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Environmental FlowsSaving Rivers in the Third Millennium$
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Angela H. Arthington

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273696

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273696.001.0001

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River Ecology, The Natural Flow Regime Paradigm, and Hydroecological Principles

River Ecology, The Natural Flow Regime Paradigm, and Hydroecological Principles

Chapter:
(p.49) 4 River Ecology, The Natural Flow Regime Paradigm, and Hydroecological Principles
Source:
Environmental Flows
Author(s):

Angela H. Arthington

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520273696.003.0004

River ecosystems are four-dimensional systems, with longitudinal, lateral, and vertical components, relationships, and processes; temporal vectors add the fourth dimension. The overriding importance of dynamic flow patterns in streams and rivers is captured in the Natural Flow Regime Paradigm. More general hydro-ecological principles conceptualise and quantify the ecological roles of flow, and contribute to the understanding of the flow requirements of rivers and their biota. Explicit hydro-ecological principles and conceptual models describe in-stream biodiversity (aquatic plants, invertebrates, and fish), riparian vegetation, and nitrogen dynamics. Although common to most stream and river ecosystems, particulars vary with climate, biogeographic region, topography, catchment vegetation, and flow regime type. Hydro-ecological principles and concepts described in this chapter provide the ecological foundations for environmental flow management.

Keywords:   river ecology, longitudinal, lateral and vertical dimensions, Natural Flow Regime Paradigm, hydro-ecological principles, environmental flow assessments

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