Impoundments and habitat removal are the major cause of altered connectivity in estuaries. Impoundments can impact both lateral and longitudinal connectivity, firstly, by stopping flood water coming downstream and flooding floodplain areas, and secondly, by physically stopping fish movement up/downstream. Habitat removal can result in habitat fragmentation and form a barrier to the movement of species. Changes in the connectivity between freshwater reaches and the estuary/marine environment can have a major impact on diadromous fish life cycles.
View a conceptual model of potential causes of a change to connectivity and the condition responses observed as a result of this change.
There are a number of causes and symptoms related to this stressor. The following indicators are recommended for the stressor ‘Connectivity’:
Indicators of altered connectivity sources:
Physical-chemical condition indicators:
|Possible causes||Possible symptoms|
The actions/events/situations that might induce this stress
The actions/events/situations that might arise from a change to the stressor: