Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biologists map fish species at risk from dams

Date:
May 10, 2012
Source:
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Summary:
Researchers report the results of a global assessment of the threat that dams pose to fish species. Vulnerable species were defined as those whose life cycle requires migration or that are restricted to a specific region. Regions with high levels of river obstruction and large numbers of vulnerable species were mapped and identified as high-priority candidates for conservation or restoration projects.

Dams are believed to be one of the biggest threats to freshwater organisms worldwide: They disrupt normal patterns of water and sediment flow, impede migration, and alter the character of spawning and feeding grounds. A shortage of data has until now prevented a thorough global assessment of the threat dams pose to fish species, but a study described in the June issue of BioScience attempts just that.

The report, by Catherine Reidy Liermann of Umeε University, Sweden, and three coauthors, analyzed 397 ecologically distinct freshwater regions around the world and plotted the occurrence of dams greater than 15 meters high. This approach enabled the researchers to assess the amount of obstruction the dams caused. The authors then examined location data for fish species believed to be at risk of extinction because they are restricted to a specific region or because they have to migrate up rivers as part of their life cycle. This allowed the researchers to identify regions where dams pose the biggest risk to fish species. Factoring in where there has been additional habitat alteration -- a known risk for many fishes -- allowed the authors to further refine their list of the danger zones.

The results pointed to Murray-Darling Province (Australia), Southern Italy, the Lower and Middle Indus Basin, West Korea, the Upper Paranα (southern Brazil), the South Atlantic coast of the United States, and Mobile Bay ecoregions as having notable numbers of fish species at risk and heavy dam obstruction. Other parts of the United States in the 18 ecoregions deemed to present the greatest risks worldwide include the Great Lakes and part of the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the Danube, Iberia, and the Southern Temperate Highveld in South Africa are also on the list. These 18 ecoregions, the authors write, "merit immediate conservation attention." Eels, shads, lampreys, sturgeons, and salmonids stand out as being especially vulnerable.

The authors explain that their findings will help researchers and planners in identifying important regions where conservation is feasible because the watercourses are relatively unobstructed and are home to at-risk species. The results also flag regions where restoration -- possibly even including dam removal -- is desirable if fishes are to be conserved.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lena Gustafsson et al. Retention Forestry to Maintain Multifunctional Forests: A World Perspective. BioScience, July 2012 / Vol. 62 No. 7 DOI: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.7.6

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Biologists map fish species at risk from dams." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120510100351.htm>.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. (2012, May 10). Biologists map fish species at risk from dams. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120510100351.htm
American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Biologists map fish species at risk from dams." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120510100351.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins