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Hydropower impacts on reservoir fish populations are modified by environmental variation [Science of The Total Environment]

Keywords : anthropogenic disturbance, hydroelectricity, lake ecosystem, population dynamics, renewable energy, salmonid

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Global transition towards renewable energy production has increased the demand for new and more flexible hydropower operations. Before management and stakeholders can make informed choices on potential mitigations, it is essential to understand how the hydropower reservoir ecosystems respond to water level regulation (WLR) impacts that are likely modified by the reservoirs’ abiotic and biotic characteristics. Yet, most reservoir studies have been case-specific, which hampers large-scale planning, evaluation and mitigation actions across various reservoir ecosystems. Here, we investigated how the effect of the magnitude, frequency and duration of WLR on fish populations varies along environmental gradients. We used biomass, density, size, condition and maturation of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) in Norwegian hydropower reservoirs as a measure of ecosystem response, and tested for interacting effects of WLR and lake morphometry, climatic conditions and fish community structure.(...)

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