River Damming Impacts on Fish Habitat and Associated Conservation Measures

Qiuwen Chen, Qinyuan Li, Yuqing Lin, Jianyun Zhang, Jun Xia, Jinren Ni, Steven J. Cooke, Jim Best, Shufeng He, Tao Feng, Yuchen Chen, Daniele Tonina, Rohan Benjankar, Sebastian Birk, Ayan Santos Fleischmann, Hanlu Yan, Lei Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


River damming has brought great benefits to flood mitigation, energy and food production, and will continue to play a significant role in global energy supply, particularly in Asia, Africa, and South America. However, dams have extensively altered global river dynamics, including riverine connectivity, hydrological, thermal, sediment and solute regimes, and the channel morphology. These alterations have detrimental effects on the quality and quantity of fish habitat and associated impacts on aquatic life. Indeed, dams have been implicated in the decline of numerous fishes, emphasizing the need for effective conservation measures. Here, we present a global synthesis of critical issues concerning the impacts of river damming on physical fish habitats, with a particular focus on key fish species across continents. We also consider current fish conservation measures and their applicability in different contexts. Finally, we identify future research needs. The information presented herein will help support sustainable dam operation under the constraints of future climate change and human needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023RG000819
JournalReviews of Geophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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