Small Water Bodies in Great Britain and Ireland: Ecosystem function, human-generated degradation, and options for restorative action

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Riley, W. D., Potter, E. C. E., Collins, A. L., Biggs, J., Jarvie, H. P., Jones, J. I., Kelly-Quinn, M., Ormerod, S. J., Sear, D. A., Wilby, R. L., Broadmeadow, S., Brown, C. D., Chanin, P., Copp, G. H., Cowx, I. G., Grogan, A., Hornby, D. D., Huggett, D., Kelly, M. G., Naura, M., Newman, J. R. and Siriwardena, G. M. 2018. Small Water Bodies in Great Britain and Ireland: Ecosystem function, human-generated degradation, and options for restorative action. Science of the Total Environment. 645, pp. 1598-1616.

AuthorsRiley, W. D., Potter, E. C. E., Collins, A. L., Biggs, J., Jarvie, H. P., Jones, J. I., Kelly-Quinn, M., Ormerod, S. J., Sear, D. A., Wilby, R. L., Broadmeadow, S., Brown, C. D., Chanin, P., Copp, G. H., Cowx, I. G., Grogan, A., Hornby, D. D., Huggett, D., Kelly, M. G., Naura, M., Newman, J. R. and Siriwardena, G. M.
Abstract

Small, 1st and 2nd-order, headwater streams and ponds play essential roles in providing natural flood control,
trapping sediments and contaminants, retaining nutrients, and maintaining biological diversity, which extend into downstream reaches, lakes and estuaries. However, the large geographic extent and high connectivity of these small water bodies with the surrounding terrestrial ecosystem makes them particularly vulnerable to growing land-use pressures and environmental change. The greatest pressure on the physical processes in these waters has been their extension andmodification for agricultural and forestry drainage, resulting in highly modified discharge and temperature regimes that have implications for flood and drought control further downstream. The extensive length of the small streamnetwork exposes rivers to a wide range of inputs, including nutrients, pesticides, heavy metals, sediment and emerging contaminants. Small water bodies have also been affected by invasions of non-native species, which along with the physical and chemical pressures, have affected most groups of organismswith consequent implications for the wider biodiversitywithin the catchment. Reducing the impacts and restoring the natural ecosystem function of these water bodies requires a three-tiered approach based on: restoration of channel hydromorphological dynamics; restoration and management of the riparian zone; and management of activities in thewider catchment that have both point-source and diffuse impacts. Such activities are expensive and so emphasismust be placed on integrated programmes that provide multiple benefits. Practical options need to be promoted through legislative regulation, financial incentives, markets for resource services and voluntary codes and actions.

KeywordsStreams; Ponds; Headwaters; Anthropogenic pressures; Remediation; Ecosystem services
Year of Publication2018
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation645, pp. 1598-1616
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.243
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Jul 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Jul 2018
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN0048-9697

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