Memorias de investigación
Communications at congresses:
Climate change effects on riparian vegetation communities: a case study in a free flowing river (NW Spain)

Research Areas
  • Hydrology

Fluvial system components, including riparian vegetation and channel morphology, are mostly structured by the hydrological conditions of the river. Hence, alteration of these hydrological conditions would inevitably lead to changes in river morphology and riparian vegetation. Climate change is an inevitable autonomous event which is going to alter hydrological conditions. Therefore, it is critical to assess the influence of climate change on river ecosystems and find ways to mitigate potential negative effects. The general assessment of global patterns of climate change predicts an increase of temperature and a decrease in total precipitation in southern Europe; and hydroclimatic models forecast a reduced discharge with higher winter flows and lower summer flows. These changes in flow conditions are likely to affect stream biota through changes in their life-cycles. The consequences of climate change have been widely studied in relation to macroinvertebrates and fish communities, but the effect on riparian vegetation is less well understood. Riparian vegetation is not only a biological element of the fluvial ecosystems that remains static under given conditions, but it interacts with morphological processes, generating distinct habitat mosaics and river patterns. In this study we model the interaction between riparian vegetation and morphodynamics under climate change conditions. To this end, we use an innovative model coupling advanced morphodynamics and dynamic vegetation (Van Oorschot et al., 2015). The model was applied in a wandering gravel bed river with a perennial flashy flow regime and mean annual discharge of 4.6 m3/s. We explore the response of riparian vegetation and river morphology to a changing flow pattern in the context of climate change analyzing the suitability of existing management scenarios to reduce the possible risks of habitat decline
XXXIII Congress International Society of Limnology
Turín, Italia
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BOOK OF ABSTRACTS of the XXXIII Congress International Society of Limnology

Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Hidrobiología
  • Departamento: Sistemas y Recursos Naturales