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A review of the processes and effects of droughts and summer floods in rivers and threats due to climate change on current adaptive strategies

Edwards, Francois K.; Baker, Roger; Dunbar, Michael; Laize, Cedric. 2012 A review of the processes and effects of droughts and summer floods in rivers and threats due to climate change on current adaptive strategies. Wallingford, NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 75pp. (UNSPECIFIED)

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Abstract/Summary

Europe is expected to experience a greater frequency of floods and droughts as precipitation and evapotranspiration patterns are modified by climate change in future. Several large scale drought and flooding events have occurred in Europe since 2000. Studies of drought are rare but indicate important impacts on freshwater habitats, water quality, plants and animals, which may have wider consequences for ecosystem functioning. The main factors determining the impacts of droughts and floods are event duration and seasonality of the event. A diverse habitat distribution and the presence of refugia at the reach scale confer the most resilience against droughts and floods. Management measures will also be impacted particularly with regard to riparian zones, channel morphology, flow and floodplain connectivity. However there is a conflict between management actions that target the effects of drought, and those that target floods. This report reviews information on droughts and aseasonal floods (summer floods) published since 2000 with a principal focus on small lowland rivers. Using several recent (post 2000) reviews on these topics, we describe abiotic and biotic effects of droughts and floods, providing recent European examples where possible. We explain the current status of droughts and summer floods in Europe, and where the main sources of data can be found. We highlight the threats posed by these phenomena to some of the most common current adaptive management strategies in place in the EU. To this end we use measures already described within REFRESH under Deliverables 1.1 and 1.2, and we focused solely on adaptive measures relating to riparian zones, channel morphology, flow and floodplain connectivity.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.3 - Assess the responses of river, lake and wetland ecosystems to ecohydrological drivers
CEH Sections: Acreman
Funders/Sponsors: European Union
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: EU FP7 REFRESH deliverable 2.14; official URL link provides access to full text
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Hydrology
Related URLs:
Date made live: 25 Jun 2012 15:25
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/18414

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