Assessing impacts of declining flows on Georgia floodplain rivers

Summary

Flows rates in Georgia Rivers are declining, and consequently flood pulses that connect the river channel with its floodplain are declining in frequency and magnitude. These flood pulse are crucially important ecological controls to both the river channel and the floodplain, and thus how these linked ecosystems function is changing.

Situation

River floodplains provide numerous ecosystem services to people, including maintaining water quality and enhancing valuable biodiversity. If floodplains in Georgia are now functioning differently than before, it would be very useful to know what has changed, and what are the implications.

Response

We are assessing how flood pulses of different magnitudes influence the ecology of Georgia floodplains, and their adjacent river channels, using measurements of water quality and assessment of macroinvertebrates known to be useful indicators of environmental health.

Impact

Knowledge about how flood pulses affect river and floodplain ecology will help people tasked with managing aquatic resources develop sound water management plans.

State Issue

Sustainability, Conservation, and the Environment

Details

  • Year: 2020
  • Geographic Scope: State
  • County: Clarke
  • Location: College Station, Athens
  • Program Areas:
    • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Author

    Batzer, Darold P
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