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Time-Scales for Ecological Change in Regulated Rivers

  • Geoffrey E. Petts

Abstract

River impoundment causes dramatic changes in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the river downstream; changes which are not only confined to the lotic system but also extend to the riparian and flood-plain systems, and, in some cases, to the near-shore zone. Dams interrupt the pattern of downstream transfers involving water, sediments, organic matter, nutrients etc., and river regulation has reduced the diversity-enhancing effects of increasing physical heterogeneity from low-to middle-order streams (Ward & Stanford 1983). However, one fundamental problem in the development of a general model of system response to river regulation is the failure of many studies to consider observed changes within an appropriate time-scale (Petts 1984). This paper describes a conceptual model which provides a temporal framework for the interpretation and assessment of spatial patterns of change within regulated rivers.

Keywords

Regulate River Invertebrate Density Lotic Ecosystem Transient System Glen Canyon 
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

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey E. Petts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of TechnologyLoughborough, LeicestershireUK

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