DOI: 10.1101/461145Nov 8, 2018Paper

Dams have varying impacts on fish communities across latitudes: A quantitative synthesis

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Katrine TurgeonIrene Gregory-Eaves


Dams are recognized to impact aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but the magnitude of effects vary across studies. By using a meta-analytical approach, we examined the effects of impoundment on fish community across three large biomes. The impacts of dams on richness and diversity differed across biomes, with significant declines in the tropics, lower amplitude but similar directional changes in temperate reservoirs, and no changes in boreal reservoirs. Our analysis also showed that non-native species increased significantly in tropical and temperate reservoirs, but not in boreal reservoirs. In contrast, temporal trajectories in fish assemblage metrics were common across regions, with all biomes showing an increase in mean trophic position and in the proportion of generalist species after impoundment. Such changes in fish assemblages may affect food web stability and merit closer study. Across the literature examined, predominant factors or mechanisms that render fish assemblages susceptible to impacts from dams were: 1) the transformation of the lotic environment into a lentic environment; 2) habitat fragmentation and 3) invasive or non-native species. Collectively our results highlight that an understanding of the ...Continue Reading

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