Biotic Indicators for Ecological State Change in Amazonian Floodplains

Sandra Bibiana Correa, Peter van der Sleen, Sharmin F. Siddiqui, Juan David Bogota-Gregory, Caroline C. Arantes, Adrian Barnett, Thiago B. A. Couto, Michael Goulding, Elizabeth P. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract
Riverine floodplains are biologically diverse and productive ecosystems. Although tropical floodplains remain relatively conserved and ecologically functional compared to those at higher latitudes, they face accelerated hydropower development, climate change, and deforestation. Alterations to the flood pulse could act synergistically with other drivers of change to promote profound ecological state change at a large spatial scale. State change occurs when an ecosystem reaches a critical threshold or tipping point, which leads to an alternative qualitative state for the ecosystem. Visualizing an alternative state for Amazonian floodplains is not straightforward. Yet, it is critical to recognize that changes to the flood pulse could push tropical floodplain ecosystems over a tipping point with cascading adverse effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We characterize the Amazonian flood pulse regime, summarize evidence of flood pulse change, assess potential ecological repercussions, and provide a monitoring framework for tracking flood pulse change and detecting biotic responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-768
Number of pages16
JournalBioScience
Volume72
Issue number8
Early online date22 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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