Fish population dynamics and diversity in boreal and temperate reservoirs: A quantitative synthesis

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

Abstract

River impoundments are commonly cited as key disturbances to freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Dams alter natural hydrological regimes, homogenize river system dynamics at a global scale, can act as barriers for migratory species and may facilitate species invasions. In this synthesis, we examined the short- and long-term effects of impoundment on fish population dynamics and community structure. At the population level, we tested the "trophic surge hypothesis", which predicts a hump-shaped response of fish abundance through time after impoundment. We tested the hypothesis on 40 recruitment time series and 125 adult abundance time series from 19 species and nine reservoirs distributed in temperate and boreal regions. At the community level, we compared diversity metrics (richness, evenness, diversity) on two datasets: 1) between reservoirs and reference ecosystems (lakes, rivers, and streams) and 2) over time (before and after impoundment and over time). At the population level, the trophic surge hypothesis was supported in more than 55% of the time series but we observed significant variation across species, reservoirs and regions. Fish recruitment increased substantially during reservoir filling and shortly after impoundment, an...Continue Reading

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