Managing biodiversity of floodplains in relation to climate change

Jon Museth (Human Dimension Department, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Lillehammer, Norway)
Stein I. Johnsen (Human Dimension Department, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Lillehammer, Norway)
Bjørn Walseng (Landscape Ecology Department, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Lillehammer, Norway)
Oddvar Hanssen (Aquatic Ecology Department, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Lillehammer, Norway)
Lars Erikstad (Landscape Ecology Department, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Lillehammer, Norway)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Publication date: 8 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the importance of floodplains in preserving biodiversity, and call attention to alternative ways of managing floodplains in relation to probable scenarios of climate change.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 20 water bodies on the floodplain at Flisa along the River Glomma (Hedmark County, Eastern Norway) were investigated with regards to crustacean zooplankton and water beetle species richness.

Findings

Both on a national and regional scale, the species diversity in the investigated water bodies was high. A total of 57 crustacean plankton and 77 water beetle species were recorded. Of these, ten and eight were new records of zooplankton and water beetle species in Hedmark County, respectively. Seven recorded water beetle species were specified in the 2010 Norwegian Red List of Species. Further, the localities on the Flisa floodplain are relatively unique with regard to the composition of species compared to other investigated localities in Hedmark County.

Social implications

Floodplains are intensively used and are considered as among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. More frequent and less predictable floods can be expected in the future due to climate change's influence. In some settings more frequent larger floods may work to re‐establish the connectivity, but larger floods might also result in demand for construction of more extensive flood mitigation measures.

Originality/value

The results from this case study underpin the high biodiversity of floodplains, an ecosystem infrequently examined in Norway. The results of this study are of importance regarding management and maintenance of ecosystem services (e.g. biodiversity and water retention) from floodplains.

Keywords

Citation

Museth, J., Johnsen, S.I., Walseng, B., Hanssen, O. and Erikstad, L. (2011), "Managing biodiversity of floodplains in relation to climate change", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 402-415. https://doi.org/10.1108/17568691111175687

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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