Work Package 1 - Fish population development in HP effected environments [Months: 1-48]

WP1 reviews and updates existing knowledge of the impact of hydropower on fish populations. It in particular collects metadata and evaluates knowledge, published and unpublished information on the species specific habitat requirements, dispersal abilities, ecological tolerances, life history traits and metapopulation dynamics across temporal and spatial scales. It performs a meta-analyses of species-specific characters to determine the resilience of fish species and populations to hydropower development at different temporal and spatial scales.

Principal cost-effect chains of the response of fish to hydropower development will be conceptualised and quantified using meta-analyses of fish response to hydropower and river fragmentation while explicitly considering the different site specific environmental and technical conditions of different hydropower facilities. This includes also a comparative analysis of the ecological benefits of habitat rehabilitation for fish and aims in deriving principal bottlenecks respectively the primary limiting factors for fish in hydro-power environments to be addressed by mitigation measures.

Conceptual and analytical linkages will be verified and further quantitatively substantiated using the modelling approaches and results from WP3 as well as new findings from the case studies in WP2.

In addition, this cross-cutting WP also provides guidance on sources of information on traits and characteristics of fish populations providing resilience to hydropower development as well as on the effects of hydropower, threatened species and life history traits and potential mitigation measures. WP1 compiles information and results from the recently completed project REFORM, ongoing EU project MARS, intercalibration work, ECOSTAT activities, and related IWRM-Net and BioDiversa projects, to produce output that feeds directly into meeting the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive, the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and the European Commission’s 2030 Energy Strategy.

Objectives:

  1. To compile a metadata overview of existing data and literature across Europe to improve the un-derstanding of river fish population ecology
  2. To compile a metadata overview of existing data and review the literature on factors determining the response and resilience of fish to river fragmentation and
  3. To perform meta-analysis on intrinsic biological responses of fish to hydropower development at different temporal and spatial scales and to identify species most at
  4. To develop a European Fish Population Hazard Index as decision and management tool for hydropower planning and environmental impact assessment
  5. To assess the cumulative impact of several, consecutive hydropower plants in rivers