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What else do managers need to know about warming rivers? A United Kingdom perspective

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posted on 16.07.2015, 13:02 authored by Harriet G. Orr, Matthew F. Johnson, Robert WilbyRobert Wilby, Tristan Hatton-Ellis, Samantha Broadmeadow
River flow and water temperature are fundamental controls of freshwater ecosystems. Hence, future warming could impact valued habitats and species, particularly those with cold water preferences (such as salmonids). Warming could also exacerbate existing environmental pressures or diminish the effectiveness of management interventions. Climate model projections provide compelling evidence of the need for adaptation despite uncertainty about the timing, nature, and distribution of impacts on water quality, vulnerable species, and habitats. Low-regret adaptation options to manage temperature impacts include increasing riparian shade, enhancing thermal refugia, and removing thermal barriers or hotspots. Indirect controls include managing river flows through abstraction and discharge regulation, moderating flow control structures, and manipulating channel hydromorphology. However, fundamental gaps in understanding may limit the effectiveness of some of these measures, leading to undesired side effects, wasted resources, ineffectual outcomes, or limited uptake. These knowledge gaps include where to target measures, how to implement in different situations, how to maximize co-benefits and integrate with other policy objectives, and how to support implementation across rural and agricultural landscapes. Despite many uncertainties, restoration of riparian shade and river flows has the potential to deliver multiple benefits even if this does not include retarding rates of warming.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

WIREs Water

Citation

ORR, H.G. et al., 2015. What else do managers need to know about warming rivers? A United Kingdom perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 2 (2), pp. 55–64.

Publisher

© Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: ORR, H.G. et al., 2015. What else do managers need to know about warming rivers? A United Kingdom perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 2 (2), pp. 55–64., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1062. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

eISSN

2049-1948

Language

en

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