Ecological attributes of a tropical river basin vulnerable to the impacts of clustered hydropower developments

Sheaves, Marcus, Duc, Nguyen Huu , and Khoa, Nguyen Xuan (2008) Ecological attributes of a tropical river basin vulnerable to the impacts of clustered hydropower developments. Marine and Freshwater Research, 59 (11). pp. 971-986.

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The Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin in central Vietnam is subject to extensive hydropower development, with eight major and at least 34 minor hydropower installations planned for completion over the next 10 years. This intense clustering of hydropower developments has the potential to impact on aquatic fauna and ecosystems extensively. We sampled freshwater and estuarine fish across the river basin to evaluate the current status of the fish fauna, to determine the extent of zonal and habitat specialisation, to determine the prevalence of migration as a component of life-history strategies, to evaluate the likely magnitude of impacts, and to highlight areas where management intervention is needed and where more extensive study is most urgently required. Given the current high levels of exploitation, the fish fauna appeared surprisingly intact; however, a number of attributes of the fauna, such as the prevalence of migration as a life-history tactic, make this fauna particularly vulnerable to the impacts of hydropower development. Without extensive mitigation, the combinations of habitat alteration in dam and diversion areas and the imposition of a proliferation of barriers to migration will lead to severe population fragmentation, increasing the potential for local extinction, and severely compromise opportunities for recolonisation.

Item ID: 8478
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: dams; estuary; fresh water; habitat; migration; Vietnam; estuarine & freshwater ecology and management; earth structures
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2010 23:42
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960502 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments @ 100%
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