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Title: Effects of human-driven water stress on river ecosystems: a meta-analysis
Author: Sabater, Sergi
Bregoli, Francesco
Acuna, Vicenc
Barcelo, Damia
Elosegi, Arturo
Ginebreda, Antoni
Marce, Rafael
Muñoz Gràcia, Isabel
Sabater-Liesa, Laia
Ferreira, Veronica
Keywords: Cursos d'aigua
Influència de l'home en la natura
Effect of human beings on nature
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2018
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Abstract: Human appropriation of water resources may induce water stress in freshwater ecosystems when ecosystem needs are not met. Intensive abstraction and regulation cause river ecosystems to shift towards non-natural flow regimes, which might have implications for their water quality, biological structure and functioning. We performed a meta-analysis of published studies to assess the potential effects of water stress on nutrients, microcontaminants, biological communities (bacteria, algae, invertebrates and fish), and ecosystem functions (organic matter breakdown, gross primary production and respiration). Despite the different nature of the flow regime changes, our meta-analysis showed significant effects of human-driven water stress, such as significant increases in algal biomass and metabolism and reduced invertebrate richness, abundance and density and organic matter decomposition. Water stress also significantly decreased phosphate concentration and increased the concentration of pharmaceutical compounds. The magnitude of significant effects was dependent on climate, rainfall regime, period of the year, river size and type of water stress. Among the different causes of water stress, flow regulation by dams produced the strongest effects, followed by water abstraction and channelization.
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It is part of: Scientific Reports, 2018, vol. 8, p. 11462
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ISSN: 2045-2322
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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