eLibrary: Dams, Hydro & River Ecology

The purpose of this eLibrary is to introduce scientific research and debate on a range of themes concerning the impact of dams on river ecosystems. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. For readers new to the field, we recommend reading the Abstract and Conclusion first, before deciding whether to invest further in a specific piece. All the pieces are free-online. However, some items have been republished in Academia Edu [AE] and Research Gate [RG]. These can be accessed simply by registering at each (once only).



Agostinho A.A.,  e.a. (2008) ‘Dams and the fish fauna of the Neotropical region: impacts and management related to diversity and fisheries’, Brazilian Journal of Biology, 64 [RG]

Agostinho, C.S.e.a. (2011) ‘All that goes up must come down? Absence of downstream passage through a fish ladder in a large Amazonian riverHydrobiologia 675, 1–12. [RG]

Alho, C.J.R. (2011) ‘Environmental Effects of Hydropower Reservoirs on Wild Mammals and Freshwater Turtles in Amazonia: A Review’, Oecologia Australis 15, 3, 593-604 [RG]

Andersson, E., e.a. (2000) ‘Effects of River Fragmentation on Plant Dispersal and Riparian Flora’, Regulated Rivers: Research & Management, 16, 83-89

Arantes, C.C. e.a. (2019) ‘Impacts of hydroelectric dams on fishes and fisheries in tropical rivers through the lens of functional traits’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 37, 28-40.

ADB (2018) Impact of Dams on Fish in the Rivers of Nepal, 2018

Baumgartner, L., e.a. (2014) ‘Fish passage in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia: not just an upstream battleEcological Management and Restoration 15: 28–39.

Brown, J.J., e.a. (2013) ‘Fish and hydropower on the U.S. Atlantic coast: failed fisheries policies from half-way technologiesConservation Letters 6: 280–286.

Diaz, G., e.a. (2019) ‘Fragmentation of Chilean Andean rivers: expected effects of hydropower development’, Rivesta Chilena de Historia Natural, 92, 1,

Dudgeon, D. (2019) ‘Multiple threats imperil freshwater biodiversity in the AnthropoceneCurrent Biology, 29, 960-R967.

Dudgeon, D., e.a. (2006) ‘Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challengesBiological Reviews, 81, 163–182.

Dugan, P.J., e.a. (2010) ‘Fish migration, dams, and loss of ecosystem services in the Mekong BasinAmbio 39, 344–348. [AE]

Ferguson, J.W., e.a. (2011) ‘Potential Effects of Dams on Migratory Fish in the Mekong River: Lessons from Salmon in the Fraser and Columbia RiversEnvironmental Management, 47, 2011, 141-159 [RG]

Fuller, M.R., Doyle, M.W. and Strayer, D.L. (2016) ‘Causes and consequences of habitat fragmentation in river networks’, Annals of NY Academy of Sciences

Gough, P., Garrido, P.F. and van Herk, J. (2018) Dam Removal. A viable solution for the future of our European waters,

Jumani, S., e.a. (2020) ‘River fragmentation and flow alteration metrics: a review of methods and directions for future research’, Environmental Research Letters, 15

Kibler, K.M. and Tullos, D.D. (2013) ‘Cumulative biophysical impact of small and large hydropower development in Nu River, China’ Water Resources Research 49, 3104– 3118.

Laverty, M.F. and Gibbs, J.P. (2007) ‘Ecosystem Loss and Fragmentation: Synthesis’, Lessons in Conservation, 1, 72-96

Liermann, C.R., Nilsson, C., Robertson, J. & Ng, R.Y. (2012) ‘Implications of dam obstruction for global freshwater fish diversity’, Bioscience 62, 539–48.

Makrakis, S., e.a. (2019)  ‘Hydropower Development and Fishways: A Need for Connectivity in Rivers of the Upper Paraná Basin’, Sustainability, 11,

Marmulla G. (ed) (2001) Dams, fish and fisheries. Opportunities, challenges and conflict resolution, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, 419

Major, B. e.a. (2017) ‘The Role of Large and Small Scale Hydropower for Energy and Water Security in the Spanish Duero Basin’, Sustainability, 9.

McCartney, M., Funge-Smith, S. and Kura, Y. (????) Enhancing fisheries productivity through improved management of reservoirs, dams and other water control structures, IWMI

Micklin, P. (2016) ‘The Aral Sea: hope and despair’ Environmental Earth Sciences, 75, 9 [RG]

Nilsson, C. e.a. (2005) ‘Fragmentation and Flow Regulation of the World’s Large River Systems’, Science, 308, 405-408.

Olden, J.D. and Naiman, R.J. (2010) ‘Incorporating thermal regimes into environmental flow assessments: modifying dam operations to restore freshwater ecosystem integrityFreshwater Biology 55, 86–107.

Olden, J.D., e.a. (2014) ‘Are large-scale flow experiments informing the science and management of freshwater ecosystems?Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12, 176-185.

Orr, S., Pittock, J., Chapagain, A. and Dumaresq, D. (2012) ‘Dams on the Mekong River: lost fish protein and the implications for land and water resourcesGlobal Environmental Change 22, 925–932. [AE]

Poff, N.L. e.a. (2010) ‘The ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA): a new framework for developing regional environmental flow standardsFreshwater Biology 55, 147–170. [AE]

Pompeu, P.S., Agostinho, A.A. & Pelicice, F.M. (2012) ‘Existing and future challenges: the concept of successful fish passage in South AmericaRiver Research and Applications 28, 504–512. [RG]

Puijenbroek, P.J.T.M. van, e.a. (2018) ‘Species and river specific effects of river fragmentation on European anadromous fish species’, River Research and Applications, 35, 1, 68-77.

Schmutz, S. and C. Mielach (2015) Review of Existing Research on Fish Passage through Large Dams and its Applicability to Mekong Mainstream Dams. MRC Technical Paper No. 48. Mekong River Commission, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 149 pp. ISSN: 1683-1489.

Silva, A.T. e.a. (2018) ‘The future of fish passage science, engineering, and practice’, Fish and Fisheries 19,  340–362.

Soukhaphon, A., Baird, I.G. and Hogan, Z.S. (2021) ‘The Impacts of Hydropower Dams in the Mekong River Basin: A Review’, Water, 13,

Syvitski, J.P.M.and Kettner, A. (2011) ‘Sediment flux and the AnthropocenePhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 369, 957–975.

Syvitski, J.P.M., e.a. (2009) ‘Sinking deltas due to human activitiesNature Geoscience 2, 681–686. [RG]

Vörösmarty, C., e.a. (2004) ‘Humans transforming the global water systemEOS, American Geophysical Union Transactions 85, 509-514.

Vörösmarty, C.J. (2010) ‘Global threats to human water security and river biodiversityNature 467, 555–561. [RG]

Winemiller, K. O., e.a (2016) ‘Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and MekongScience 351, 128-129. [RG]

WWF, (????)  Rivers at Risk. Dams and the Future of Freshwater Ecosystems,

Yoshida, Y., e.a. (2020) ‘Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower Dams on Fisheries and Agriculture in Lower Mekong BasinSustainability, 12, 2020.

Zarfl, C., e.a. (2015) ‘A global boom in hydropower dam construction’, Aquatic Sciences 77: 161-170 [RG]