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Title: The impact of hydroelectric power operations on the invertebrate fauna of the River Lyon, Perthshire, Scotland
Author: Jackson, Heather Mary
ISNI:       0000 0001 3588 0181
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2006
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The River Lyon in Perthshire, Scotland, has been regulated for hydropower since 1953. Two dams (Lubreoch and Stronuich) regulate the mainstream of the river, with each having markedly different release regimes.  The river downstream from Lubreoch Reservoir is characterised by a hydropeaking regime, while that downstream of Stronuich Reservoir is characterised by a compensation and freshet regime. This thesis describes the impacts of flow regulation on the macro-invertebrate fauna of the River Lyon over three seasons from 2002-2003. Invertebrate communities below the two reservoirs were relatively species poor and uneven. The most impoverished site was that experiencing a hydropeaking regime. The Lyon site with a discharge regime dominated by a relatively low and stable reservoir release was less impoverished than the hydropeaking site but was still species poor and uneven compared to the Lochay sites.  The site 5km downstream from the second reservoir showed evidence of recovery in terms of its hydrological and thermal regimes and also in terms of the macro-invertebrate community structure.  In fact, this site shared more similarities with the sites on the unregulated River Lochay than with the other two sites on the River Lyon. Freshets increase discharge in the river approximately threefold from around 0.2-0.6 ms-1.  No changes in chemistry of the river water or the water sampled from the hyporheic zone of the streambed were observed during monitoring of a freshet in August 2003.  Large numbers of invertebrates were found in the drift during the freshet, with crustaceans accounting for over 90% of the animals present in the water column at some sites. Results suggest that fifty years of regulation has resulted in impoverishment of invertebrate fauna of the River Lyon. This is most likely due to a combination of factors, with alterations to patterns of flow and thermal variability appearing to be most important.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available