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Rethinking refuges: Implications of climate change for dam busting

Beatty, S.ORCID: 0000-0003-2620-2826, Allen, M., Lymbery, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0542-3446, Jordaan, M.S., Morgan, D., Impson, D., Marr, S., Ebner, B. and Weyl, O.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 Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
United Nations SDGs: Goal 15: Life on Land
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