Research NewsBiodiversity

Dams Drain the Life Out of Riverbanks

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Science  02 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5313, pp. 683
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5313.683

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A team of researchers studying biodiversity on riverbanks in central and northern Sweden has some bad news for managers of water resources: Plant communities along the banks of rivers dammed for hydroelectric power contain significantly fewer species than those alongside neighboring free-flowing rivers. These findings, reported on page 798, are likely to fuel debates in Sweden and elsewhere on licenses for new dams and other water-regulation schemes.