THE IMPORTANCE OF VARIABLE LATERAL CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN ARTIFICIAL FLOODPLAIN WATERBODIES AND RIVER CHANNELS
Article first published online: 7 APR 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
River Research and Applications
Volume 28, Issue 8, pages 1189–1199, October 2012
How to Cite
Bolland, J. D., Nunn, A. D., Lucas, M. C. and Cowx, I. G. (2012), THE IMPORTANCE OF VARIABLE LATERAL CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN ARTIFICIAL FLOODPLAIN WATERBODIES AND RIVER CHANNELS. River Res. Applic., 28: 1189–1199. doi: 10.1002/rra.1498
- Issue published online: 8 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 5 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 21 MAY 2010
- reproductive guild;
- spatial heterogeneity;
The rehabilitation of lowland rivers subjected to channelization and artificial levee construction should attempt to improve habitat heterogeneity and diversity of floodplain hydrological connectivity. However, rehabilitation efforts rarely consider the importance of variable lateral hydrological connectivity between floodplain waterbodies and main river channels (ranging from those permanently connected to those temporarily connected during river level rises), instead focusing on increasing individual floodplain waterbody connectivity. This study investigated the young-of-the-year (YoY) fish communities in 10 artificial floodplain waterbodies of variable hydrological connectivity with the river Trent, England, between May and November 2006, inclusive. Floodplain waterbody connectivity to the main river was positively correlated with the number of species captured (alpha diversity), Shannon–Wiener diversity, Margalef's species richness index and the relative abundance of rheophilic species and negatively correlated with species turnover (beta diversity). YoY fish communities in poorly connected water bodies were most dissimilar to riverine communities. The results demonstrate the importance of variable lateral connectivity between artificial floodplain waterbodies and main river channels when rehabilitating lowland river fish communities. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.