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How Big of an Effect Do Small Dams Have? Using Geomorphological Footprints to Quantify Spatial Impact of Low-Head Dams and Identify Patterns of Across-Dam Variation

Overview of attention for article published in PLOS ONE, November 2015
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (64th percentile)

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Title
How Big of an Effect Do Small Dams Have? Using Geomorphological Footprints to Quantify Spatial Impact of Low-Head Dams and Identify Patterns of Across-Dam Variation
Published in
PLOS ONE, November 2015
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0141210
Pubmed ID
Authors

Jane S. Fencl, Martha E. Mather, Katie H. Costigan, Melinda D. Daniels

Abstract

Longitudinal connectivity is a fundamental characteristic of rivers that can be disrupted by natural and anthropogenic processes. Dams are significant disruptions to streams. Over 2,000,000 low-head dams (<7.6 m high) fragment United States rivers. Despite potential adverse impacts of these ubiquitous disturbances, the spatial impacts of low-head dams on geomorphology and ecology are largely untested. Progress for research and conservation is impaired by not knowing the magnitude of low-head dam impacts. Based on the geomorphic literature, we refined a methodology that allowed us to quantify the spatial extent of low-head dam impacts (herein dam footprint), assessed variation in dam footprints across low-head dams within a river network, and identified select aspects of the context of this variation. Wetted width, depth, and substrate size distributions upstream and downstream of six low-head dams within the Upper Neosho River, Kansas, United States of America were measured. Total dam footprints averaged 7.9 km (3.0-15.3 km) or 287 wetted widths (136-437 wetted widths). Estimates included both upstream (mean: 6.7 km or 243 wetted widths) and downstream footprints (mean: 1.2 km or 44 wetted widths). Altogether the six low-head dams impacted 47.3 km (about 17%) of the mainstem in the river network. Despite differences in age, size, location, and primary function, the sizes of geomorphic footprints of individual low-head dams in the Upper Neosho river network were relatively similar. The number of upstream dams and distance to upstream dams, but not dam height, affected the spatial extent of dam footprints. In summary, ubiquitous low-head dams individually and cumulatively altered lotic ecosystems. Both characteristics of individual dams and the context of neighboring dams affected low-head dam impacts within the river network. For these reasons, low-head dams require a different, more integrative, approach for research and management than the individualistic approach that has been applied to larger dams.

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 148 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 <1%
Slovenia 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Unknown 145 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 26 18%
Researcher 26 18%
Student > Master 20 14%
Student > Bachelor 10 7%
Student > Doctoral Student 7 5%
Other 25 17%
Unknown 34 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 47 32%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 20 14%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 16 11%
Engineering 9 6%
Social Sciences 4 3%
Other 12 8%
Unknown 40 27%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 May 2020.
All research outputs
#6,963,087
of 22,832,057 outputs
Outputs from PLOS ONE
#82,411
of 194,870 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#88,413
of 285,414 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLOS ONE
#1,819
of 5,391 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,832,057 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 68th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 194,870 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 15.1. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 56% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 285,414 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 68% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5,391 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 64% of its contemporaries.