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Smaller future floods imply less habitat for riparian plants along a boreal river.
Ecol Appl 2019; :e01977EA

Abstract

Climate-change projections suggest large changes in riverine flow regime, which will likely alter riparian communities. In northern Europe, forecasts propose lower annual spring flood peaks and higher winter flows, resulting in narrower riparian zones. To estimate the impact of climate change on habitat extent of riparian plants, we developed a framework estimating the sensitivity and exposure of individual species to streamflow change, and surveyed five reaches along the free-flowing Vindel River in northern Sweden. We modeled the hydrologic niche of riparian plant species based on the probability of occurrence along gradients of flood frequency and duration and used predicted future water-level fluctuations (based on climate models and IPCC emission scenarios) to calculate changes in flow-related habitat availability of individual species. Despite projected increases in runoff, we predict most species to decrease in riparian elevational extent by on average 12-29% until the end of the century, depending on scenario. Species growing in the upper, spring-flood-controlled part of the riparian zone will likely lose most habitat, with the largest reductions in species with narrow ranges of inundation duration tolerance (decreases of up to 54%). In contrast, the elevational extent of most amphibious species is predicted to increase, but conditions creating isoëtid vegetation will become rarer or disappear: isoëtid vegetation is presently found in areas where ice formed in the fall settles on the riverbank during the winter as water levels subside. Higher winter flows will make these conditions rare. We argue that our framework is useful to project the effects of hydrologic change caused by climate change as well as other stressors such as flow regulation also in other regions. With few rivers remaining unaffected by dams and other human stressors, these results call for monitoring to detect species declines. Management to alleviate species losses might include mitigation of habitat degradation from land-use activities, more environmentally friendly flow schemes, and more intensive management options such as mowing riparian meadows no longer regularly maintained by recurrent floods.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, SE-901 87, Sweden.Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, SE-901 87, Sweden.Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, SE-901 87, Sweden.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31323161

Citation

Jansson, Roland, et al. "Smaller Future Floods Imply Less Habitat for Riparian Plants Along a Boreal River." Ecological Applications : a Publication of the Ecological Society of America, 2019, pp. e01977.
Jansson R, Ström L, Nilsson C. Smaller future floods imply less habitat for riparian plants along a boreal river. Ecol Appl. 2019.
Jansson, R., Ström, L., & Nilsson, C. (2019). Smaller future floods imply less habitat for riparian plants along a boreal river. Ecological Applications : a Publication of the Ecological Society of America, pp. e01977. doi:10.1002/eap.1977.
Jansson R, Ström L, Nilsson C. Smaller Future Floods Imply Less Habitat for Riparian Plants Along a Boreal River. Ecol Appl. 2019 Jul 19;e01977. PubMed PMID: 31323161.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Smaller future floods imply less habitat for riparian plants along a boreal river. AU - Jansson,Roland, AU - Ström,Lotta, AU - Nilsson,Christer, Y1 - 2019/07/19/ PY - 2018/12/12/received PY - 2019/05/14/revised PY - 2019/06/14/accepted PY - 2019/7/20/pubmed PY - 2019/7/20/medline PY - 2019/7/20/entrez KW - climate change KW - flooding KW - inundation KW - niche width KW - river KW - riverbanks KW - water table SP - e01977 EP - e01977 JF - Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America JO - Ecol Appl N2 - Climate-change projections suggest large changes in riverine flow regime, which will likely alter riparian communities. In northern Europe, forecasts propose lower annual spring flood peaks and higher winter flows, resulting in narrower riparian zones. To estimate the impact of climate change on habitat extent of riparian plants, we developed a framework estimating the sensitivity and exposure of individual species to streamflow change, and surveyed five reaches along the free-flowing Vindel River in northern Sweden. We modeled the hydrologic niche of riparian plant species based on the probability of occurrence along gradients of flood frequency and duration and used predicted future water-level fluctuations (based on climate models and IPCC emission scenarios) to calculate changes in flow-related habitat availability of individual species. Despite projected increases in runoff, we predict most species to decrease in riparian elevational extent by on average 12-29% until the end of the century, depending on scenario. Species growing in the upper, spring-flood-controlled part of the riparian zone will likely lose most habitat, with the largest reductions in species with narrow ranges of inundation duration tolerance (decreases of up to 54%). In contrast, the elevational extent of most amphibious species is predicted to increase, but conditions creating isoëtid vegetation will become rarer or disappear: isoëtid vegetation is presently found in areas where ice formed in the fall settles on the riverbank during the winter as water levels subside. Higher winter flows will make these conditions rare. We argue that our framework is useful to project the effects of hydrologic change caused by climate change as well as other stressors such as flow regulation also in other regions. With few rivers remaining unaffected by dams and other human stressors, these results call for monitoring to detect species declines. Management to alleviate species losses might include mitigation of habitat degradation from land-use activities, more environmentally friendly flow schemes, and more intensive management options such as mowing riparian meadows no longer regularly maintained by recurrent floods. SN - 1051-0761 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31323161/Smaller_future_floods_imply_less_habitat_for_riparian_plants_along_a_boreal_river L2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=1051-0761&date=2019&volume=&issue=&spage=e01977 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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