Ecological research and management of intermittent rivers: an historical review and future directions

La recherche écologique et la gestion des rivières intermittentes : une revue historique et les orientations futures

Leigh, C. ; Boulton, A.J. ; Courtwright, J.L. ; Fritz, K. ; May, C.L. ; Walker, R.H. ; Datry, T.

Type de document
Article de revue scientifique à comité de lecture
Langue
Anglais
Affiliation de l'auteur
IRSTEA LYON UR MALY FRA ; ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND RURAL SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND ARMIDALE AUS ; US BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY NATIONAL AQUATIC MONITORING CENTER DEPARTMENT OF WATERSHED SCIENCES USA ; US EPA OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY USA ; DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY USA ; WYOMING COOPERATIVE FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH UNIT DEPARTMENT OF ZOOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING USA ; IRSTEA LYON UR MALY FRA
Année
2016
Résumé / Abstract
Rivers and streams that do not flow permanently (herein intermittent rivers; IRs) make up a large proportion of the world's inland waters and are gaining widespread attention. We review the research on IRs from its early focus on natural history through to current application in management and policy. The few early studies of the ecology of IRs were largely descriptive. Nevertheless, in the 1970s, synthesis of this sparse research complemented work on temporary standing waters to found a powerful framework for much of the subsequent research on IRs. Research on the ecology and biogeochemistry of IRs continues to fuel our understanding of resistance and resilience to drying and flooding as disturbances. Syntheses of the growing literature, including cross-continental and cross-climate comparisons, are revealing the generality and individuality of ecological and ecosystem responses to flow cessation and surface water loss. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of experiments test the causality of these responses. Much of the increased consideration of IRs in research, management and policy is driven by the observed and projected shifts in flow regimes from perennial to intermittent associated with changes in land and water use and climate, superimposed on the high incidence of natural intermittency. The need to protect and better manage IRs is prompting researchers to develop new or modified methods to monitor flow status and assess the ecological condition of these systems. Intermittent river research and management will benefit from greater exploration of aquatic–terrestrial linkages, wet–dry cycling and temporal dynamics, more-detailed mapping and predictive modelling of flow intermittency and the application of metapopulation and metacommunity concepts alongside multiple-stressors and novel-ecosystems research. By building on existing knowledge, continuing to develop quantitative models and distribution maps and using experiments to test hypotheses and concepts, we can further ecological understanding and wise management of these ubiquitous ecosystems.
Source
Freshwater Biology, vol. 61, p. 1181 - 1199

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