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Connectivity processes and riparian vegetation of the upper Paraná River, Brazil
  • Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM)
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
  • Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA)
  • University of Texas at Austin - Department of Geography and Environment
In fluvial systems, the relationship between a dominant variable (e.g. flood pulse) and its dependent ones (e.g. riparian vegetation) is called connectivity. This paper analyzes the connectivity elements and processes controlling riparian vegetation for a reach of the upper Paraná River (Brazil) and estimates the future changes in channel-vegetation relationship as a consequence of the managing of a large dam. The studied reach is situated 30km downstream from the Porto Primavera Dam (construction finished in 1999). Through aerial photography (1:25,000, 1996), RGB-CBERS satellite imagery and a previous field botany survey it was possible to elaborate a map with the five major morpho-vegetation units: 1) Tree-dominated natural levee, 2) Shrubby upper floodplain, 3) Shrub-herbaceous mid floodplain, 4) Grass-herbaceous lower floodplain and 5) Shrub-herbaceous flood runoff channel units. By use of a detailed topographic survey and statistical tools each morpho-vegetation type was analyzed according to its connectivity parameters (frequency, recurrence, permanence, seasonality, potamophase, limnophase and FCQ index) in the pre- and post-dam closure periods of the historical series. Data showed that most of the morpho-vegetation units were predicted to present changes in connectivity parameters values after dam closing and the new regime could affect, in different intensity, the river ecology and particularly the riparian vegetation. The methods used in this study can be useful for dam impact studies in other South American tropical rivers. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Issue Date: 
Journal of South American Earth Sciences, v. 46, p. 113-121.
Time Duration: 
  • Connectivity processes
  • Floods
  • Paraná river
  • Regulated river
  • Riparian vegetation
  • aerial photography
  • connectivity
  • dam
  • flood
  • floodplain
  • riparian vegetation
  • river channel
  • satellite imagery
  • topographic mapping
  • Brazil
  • Parana River
  • Porto Primavera Dam
  • Sao Paulo [Brazil]
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Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

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