Biotic responses to alterations in habitat-flow as a result of water abstraction and release in the lower Elands (Mpumalanga) and Mvoti (Kwazulu-Natal) Rivers, South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Von Bratt, Cameron
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-15T07:42:46Z
dc.date.available 2008-08-15T07:42:46Z
dc.date.issued 2008-08-15T07:42:46Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/860
dc.description.abstract The South African National Water Act (NWA) (No. 36 of 1998) recognises that in order to sustain the goods and services that are provided by rivers and their associated biological communities, it is necessary to conserve the entire aquatic ecosystem. Conservation and maintenance of ecosystem functioning entails the protection of the biotic components (i.e. fish, macroinvertebrates, riparian vegetation, etc.) and ensuring that the abiotic driver aspects (i.e. required amount and variability of flow, water quality and fluvial geomorphology) are addressed and met (Malan and Day, 2003). According to the Reserve Determination methodology (DWAF, 2003), sustainable utilisation of the river resources requires proper, responsible management and that exploitation without understanding or limits, impacts negatively on the ecological processes, functions and communities, both in the present and the future. Manipulation of the flow regimes of rivers, to provide water when and where people need it, has resulted in a growing deterioration in the condition (health) of riverine ecosystems (King et al., 2000). Stressors on aquatic ecosystems originating from these anthropogenic activities, include point and non-point loadings, land use influences and changes, and stream modification. These are usually defined by the drivers of aquatic ecosystems namely the geomorphology, hydrology and water quality. In turn, the effects on the physical habitat and water quality have both direct and indirect effects on the biotic communities present and are usually defined by biological responses to these changes (Kleynhans et al., 2005). There is currently limited data available to formally propose a methodology to quantify the significance of altered flows in riverine ecosystems brought about by the abstraction or excessive release of water by industrial activities on a reach scale. The aim of this study was to determine the degree and magnitude of habitat-flow alterations caused by pulp and paper mill activities in the Elands and Mvoti Rivers and to link the related biological responses to them. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prof. V. Wepener en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Ecosystem management en
dc.subject Water quality en
dc.subject Ecological disturbances en
dc.subject Aquatic sciences en
dc.subject Elands River (South Africa) en
dc.subject Mvoti River (South Africa) en
dc.title Biotic responses to alterations in habitat-flow as a result of water abstraction and release in the lower Elands (Mpumalanga) and Mvoti (Kwazulu-Natal) Rivers, South Africa en
dc.type Thesis en

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