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Title: River Wissey investigations : linking hydrology and ecology March 1994
Author: G.E. Petts
Author: M.A. Bickerton
Document Type: Monograph
The Wissey is recognised as a Chalk stream of high conservation value, possessing the physical and ecological attributes valued in such rivers, including a rich invertebrate diversity and a natural Brown Trout population. Draining the Chalk Breckland, the river has a naturally regulated flow regime. The river ecology is likely to be adapted to the good year round flows and concerns have been raised about the sustainability of the Wissey's high biological quality under the pressures of increasing water abstraction. Little scientific information exists on the crucial link between hydrology and ecology. Studies of the effects of water abstractions on river invertebrates at the national scale have failed conclusively to elucidate links, but have suggested that lowland streams in general, and Chalk streams in particular might be most severely affected. Furthermore, Wilby 1993, demonstrated that for 17 catchments in England, the hydrology of the Chalk streams of Norfolk, having low recharge, are likely to be relatively sensitive to groundwater abstraction. This study evaluates the influence of flows on the distribution of fauna in the River Wissey. Hydrology influences river ecology in two ways, directly, through the flow regime, by determining the hydraulic characteristics within a channel of given form, and indirectly, by affecting water quality and substrate character. There are also important linkages between flow and channel morphology, and flow and macrophyte distribution, and instream hydraulics.
Publisher: National Rivers Authority
Publication Date: 1994
Publication Place: Peterborough
Subject Keywords: Chalk streamsWater qualityFlow rateFaunaHydrology
Geographic Keywords: WisseyCam and Ely Ouse catchmentNorfolk
Extent: 85
Total file downloads: 300

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