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The scope of the flood pulse concept regarding riverine fish and fisheries, given geographic and man-made differences among systems


Junk,  Wolfgang J.
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Junk, W. J., & Bayley, P. B. (2008). The scope of the flood pulse concept regarding riverine fish and fisheries, given geographic and man-made differences among systems. In J. L. Nielsen (Ed.), Reconciling fisheries with conservation: proceedings of the Fourth World Fisheries Congress (pp. 1907-1923). Bethesda, Md.: American Fisheries Society.

We combine a literature review with recent work to assess flood pulse concept (FPC) relevance and predictions with respect to responses of fish populations and riverfloodplain fisheries in tropical and temperate regions. In general, results have validated, or are consistent with the FPC, but in some cases, such as in dry-land and high latitude riverfloodplains,predictions of some FPC components are equivocal because of climatic, geophysical,and natural history differences and man-made changes. In temperate regions, timing of the flood pulse with respect to the temperature regime and the annual range of temperature are of fundamental importance for floodplain resource use by native fishes. Geomorphological constraints, combined with hydrologic and edaphic effects, cause considerable variation in primary and secondary production in floodplain and lotic environments along the river course and among systems, affecting community composition, production, and possibly adaptations of native fish. Systems with a strongly modified flood pulse suffer considerable reduction in their biological production and fishery yields, and we hypothesize that diversity of life history types is reduced and community structure is altered such that the resilience of fish populations to subsequent man-made or natural disturbances is also reduced. Therefore periodic coupling of the river channel with an intact floodplain by a flood pulse that corresponds to—or at least approximates—the natural disturbance regime is of vital importance for fish assemblages and inland fisheries, as well as for the entire system.