Title: A comprehensive assessment of stream fragmentation in Great Britain
Authors: JONES JOSHBÖRGER LUCATUMMERS JEROENJONES PETERLUCAS MARTINKERR JIMKEMP PAULBIZZI SIMONECONSUEGRA SOFIAMARCELLO LUCIOVOWLES ANDREWBELLETTI BARBARAVERSPOOR ERICVAN DE BUND WOUTERGOUGH PETERGARCIA DE LEANIZ CARLOS
Citation: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT vol. 673 p. 756-762
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC115908
ISSN: 0048-9697 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719316511?via%3Dihub
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC115908
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.125
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Artificial barriers are one of the main threats to river ecosystems, resulting in habitat fragmentation and loss of connectivity. Yet, the abundance and distribution of most artificial barriers, excluding high-head dams, is poorly documented. We provide a comprehensive assessment of the distribution and typology of artificial barriers in Great Britain, and estimate for the first time the extent of river fragmentation. To this end, barrier data were compiled from existing databases and were ground-truthed by field surveys in England, Scotland and Wales to derive a correction factor for barrier density across Great Britain. Field surveys indicate that existing barrier databases underestimate barrier density by 68%, particularly in the case of low-head structures (b1 m) which are often missing from current records. Field-corrected barrier density estimates ranged from0.48 barriers/kmin Scotland to 0.63 barriers/kmin Wales, and 0.75 barriers/kmin England. Corresponding estimates of stream fragmentation byweirs and dams only,measured as mean barrier-free length,were 12.30 kmin Scotland, 6.68 km in Wales and 5.29 km in England, suggesting the extent of river modification differs between regions. Our study indicates that 97% of the river network in Great Britain is fragmented and b1% of the catchments are free of artificial barriers.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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