Rivers are amongst the most diverse ecosystems, a source of essential services for Humanity, but also among the most endangered ecosystems on Earth. Rivers are threatened by multiple stressors, including changes in water flow, impacts on channel form, the reception of an increasing variety of novel pollutants, the overexploitation of resources, and habitat depletion. Riverine biodiversity is suffering dramatic decreases that threaten the functioning of these ecosystems and the services and benefits we obtain from them. River conservation is at the crossroad between sound science and the understanding of societal needs and policy issues. River Conservation: Challenges and Opportunities discusses the main threats faced by river ecosystems, the main socioeconomic drivers of these threats, and the possibilities to conserve and restore rivers. The main message is one of urgency: there is no time to lose to preserve a significant proportion of river biodiversity. But it is also a message of hope: rivers are the fastest ecosystems to recover from disturbance, and it is possible to restore them to healthy states. This book is addressed not only to scientists or environmentalists, but to every person interested in understanding and preserving one of the most fascinating parts of our Planet Earth.
PrefaceSergi Sabater and Arturo Elosegi WHY CONSERVE RIVERS1. River Conservation: Going against the Flow to Meet Global ChallengesSergi Sabater, Arturo Elosegi and David Dudgeon STRESSORS AFFECTING RIVERS2. The Silent River: The Hydrological Basis for River ConservationTim Burt 3. River s Architecture Supporting LifeRamon J. Batalla and Damià Vericat 4. Nutrient Pollution: A Problem with SolutionsR. Jan Stevenson and Peter C. Esselman 5. The River Drugstore: The Threats of Emerging Pollutants to River ConservationMira Petrovic, Antoni Ginebreda, Isabel Muñoz and Damià Barceló ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF RIVERS UNDER THREAT6. Anthropocene Extinctions: Global Threats to Riverine Biodiversity and the Tragedy of the Freshwater CommonsDavid Dudgeon 7. So What? Implications of Loss of Biodiversity for Ecosystem FunctioningSylvain Dolédec and Núria Bonada 8. The Problem of Invasive Species in River EcosystemsKurt D. Fausch and Emili Garcia-Berthou 9. Between the Land and the River: River Conservation and the Riparian ZoneTim Burt, Gilles Pinay, Nancy Grimm and Tamara Harms 10. Ecological Connectivity for River ConservationDeb Finn and Jeremy Monroe SCIENCE AND SOLUTIONS: MOVING BEYOND THREATS11. Ecological Restoration to Conserve and Recover River Ecosystem ServicesMargaret A. Palmer and Owen T. McDonough 12. The Role of Science in Planning, Policy and Conservation of River EcosystemsCliff Dahm, Andrew Boulton, Lindsay Correa, Richard Kingsford, Kim Jenkins and Fran Sheldon 13. Good News: Progress in Successful River Conservation and RestorationAndrew Boulton, Cliff Dahm, Lindsay Correa, Richard Kingsford, Kim Jenkins, Junjiro Negishi, Futoshi Nakamura, Peter Wijsman, Fran Sheldon and Peter Goodwin 14. Concluding Remarks on River ConservationArturo Elosegi, Sergi Sabater and Andrew Boulton List of BoxesList of FiguresList of TablesIndexAbout the Authors