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Estuaries

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1333–1342 | Cite as

A resource-based framework for establishing freshwater inflow requirements for the Suwannee River estuary

  • Robert A. MattsonEmail author
Article

Abstract

The availability of methods for establishing freshwater inflow requirements for estuaries lags behind those for establishing flow requirements in riverine ecosystems. Some of the basic principles and approaches for establishing riverine flow requirements may be applicable to estuaries. An emerging approach for establishing freshwater inflow needs for the Suwannee River estuary involves maintaining a natural inflow regime (in terms of magnitude, frequency, duration, and timing of freshwater flows) and identifying important habitat targets to be protected. The salinity-river flow conditions needed to sustain the habitat targets in their existing condition are then identified. A variety of tools are employed, such as salinity metrics, biological metrics, limits of distribution of communities or habitats, and landscape-scale characteristics to define the salinity and corresponding flow ranges needed to protect and maintain the resource targets. With this information, combined with use of models to evaluate flow-salinity relationships and various withdrawal scenarios, river flow criteria can be set which address the freshwater inflow requirements to maintain these ranges. Subsequentmonitoring and research is undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the river flow criteria in protecting the estuarine resource targets. This information can be used to subsequently confirm, refine, or modity the flow criteria.

Keywords

Flow Requirement Instream Flow Riverine Ecosystem Resource Target Biological Metrics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Suwannee River Water Management DistrictLive Oak

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