Legacies, lags and long-term trends: Effective flow restoration in a changed and changing world

Ross M Thompson, Alison King, Richard Kingsford, Ralph MAC NALLY, LeRoy POFF

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    1. Human impacts on natural ecosystems are pervasive and will play out more
    severely as human populations and per capita resource use increase. Freshwater
    ecosystems are critical for human well-being and experience a diverse range of
    human-induced pressures. Most river systems throughout the world have much-
    altered flow regimes.
    2. The Murray–Darling Basin in southeastern Australian has been the focus of an
    extensive water reform process to address the over-allocation of water for
    human uses. This has included many scientific investigations, hydrological mod-
    elling and the development of institutional and market structures to reallocate
    water. Substantial recovery of water has been achieved, which has been used to
    restore aspects of the natural flow regime.
    3. We reviewed recent papers on responses to flow restoration in the Murray–Darling Basin and complemented this with inferences from the global literature. Ecological responses to flow restoration are often inconsistent, site and taxon
    specific and difficult to detect.
    4. By combining ideas from mainstream thinking in restoration ecology with the
    insights from our review, we propose a conceptual model for understanding
    responses to flow restoration. This model incorporates key factors that influence
    the size of ecological responses to restoration, including existing ecological con-
    dition, legacy impacts of past change, interactions with other variables, life-his-
    tory traits of taxa and broad-scale and long-term trends due to climate or land-
    use change.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)986-995
    Number of pages10
    JournalFreshwater Biology
    Volume63
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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    basins
    restoration ecology
    market structure
    water allocation
    reform process
    water
    ecological restoration
    freshwater ecosystem
    resource use
    basin
    anthropogenic effect
    human population
    land use change
    river system
    anthropogenic activities
    long-term trend
    restoration
    climate
    rivers
    market

    Cite this

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    abstract = "1. Human impacts on natural ecosystems are pervasive and will play out moreseverely as human populations and per capita resource use increase. Freshwaterecosystems are critical for human well-being and experience a diverse range ofhuman-induced pressures. Most river systems throughout the world have much-altered flow regimes.2. The Murray–Darling Basin in southeastern Australian has been the focus of anextensive water reform process to address the over-allocation of water forhuman uses. This has included many scientific investigations, hydrological mod-elling and the development of institutional and market structures to reallocatewater. Substantial recovery of water has been achieved, which has been used torestore aspects of the natural flow regime.3. We reviewed recent papers on responses to flow restoration in the Murray–Darling Basin and complemented this with inferences from the global literature. Ecological responses to flow restoration are often inconsistent, site and taxonspecific and difficult to detect.4. By combining ideas from mainstream thinking in restoration ecology with theinsights from our review, we propose a conceptual model for understandingresponses to flow restoration. This model incorporates key factors that influencethe size of ecological responses to restoration, including existing ecological con-dition, legacy impacts of past change, interactions with other variables, life-his-tory traits of taxa and broad-scale and long-term trends due to climate or land-use change.",
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    Legacies, lags and long-term trends: Effective flow restoration in a changed and changing world. / Thompson, Ross M; King, Alison; Kingsford, Richard; MAC NALLY, Ralph; POFF, LeRoy.

    In: Freshwater Biology, Vol. 63, No. 8, 08.2018, p. 986-995.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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