Landscape changes and habitat fragmentation associated with hidroelectric plants reservoirs: insights and perspectives from a central brazilian case history

Authors

  • Sérgio Faria Lopes Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
  • Vagner Santiago Vale Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Jamir Afonso Prado-Jr Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Ivan Schiavini Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Paulo Eugênio Oliveira Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Keywords:

Dam, Fragmentation, Ecosystem services, Paranaiba river basin

Abstract

Dams are important sources of hydroelectric power and many are being built in Brazil without a clear understanding of the environmental consequences. Here we review the biological impacts of these construction and discuss a particular case history in the Araguari river basin. Many studies showed structural changes in plant and animal populations, both in temporal and spatial scale, and works about the negative impacts of hydroelectric power plants have intensified over the years. However, the detailed consequences of the landscape fragmentation imposed by dams on plant and animal populations are still unclear. A reservoir creates a huge lakeshore, isolating areas previously connected, and transforming the environment in a mosaic of fragmented habitats. This new discontinuity can modify local biodiversity and affect important processes to fauna and flora maintenance, such as dispersal and migration ability. The new conditions imposed by a reservoir also increase soil moisture, temperature, light incidence and air speed, which alter plant communities located on the lakeshore of these dams. We carried out some such studies on forests affected by dams located on the Araguari River basin and some of them showed changes in the arboreal communities and on the regeneration of seedlings, saplings and young trees after damming, suggesting modifications on structure, composition and functions of these forests.

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Published

2014-07-17

How to Cite

LOPES, S.F., VALE, V.S., PRADO-JR, J.A., SCHIAVINI, I. and OLIVEIRA, P.E., 2014. Landscape changes and habitat fragmentation associated with hidroelectric plants reservoirs: insights and perspectives from a central brazilian case history . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 1205–1212. [Accessed24 May 2022]. Available from: https://seer.ufu.br/index.php/biosciencejournal/article/view/22416.

Issue

Section

Biological Sciences