Ecology of Dams Essay

1266 WordsSep 17, 20086 Pages
The Ecology of Dam Summary: Dams affect our communitties somet time in a positive way and some times in negative ways. There are several types of dams, some examples are: Check Dams- Which are used to help prevent flooding in small ares Diversion Dams- Which help change tthe direction of water to irrigate the crops Flood Control Dams- Which are often made out of mass amounts of clay, sand, gravel , and rock, and sometimes concrete Hydroelectric Dams- Which are used to produce electricity Interrupting natural cycles: The ones that mostly affect the enviorment are the flood control dams and the hydroelectric dams. Floods help deposite nutrients from the land into the river. Floods also may help protect young fishes from predators. If floods don't occur that will affect the young fishes in a bad way. The wont have enough food and shelter to hide from predators. Dams also prevent flood which may affect vegetation which depend on regular flood to occur. Yet some dams are built so that houses may be built in floodplains. Then riparian vegetation occurs which is the the plants along the river banks. An example is in Southwest United States, in which floodplains on cottonwood and marsh have been substituted by dry of grass and tamarisk. Armoring the riverbed: Also when water is released from the reservoir the may cause small floods like the ones found in nature which cause scouring and armoring of the riverbeds. Also with this happening energy is accumulated which as an affect takes away small sediments (silt, sand, and gravel), plants, animals, and debris. All of that causes for the plants, macroinvertebrates and fish to lose their intrest in the riverbed below the dam as a habitat. Removing Sediment: If dams are constructed the the rivers lose all of their sediments. The sediments of a dammed river are droped out and they accumulate behind the dam and

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