Hem / Forskning / Miljö och samhälle / Ecological status of riparian habitat in relation to hydropeaking in winter


jan 2023

dec 2027


Ecological status of riparian habitat in relation to hydropeaking in winter

The aim of the project is to provide information on how hydropeaking affects ice dynamics and organism communities of boreal rivers. The project will also provide guidelines for which flow and water level conditions that are needed to ensure adequate status of riparian vegetation, which is a suitable indicator of habitat quality.

The predictability of hydropower-generated energy comes at the price of variable flows in regulated rivers, as water is stored in reservoirs and then released when electricity is to be produced. Thus, flows are reduced when storing water, as from high flows during snowmelt, and rapid, short-term changes in flow arise to match changes in electricity consumption. These rapid increases and decreases in flow are referred to as hydropeaking, and the environmental effects of hydropeaking are the focus of this project. Hydropeaking is crucial for the electricity system, but it also affects river and stream ecosystems.

The project answers the question how hydropeaking affects ice conditions and shore erosion and how these are affect riparian vegetation. In the longer term, the project can provide a basis for studies of how ice conditions affect other groups of organisms, as well as alternative strategies to reduce erosion.


Lutz Eckstein


Karlstad universitet