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Schulting, L; Feld, CK; Graf, W.
(2016): Effects of hydro- and thermopeaking on benthic macroinvertebrate drift
SCI TOTAL ENVIRON. 2016; 573: 1472-1480. FullText FullText_BOKU

The operation of storage hydropower plants is commonly linked to frequent fluctuations in discharge and water level (hydropeaking) of downstream river stretches and is often accompanied by cooling or warming of the water body downstream (cold or warm thermopeaking, respectively). The objective of this study is to assess the single and combined effects of hydropeaking and cold thermopeaking on the drift of selected aquatic macro invertebrates in experimental flumes. The study specifically aims to (1) investigate the macroinvertebrate drift induced by hydropeaking, (2) identify taxon-specifiC drift patterns following combined hydropeaking and cold thermopeaking and (3) quantify diurnal drift differences under both impact types. Overall, hydropeaking induced significantly higher drift rates of most macroinvertebrate taxa. Combined hydropeaking and cold thermopealdng, however, revealed reduced total drift rates, however with strong taxon-specific response patterns. Hydropeaking during night led to significantly higher drift rates than during daytime, while in combination with thermopeaking the same trend was observable, although insignificant. Taxon-specific analysis revealed lower drift rates following hydropeaking for rheophilic and interstitial taxa (e.g. Leuctra sp., Hydropsyche sp.), whereas many limnophilic taxa adapted to low current showed markedly increased drift (e.g. Lepidostoma hirtum and Leptoceridae). In line with previous studies, our results confirm a significant loss of limnophilic macroinvertebrate taxa following hydraulic stress.The mitigating effect of cold thermopeaking might be explained by behavioural patterns, but requires further investigation to clarify if macroinvertebrates actively avoid drift and intrude into the interstitial, when cold water is discharged. Our results imply that river restoration projects must address the hydrological regime and, if necessary need to include suitable management schemes for hydropower plants. Besides operative management measures, the construction of reservoirs to buffer hydropeaks or the diversion of hydropeaks into larger water bodies could mitigate hydropeaking effects and foster biological recover}, including limnophilic taxa. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Graf Wolfram
Schülting Lisa

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Storage hydropower plants
Hydraulic stress
Thermal stress
Benthic invertebrates
Diurnal patterns

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