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Flow-ecology relationships: closing the loop on effective environmental flows


Davies, PM and Naiman, RJ and Warfe, DM and Pettit, NE and Arthington, AH and Bunn, SE, Flow-ecology relationships: closing the loop on effective environmental flows, Marine and Freshwater Research, 65, (2) pp. 133-141. ISSN 1323-1650 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 CSIRO

DOI: doi:10.1071/MF13110


Providing flows for biota and environmental processes is a challenging water management issue. For society the ability and willingness to allocate water to sustain the environment is increasingly competitive due to escalating demand and as a consequence of climate change. In response, an array of environmental flow (E-flow) methods have developed. Our view is that few E-flows have been implemented and even fewer evaluated in a research and management context. Much of our science effort in E-flows has been directed primarily at method development, with less attention being given to monitoring, evaluation and subsequent revision of E-flow strategies. Our objectives are to highlight the lack of connection between current trends in E-flow literature and theory with assessment of the efficacy and practical application of these methods. Specifically, effective E-flows need to be explicit about flow-ecology relationships to adequately determine the amount and timing of water required. We briefly outline the historical development of E-flows and discuss how serial development of methods and techniques has restricted implementation, evaluation and revision. We highlight areas where methods are lacking, such as incorporation of data on flow-ecology relationships into operational use of E-flow methods. We suggest four initial steps that will improve the applicability, implementation and ultimate success of E-flows.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptive management, environmental watering, floodplain wetlands, flow-ecology relationships, freshwater, rivers
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Warfe, DM (Dr Danielle Warfe)
ID Code:93655
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:122
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2014-08-12
Last Modified:2014-08-20

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