The scope for a system-based approach to determine fine sediment targets for chalk streams

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Mondon, B., Sear, D. A., Collins, A. L., Shaw, P. J. and Sykes, T. 2021. The scope for a system-based approach to determine fine sediment targets for chalk streams . Catena. 206 (105541). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105541

AuthorsMondon, B., Sear, D. A., Collins, A. L., Shaw, P. J. and Sykes, T.
Abstract

Fine sediment has a critical role in river ecosystems and is essential for habitat heterogeneity, ecosystem structure and function. Expansion and intensification of specific land uses, including agriculture, have increased fine sediment inputs into river networks. The detrimental impacts of excessive fine sediment on river ecosystems have been well documented and numerous sediment targets have been proposed or adopted to assess the gap between target and current levels of fine sediment. Where sediment targets exist, these are often over-simplified and applied across a wide range of river environments irrespective of the processes of fine sediment deposition and the tolerance or sensitivity of river biota to fine sediment. Thus, targets often fail to provide a reliable basis for identifying the need for management interventions to restore ecosystem health. This review adopts a system-based approach to the impacts of fine sediment after reviewing the suitability of existing targets for guiding management in chalk stream catchments specifically. Chalk streams are groundwater-dominated systems characterised by stable hydrological, ecological and thermal regimes and thus respond differently to excessive fine sediment compared with other fluvial systems. Chalk streams are often subject to high levels of sedimentation and siltation despite their low suspended sediment loads. In this paper, we review the characteristic processes and dynamics of chalk streams and how these influence fine sediment accumulation. The impacts of excessive fine sediment on chalk stream habitats and biota and the role ecosystem engineers play in the processes of fine sediment dynamics are discussed. Finally, we discuss the application of fine sediment targets for chalk streams in relation to the implementation of both source and process-based techniques for meeting the requirement for improved ecosystem management.

KeywordsChalk stream; Fine sediment; Sediment budget; Gravel-bed; Sediment targets
Year of Publication2021
JournalCatena
Journal citation206 (105541)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105541
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105541
Open accessPublished as non-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
Environment Agency PhD Studentship
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
PrintNov 2021
Online23 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Jun 2021
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0341-8162

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