Understanding the ecosystem services of flood pulsed systems
Natural variability in ecosystems brings benefits as well as costs. For example many fisheries are dependent on an annual flood pulse and flood based farming systems (e.g. deep water rice) offer communities a safe, nutritious and culturally significant source of staple food. However, water infrastructure (large dams) is generally designed to reduce variability in flows, increasing predictability but often having devastating consequences for traditional farming and fishing systems. This project will assess the benefits associated with the natural variability of flood pulsing, and trade-offs between the development of upstream infrastructure for hydropower or irrigation, and the loss of downstream flood based farming/fishing systems as a result.