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Lee,C

ECOSYSTEMSERVICESVALUEANDFLUVIALFEATURESOFRIVERDOVE
WehavefoundconsiderablefluvialfeaturesalongRiverDovewhichareabletopotentiallysupport
variousecosystemservicesintheareasuchastheprovisionoffisheries,agricultureandtimber,
theregulationoffloods,qualitywaterandcarbonsequestration,aswellasthebiodiversitypotential
ofthearea.

Fig1.ReachEcosystemScoresalongRiverDove,UK

Fig2.EcosystemServicesalongRiverDove,UK

Figure1graphicallyillustratesthevariousecosystemservicesthroughouteachreachofourareaof
survey,whileFigure2segregatestheecosystemservicesintocultural,regulatingandprovisioning
attributes.Theresultshavebeengeneratedviaoursurveyoftheriverbasedonthepresenceof
specificfluvialfeatureswhichcontributetotheservicevalueofeachreach.

Lee,C

Someecosystemservicesaremorestraightforwardtodeterminesuchastheprovisionoftimber
whichisdeterminedbythepresencelandcoverfeaturesofwoodlandplantationssurroundingthe
river(Highconcentrationsalongreaches1920,3132,3536),aswellaslargepresenceof
agriculturalcropsinreaches59.Otherserviceslikefisheriesandwaterqualityhaveamorecomplex
determinationbasedonseveralfluvialandmorphologicalfeatures.

Reach24particularlystandsoutashavingthehighestecosystemservicescorebearinghigh
biodiversity,fisheries,floodmitigation,carbonsequestrationandwaterqualityinacomplexregion
withabundantdenseforestryandmanyrivertributariesattheendoftheuplandsarea,andshallbe
examinedforthefluvialfeaturesthatcontributedtoit.

Wherethecapacityforfisheriesareparticularlyhigh,riversinuosityandhydrauliccomplexityare
high,aswellasvastpresenceofriparianwoodlandandfloodplainforest.Theseareimportantas
theycontributetofactorswhichallowforfishestothrivesuchashavingattenuationtotheflow,
increasedchanneldynamismandwettedperimeter,aswellasenhancednutrientcyclingand
oxygenationofwateratturbulentareas.Otherfactorsthatwerenotpresentinthisreachsuchas
channelbraidingandpresenceoffloodplainlakescanalsocontributetothepotentialforthe
provisionoffisheriesbyprovidingfishwithanidealhabitattothrivein.

Anotherimportantservicethatalloftheabovefluvialfeaturessansfloodplainlakesistheprovision
offloodmitigationcharacteristicswhichisimportantconsiderationespeciallywhendetermining
urbansettlementareas(orfloodplainareasotherwiseforagriculturalpurposes).Inaddition,the
presenceoffloodplainforest,largerivercorridorwidthratio,braiding,andsteepelevationhelpsto
furtherattenuateflowandincreasehydraulicdiversityandwettedperimeterwhichcontributeto
floodmitigationinthesurroundingsofthereach.

Waterqualityisinferredtobehighestinlowslopesasitallowsremovalofsedimentsandpromotes
naturalbiogeochemicalprocessingofwater.Palaeochannels,wetlands,floodplainforestandlakes
alsohelpintheprovisionofcleanwater.

BelowisthesummaryoftheecosystemservicescoreofRiverDove.

Table1.EcosystemServicesalongRiverDove,UK

Lee,C

HABITATFRAGMENTATION
Habitatfragmentationoccurswhenlargecontiguousareasarebrokenintosmallerpatchesby
disruptionscausedbyhumanornaturalactivity/features,therebydamagingthequalityofthe
naturalhabitatconsistingofbothanimalandplantspecieswhenecosystemsaredisruptedviaaloss
inconnectivityaswellassizethusthreateningbiodiversity.Thisaffectsthemigrationofspeciesas
wellaspossiblelocalextirpationofforestspecieswhenhabitatsbecometoosmalltosupportthem
andadjoininghabitatsalltoofartooallowmigration.

Fig3.ForestandLakeFragmentationalongRiverDove,UK

Figure3graphicallyrepresentsthesegmentationofforestandlakehabitatsalongtheriver,withthe
unchartedwhitespaceseparatingthefragmentedareas.

Significantanthropogenicactivitiessuchasintensiveagriculturealongthebanksoftherivers1are
theprimaryfactorcontributingtohabitatfragmentationalongRiverDove;alongwithwoodland
plantations,aswellasurbansettlementstowardstheendofthereachindisjointingnaturalforest
andlakehabitats,therebysubjectingthehabitattoecosystemdisturbances.

Assuch,biologicalconservationmeasureshavetobeemployedtoprotectecologicaldiversitysuch
asthoughtheadditionofconnectionsandcorridorswhichcanbemadeinordertoincreasethe
connectivityofhabitats.Large,intactcontiguousareascanbesetasideasprotectednaturereserves
vialegislationinordertosupportlargerpopulationsandbiodiversity.Creatingbiodiversityrich
fluvialhabitatssuchaswetlandscanalsohelpbuildbiodiversity.

However,thiswillbedifficultduetoincreasingeconomicandpoliticalforcesthatpursue
industrialisation,urbanisationandexploitationofnaturallandsandresourcesinpursuitofeconomic
goals.Assuch,themeritsofbiodiversityalongwithsufficientpoliticalandsocialwillhastobe
consideredinordertopropelconservationefforts.

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TheaquaticecologicalstatusoftheriversoftheUpperDoveCatchmentin2009
http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/73039