Landscape changes and habitat fragmentation associated with hidroelectric plants reservoirs: insights and perspectives from a central brazilian case history
Keywords:Dam, Fragmentation, Ecosystem services, Paranaiba river basin
AbstractDams 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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Copyright (c) 2014 Sérgio Faria Lopes, Vagner Santiago Vale, Jamir Afonso Prado-Jr., Ivan Schiavini, Paulo Eugênio Oliveira
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.