Controls and modification of large-scale climate–hydrology–ecology associations

Laize, Cedric Louis Raymond (2015). Controls and modification of large-scale climate–hydrology–ecology associations. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (7MB)


The study aimed to disentangle the climate–hydrology–ecology chain of processes at large spatial and temporal scales. River ecology was considered in terms of some of the main controls of physical habitat (environmental flows, hydraulics, and water temperature). The research included four complementing studies investigating associations between: (1) climate (atmospheric circulation and regional climate) and river flows; (2) river flows and river hydraulics; (3) regional climate and river water temperature; (4) regional climate and environmental flows. The first three studies focused on current conditions, had a national (mainland UK, or England and Wales) geographical scope and a seasonal temporal scale, and used only near-natural sites. In each study, the main drivers were identified, as well as the rivers or regions most/least sensitive. UK-focussed findings were then put into the wider context of future climate- and human-induced river flow change at the pan-European scale: a novel method to assess ecological risk due to flow alteration was developed and applied to flow scenarios for the 2050s. The role of basin properties in modifying those associations was also assessed. Two key aspects emerged: (i) importance of seasonal patterns; and (ii) strong basin property patterns. The study addressed the lack of studies with extensive geographical coverage, high site density, and long periods of records. Spatial patterns could only be found for studies involving climate and flow (historical or future projections); for hydraulics and temperature, spatial patterns were related to basin properties. For all studies, a small set of basin properties were found to have a significant influence: elevation, permeability (except for hydraulics), size (hydraulics and temperature only).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year