Departmental Paper Identifier
restoration, riparian, ecosystem services, dams, flow regulation
Sedimentary deltas forming in the world’s regulated rivers are a glaring gap in our knowledge of dammed riverine ecosystems. Basic ecological information is needed to inform the current debate about whether deltas should be retained and managed to gain ecosystem services lost under reservoirs or whether they should be partially removed to improve flow conveyance and to resupply sediment-starved reaches below dams. An examination of nine deltas on the heavily regulated upper and middle Missouri River showed the following: The sizes, dynamics, and biotic communities vary widely across deltas; riparian forest has established on portions of most deltas; the current delta area is over 1000 square kilometers, exceeding forest area in remnant unimpounded reaches and offering considerable land area for restoration actions; and small adjustments to reservoir operations could improve the restoration potential of deltas. Ecological studies are urgently needed to determine the future role that deltas could play in river ecosystem restoration.
DOI of Published Version
Oxford University Press
Copyright © The Author(s) 2015. All rights reserved
Volke, Malia A.; Scott, Michael L.; Johnson, W. Carter; and Dixon, Mark, "The Ecological Significance of Emerging Deltas in Regulated Rivers" (2015). Natural Resource Management Faculty Publications. 69.