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A new index to quantify longitudinal river fragmentation : conservation and management implications

Jumani Suman, Deitch: Matthew J., Valle Denis, Machado Siddarth, Lecours Vincent, Kaplan David, Krishnaswamy Jagdish et Howard Jeanette. (2022). A new index to quantify longitudinal river fragmentation : conservation and management implications. Ecological Indicators, 136, e108680.

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The proliferation of river infrastructure projects has altered aquatic longitudinal connectivity, posing a growing threat to riverine biodiversity and ecosystem processes worldwide. Effective methods to quantify loss of river connectivity across spatiotemporal scales and in data-limited landscapes are important to understand and inform basin-wide conservation and development planning. Here we introduce a Catchment Area-based Fragmentation Index (CAFI) and its derivative, the Catchment Area- and Rainfall-based Fragmentation Index (CARFI) as new metrics to quantify river fragmentation. These indices use catchment area as a proxy for riverine habitat availability, avoiding the drawbacks of existing metrics that rely on river length and associated derivatives. CAFI/CARFI can be computed across spatiotemporal scales, incorporate barrier passability values, assesses the cumulative impact of multiple barriers, and be applied even in data-limited environments.

We first applied CAFI and CARFI to a simulated network to illustrate their properties with respect to the number and location of barriers and compared these results to the widely applied Dendritic Connectivity Index (DCI). While all indices varied with barrier addition, CAFI and CARFI were more sensitive to both barrier number and location. Next, we illustrated the utility of CAFI and CARFI through case studies in two contrasting settings: the Klamath River in California, where dam building has ceased (and dam removals are being considered) and the Netravathi River in India, where dam building is ongoing, with 65 dams proposed for future development. Results indicate that CAFI and CARFI can effectively quantify trends in fragmentation across spatial scales and temporal scenarios of dam development (i.e. descriptive applications) and can aid the prioritization of sites for dam removal, restoration, or conservation (i.e. prescriptive applications). Overall, these indices can quantify the impacts of individual dams and assess a range of development scenarios to inform basin-wide conservation and development planning.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:Mars 2022
Nombre de pages:1
Identifiant unique:10.1016/j.ecolind.2022.108680
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Sciences de la terre (géologie, géographie)
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Unités de recherche > Centre de recherche sur la Boréalie (CREB)
Mots-clés:river connectivity, dams, fragmentation index, conservation, river network, aquatic connectivity
Déposé le:27 oct. 2023 18:38
Dernière modification:27 oct. 2023 18:38
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