Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Impact of Climate Change on Hydroecological Response in Chalk Streams

Version 1 : Received: 21 December 2018 / Approved: 24 December 2018 / Online: 24 December 2018 (04:37:17 CET)

How to cite: Visser, A.; Beevers, L.; Patidar, S. The Impact of Climate Change on Hydroecological Response in Chalk Streams. Preprints 2018, 2018120266 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201812.0266.v1). Visser, A.; Beevers, L.; Patidar, S. The Impact of Climate Change on Hydroecological Response in Chalk Streams. Preprints 2018, 2018120266 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201812.0266.v1).

Abstract

Climate change represents a major threat to lotic freshwater ecosystems and their ability to support the provision of ecosystem services. England’s chalk streams are in a poor state of health, with significant concerns regarding their resilience, the ability to adapt, under a changing climate. This paper aims to quantify the effect of climate change on hydroecological response, the health of the river, for the River Nar, a SSSI in the south-east of England. To this end, we apply a coupled hydrological and hydroecological modelling framework, with the UKCP09 probabilistic climate projections serving as input (A1B high emissions scenario). Results show that, from 2021 to the end of the century, hydroecological response becomes more heterogeneous. Despite the limited range of the functional feeding groups on the baseline, the River Nar has been able to adapt to extreme events due to inter-annual variation. In the future, this variation is greatly reduced, raising real concerns over the resilience of the river ecosystem under climate change. These new insights into the health of the River Nar, and chalk streams more generally, highlights the necessity of further study and the real need to for changed river management practices.

Subject Areas

climate change impact; ecosystem functionality; freshwater ecosystems; UKCP09; hydroecological impact; river health

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