Rethinking refuges: implications of climate change for dam busting

Beatty, Stephen, Allen, Mark, Lymbery, Alan, Jordaan, Martine S., Morgan, David, Impson, Dean, Marr, Sean, Ebner, Brendan, and Weyl, Olaf L.F. (2017) Rethinking refuges: implications of climate change for dam busting. Biological Conservation, 209. pp. 188-195.

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Climate change is projected to alter river discharge in every populated basin in the world. In some parts of the world, dam removal now outpaces their construction and the diminishing cost efficiency of dams in drying regions is likely to further increase the rate of removals. However, the potential influence of climate change on the impact of dam removals has received almost no consideration. Most dams have major biological and ecological impacts and their removal would greatly benefit riverine ecosystems. However, using model regions in the Southern Hemisphere, we highlight that artificial lentic habitats created by dams can act as refuges for increasingly imperiled freshwater fishes, and dams may also prevent the upstream spread of invasive alien species in rivers. We argue that, in these and other regions where the major impact of climate change will be to reduce streamflow and aquatic refuge availability, a shifting balance between the negative and positive environmental impacts of dams requires policy makers to include climate change predictions in prioritisation processes for dam removal.

Item ID: 51478
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Funders: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), National Water Commission, National Climate Change Adaptatoin Research Facility (NCCARF), National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF), Water Research Commission (WRC)
Projects and Grants: NCCARF FW11-01, NRF Grant No. 77444, WRC project K5-2261, WRC project K5-2538
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 01:38
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310304 Freshwater ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3199 Other biological sciences > 319902 Global change biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960913 Water Allocation and Quantification @ 50%
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