as a tool to sustain floodplain ecosystems is urgently required.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Natural Resource Management
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
Author:Warfe, DM (Dr Danielle Warfe)
ID Code:93651
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2014-08-12
Last Modified:2016-05-16
Downloads:53 View Download Statistics

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