Modelling physical characteristics of river habitats
The physical characteristics of river habitats constitute the setting in which fluvial biota dwell and thrive. Determining the spatial and temporal patterns of physical habitat characteristics and the main factors that control them is extremely important to increase the efficiency of river management, conservation, and restoration. This study determined spatial patterns of physical habitat characteristics for Atlantic and Mediterranean rivers in northern Spain and developed a river classification based on hydromorphological characteristics. Data gathered from almost 600 sites following a modified version of the River Habitat Survey methodology were used. In addition to the usual River Habitat Survey variables, the sequence of hydromorphologic units (i.e., areas exhibiting similar hydraulic characteristics, in terms of water velocity and depth), water depths, and widths were recorded. Unmodified reaches were selected computing the Habitat Modification Score. Multiple Linear Regression models were employed to test relationships between Principal Component Analyses that summarized physical river habitat characteristics with ecological relevance and environmental variables (i.e., climate, topography, land cover, and geology) at different spatial scales and used to predict physical habitat attributes for all river reaches. The density of hydromorphologic units, flow turbulence, substrate size, and channel dimensions were able to discriminate river classes within the river network, with topography being the main environmental driver of habitat characteristics (although climate, geology, and land cover were also relevant). This classification scheme could constitute a useful tool to restore physical habitat conditions in modified river reaches.
574 - General ecology and biodiversity
Is part of
River Research and Applications
Belmar, Oscar, Doug Booker, Mario Álvarez‐Cabria, Francisco J. Peñas, and José Barquín. 2019. "Modelling Physical Characteristics Of River Habitats". River Research And Applications 35 (7): 804-817. Wiley. doi:10.1002/rra.3456.
Grant agreement number
MINECO/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/CTM2009–07447/ES/Development of an Spatial Framework for Integrated Catchment Management/MARCE
MINECO/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/BIA2015-71197/ES/Effects of Hydrological Alteration on River Functioning and Service Provisioning: Implications for Integrated Catchment Management/HYDRA
MINECO/Programa Estatal de promoción del talento y su empleabilidad en I+D+I/FPDI-2013-16141/ /
Aigües Marines i Continentals
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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