Mapping the world's free-flowing rivers

Grill, G. and Lehner, B. and Thieme, M. and Geenen, B. and Tickner, D. and Antonelli, F. and Babu, S. and Borrelli, P. and Cheng, L. and Crochetiere, H. and Macedo, H. Ehalt and Filgueiras, R. and Goichot, M. and Higgins, J. and Hogan, Z. and Lip, B. and McClain, M. E. and Meng, J. and Mulligan, M. and Nilsson, C. and Olden, J. D. and Opperman, J. J. and Petry, P. and Liermann, C. Reidy and Saenz, L. and Salinas-Rodriguez, S. and Schelle, P. and Schmitt, R. J. P. and Snider, J. and Tan, F. and Tockner, K. and Valdujo, P. H. and van Soesbergen, A. and Zarfl, C.. (2019) Mapping the world's free-flowing rivers. NATURE, 569 (7755). pp. 215-+.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73544/

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Free-flowing rivers (FFRs) support diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystems globally, providing important societal and economic services. Infrastructure development threatens the ecosystem processes, biodiversity and services that these rivers support. Here we assess the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers globally and identify those that remain free-flowing in their entire length. Only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length and 23 per cent flow uninterrupted to the ocean. Very long FFRs are largely restricted to remote regions of the Arctic and of the Amazon and Congo basins. In densely populated areas only few very long rivers remain free-flowing, such as the Irrawaddy and Salween. Dams and reservoirs and their up- and downstream propagation of fragmentation and flow regulation are the leading contributors to the loss of river connectivity. By applying a new method to quantify riverine connectivity and map FFRs, we provide a foundation for concerted global and national strategies to maintain or restore them.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
UniBasel Contributors:Borrelli, Pasquale
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:19 Aug 2020 12:11
Deposited On:19 Aug 2020 12:11

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