Human activities and climate change: evaluation of the impacts on mountain rivers
Presenta: Claudia Dresti
CNR ISE Verbania Pallanza
Human activities strongly interfere with nature, since humans need natural resources for several uses. These effects are both direct, such as the land use change in a catchment, or indirect, such as climate change. Various factors determine the health of a river ecosystems, and among these factors the most important were considered: the hydromorphological conditions, the ecological flow evaluation, the combined effects of climate and land use changes and the effects of reservoirs, which alter the flow regime of a river. The first part is focused on the evaluation of the hydromorphological state of some mountain streams located in the Italian Alps. The analyses were carried out using the method CARAVAGGIO (Core Assessment of River hAbitat VAlue and hydro-morpholoGIcal cOndition), which complies with the EC Water Framework Directive. The ecological flow was estimated from basic hydrological information, using a simple set of coefficients to take into account other quality issues, particularly the lentic-lotic features of flow regime.
The third aspect that was considered is the combined effect of climate variability and human activities (land use change) on the natural streamflow. A case study based on a tributary of Lake Maggiore was carried out. Finally, the effects of reservoirs on the hydrological regime of the river are discussed.
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