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Flannelmouth sucker, Catostomus latipinnis, a fish endemic to the Colorado River basin in the western United States, appears to experience poor recruitment to adult size in the Colorado River, downstream of Glen Canyon Dam. Lack or impermanence of rearing areas for young-of-year (YOY) fish is hypothesized to be the problem. Knowing the importance of tributary mouths as rearing areas in other river systems, we studied use of the mouth of the Paria River, a tributary of the Colorado River, by YOY flannelmouth suckers, and the availability of rearing area in the mouth at different flow levels in the Colorado River in 1996 and 1997. We also examined the relationship between flash floods in the Paria River and catch-per-unit-effort...
We tested the recolonization of the phytobenthic community in the tailwaters of Glen Canyon Dam following long- and short-term experimentally induced desiccation. The response of Cladophora glomerata, Oscillatoria spp., miscellaneous phytobenthos species and periphyton was studied over 18 weeks using three treatments: (1) undisturbed control cobbles from the submerged zone; (2) cobbles desiccated and replaced into the submerged zone; and (3) cobbles desiccated and replaced into the varial zone. Periphyton density and compositional response resulting from these treatments were also examined. Desiccation treatments were significantly different in biomass from controls throughout the study. The biomass of desiccated...
Empirical evidence from a semiarid watershed of the southwestern United States (Verde River basin, Arizona) indicated that abundance and species richness of mixed deciduous riparian forests varied in a curvilinear and quantifiable fashion as a function of stream flow parameters. Three indicators of riparian abundance?foliage area, stem basal area and stand width?increased most significantly with growing season flow volume, a surrogate indicator of riparian water availability. Tree species richness varied in a bell curve fashion with flood size, with the greatest richness occurring at streams with intermediate flood magnitudes. These instream flow models have management implications for riparian habitats. They suggest...
We revisit the serial discontinuity concept (SDC), which predicts river ecosystem responses to stream regulation in the context of recovery with distance downstream from the dam (discontinuity distance). Many studies have described pervasive interruptions of natural biophysical gradients of dams by comparing conditions in tailwaters to reference or pre-impoundment conditions. But only a few studies provide data or interpretations that explicitly test the SDC within entire stream corridors or along specifically defined reaches where recovery was expected in view of the predictions of the SDC. We present discontinuity distance measures for nine rivers around the world where the predictions of the SDC were substantiated....
Samples were taken year-round at eleven sites along the altitudinal profile (2900-1400 m a.s.l.) of the Gunnison River, a 329 km tributary of the Colorado River, to document the distribution of the Plecoptera and to evaluate responses to hypolimnial-release dams in the headwaters and middle reaches. Twenty-two species were present, with the greatest species richness occurring in an unregulated segment upstream of the middle reach dams; average nymphal biomass over the study period (175 organisms, 395 mg dry mass m?2) was also greatest in this segment. Only four species (58 organisms, 48 mg m?2) were present in the tailwaters of the headwater dam and values were greatly reduced (nine species; 35 organisms, 180 mg...
The Green River is a major tributary of the Colorado River with a drainage area of 115 770 km2 in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The influence of Flaming Gorge Dam on sediment transport and the potential for future channel change were studied using comparative analysis of historical aerial photographs from 1952 to 1987 and geographical information systems, published sediment (1951-86) and discharge (1965-87) records, and sediment data collected during 1986-8. Since the closure of the dam in 1964, new equilibrium channel widths were apparently achieved by 1974 in the reach 161-279 km below Flaming Gorge Reservoir and by 1981 in the reach 465-509 km below the reservoir. Recent high flows have resulted in an increase...
Impoundment and diversion of watercourses for power production and water supply can have profound effects on the mayfly fauna. To explain such effects a species-specific approach is adopted on account of differing habitat requirements and life histories in the order and even within genera. Environmental conditions such as discharge and flow patterns, temperature, food availability, and predation may be changed. This leads to changes in the density and species composition of the mayfly community, especially when there is a hypolimnion drain from reservoirs. Temperature changes below such reservoirs may remove obligatory life cycle thresholds. Prolonged periods of low discharge lead to the dominance of genera, such...
The influence of stream regulation on environmental conditions and concomitant alterations of macroinvertebrate community structure was determined from field studies conducted from September 1981-June 1983 at three sites on the upper Colorado River. Site 1 (reference site) was located above Granby and Shadow Mountain Reservoirs, a deep-release storage impoundment, whereas sites 2 (regulated site) and 3 (recovery site) were located 0·4 and 4·0 km, respectively, below the dam. Although macroinvertebrate diversity was reduced at the regulated site compared to both the reference and recovery sites, the number of taxa (43) was considerably higher than values reported from studies of other regulated streams in the Rocky...