Stefan Schmutz

Stefan Schmutz
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna | boku · Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management

Full Professor

About

239
Publications
78,167
Reads
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6,832
Citations
Citations since 2017
45 Research Items
3451 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - February 2021
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Position
  • Head of Department

Publications

Publications (239)
Article
Full-text available
Downstream displacement and stranding of fish are key impacts in hydropeaked rivers, adversely affecting the organisms and, subsequently, the population. While these phenomena have been extensively studied for salmonid fish, few studies have been conducted on cyprinids, particularly at heterogeneous river banks that provide nursery areas for the ea...
Article
Full-text available
Intermittent water releases from hydropower plants, called hydropeaking, negatively affect river biota. The impacts mainly depend on hydrological alterations, but changes in physical habitat conditions are suspected to be co‐responsible. For example, hydropeaking accompanied by a sudden change of water temperature in the downstream river—called the...
Chapter
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Der Beitrag thematisiert, wie wir zwei Auslandsexkursionen i. S. v. „Forschendem Lernen in der Natur“ konzipiert haben, bei denen Masterstudierende verschiedene Kompetenzen kombinieren und anwenden sollen. In diesen Lehrveranstaltungen sollen die Studierenden einen vollständigen Forschungszyklus durchlaufen (eigenständige Wissens- und Erkenntnisbil...
Article
Full-text available
Migration patterns and habitat use of adult barbel ( Barbus barbus ) and nase ( Chondrostoma nasus ) were monitored by radio telemetry over a period of 13 months along a 58-km-long section of the Austrian part of the Danube River. The study site is confined upstream and downstream by two hydropower plants, and contains a larger tributary, the Piela...
Article
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Zusammenfassung Weltweit ist die Aquakultur der am schnellsten wachsende Sektor in der tierischen Lebensmittelproduktion. Dieser Sektor wird voraussichtlich immer wichtiger werden, um den zukünftigen Nahrungsmittelbedarf zu decken. Im Binnenland Österreich ist der Selbstversorgungsgrad von Fisch mit 6 % insgesamt bzw. 48 % bei Süßwasserfischen eher...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid water level decreases due to hydropeaking are known to negatively affect riverine biota, mainly due to the stranding of organisms in the river bank area that becomes regularly dewatered. Even though studies of the last decades have focused on salmonid fish, also cyprinids may be affected. However, limited knowledge is available of this fish f...
Article
Full-text available
Hydropeaking is known for its adverse impacts on river ecosystems. However, the implementation of mitigation measures is still largely pending due to conflicting priorities of ecology and economics, which require scenario building to assess trade-offs. Therefore, widely applicable and standardized tools are needed to analyze hydropeaking hydrology...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change represents a major challenge for the management of native fish communities in Mediterranean rivers, as reductions in discharge may lead to a decrease in passability through small barriers such as weirs, both in temporary and perennial rivers. Through hydraulic modelling, we investigated how discharges from a large hydropower plant in...
Article
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Rivers of the large Alpine valleys constitute iconic ecosystems that are highly threatened by multiple anthropogenic stressors. This stressor mix, however, makes it difficult to develop and refine conservation and restoration strategies. It is, therefore, urgent to acquire more detailed knowledge on the consequences and interactions of prevalent st...
Article
Full-text available
River systems have undergone a massive transformation since the Anthropocene. The natural properties of river systems have been drastically altered and reshaped, limiting the use of management frameworks, their scientific knowledge base and their ability to provide adequate solutions for current problems and those of the future, such as climate cha...
Technical Report
Full-text available
With the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000, all European countries committed themselves to restore the good ecological status or a good ecological potential in their water bodies and to prevent further deterioration of the ecological status. In the national water management plan, concrete environmental goals are defined for all water...
Article
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Aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal food production sector and is expected to become increasingly important to meet future food demands. As a landlocked country, Austria’s self-sufficiency rate for fish is rather low with 6% in total and 48% for freshwater fish. Therefore, and in order to enable sustainable growth of the sector while avoiding...
Article
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The European eel (Anquilla anquilla) has been declining throughout its area of distribution, is addressed in several pieces of legislation, and is the target of extensive restoration efforts. Therefore, investigating and conserving natural eel habitats is urgently needed. Large, near-natural rivers have become rare in Europe but the Balkans host so...
Article
Full-text available
The European eel (Anquilla anquilla) has been declining throughout its area of distribution, is addressed in several pieces of legislation, and is the target of extensive restoration efforts. Therefore, investigating and conserving natural eel habitats is urgently needed. Large, near-natural rivers have become rare in Europe but the Balkans host so...
Article
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Climate and land-use change drive a suite of stressors that shape ecosystems and interact to yield complex ecological responses, i.e. additive, antagonistic and synergistic effects. Currently we know little about the spatial scale relevant for the outcome of such interactions and about effect sizes. This knowledge gap needs to be filled to underpin...
Poster
Full-text available
Austria has a share in three international river basins (Danube, Elbe, Rhine), but by far the most of its territory (> 96%) drains into the Danube. This Austrian territory accounts for 10% of the total area of the Danube River Basin and belongs entirely to the Upper Danube Basins, which extends from the source of the Danube in Germany to Bratislava...
Conference Paper
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Peak-operating hydroelectric power plants allow the production of flexible energy and are, therefore, considered the backbone of the energy grid. However, their operation regime – called hydropeaking – is one of the greatest stressors on riverine ecosystems, whereby aquatic biota and their life cycle stages can be affected by various components of...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous riverine ecosystems in Iran are currently suffering due to various human activities, which are directly affecting the physico-chemical conditions of running waters and influencing the aquatic biota. In this study, we chose the cold-water streams of the Southern Caspian Sea Basin in Iran to analyse human pressures and develop a multi-metric...
Article
Full-text available
Peak-operating hydropower plants are usually the energy grid’s backbone by providing flexible energy production. At the same time, hydropeaking operations are considered one of the most adverse impacts on rivers, whereby aquatic organisms and their life-history stages can be affected in many ways. Therefore, we propose specific seasonal regulations...
Article
Hydroelectric power plants managed in response to sub-daily changes of the electricity market undergo rapid variations of turbine discharge, entailing quickly fluctuating water levels downstream. This operation regime, called hydropeaking, causes numerous adverse impacts on river ecosystems. The hydrological alterations which affect hydropeaking ri...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The EU FP 7 project MARS – “Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources un- der multiple Stress” (duration 01.02.2014 – 31.01.2018) investigated how multiple human stressors affect rivers, lakes, groundwater, transitional and coastal waters. Outcomes of this research project are more than 200 scientific publications, more than 4000 pages of del...
Article
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Abstraction, diversion, and storage of flow alter rivers worldwide. In this context, minimum flow regulations are applied to mitigate adverse impacts and to protect affected river reaches from environmental deterioration. Mostly, however, only selected instream criteria are considered, neglecting the floodplain as an indispensable part of the fluvi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Science and society are interlinked systems as research topics are defined by societal needs and research outputs trigger societal development. This was particularly the case in the environmental sciences within recent decades: the “Environmental Movement” emerged as a powerful social phenomenon in twentieth-century society via different pathways....
Chapter
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Dam construction goes back in human history for more than 5000 years (e.g., Sadd el-Kafara dam in Egypt for flood protection), but most of the world’s existing dams have been built after the Second World War as consequence or basis of economic development. Today, there are about 6000 existing or planned large hydropower dams (>15 m height) worldwid...
Chapter
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The water that we use, the air that we breathe, and the energy that we consume are limited resources. Among these, “water issues are one of the major problems that humanity must solve for its survival.” This maxim was a key conclusion reached by top-level decision-makers at the first Asia Pacific Water Summit in December 2007, marking the first tim...
Chapter
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This book is dedicated to those interested in the natural and social sciences and elements of governance that will support the sustainable management of rivers and aquatic ecosystems. Since elements of nature and society interact to determine the integrity and trajectory of these systems, they are referred to hereafter as social-ecological systems...
Chapter
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“The water runs the river.” This chapter focuses on the river flow as the fundamental process determining the size, shape, structure, and dynamics of riverine ecosystems. We briefly introduce hydrological regimes as key characteristics of river flow. Hydrological regimes are then linked to habitats and biotic communities. The effects of flow regula...
Book
This open access book surveys the frontier of scientific river research and provides examples to guide management towards a sustainable future of riverine ecosystems. Principal structures and functions of the biogeosphere of rivers are explained; key threats are identified, and effective solutions for restoration and mitigation are provided. River...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Water resources globally are affected by a complex mixture of stressors resulting from a range of drivers, including urban and agricultural land use, hydropower generation and climate change. Understanding how stressors interfere and impact upon ecological status and ecosystem services is essential for developing effective River Basin Management Pl...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Der Unterlauf der Traisen wurde von 2012 bis 2016 im Rahmen eines LIFE+ Projektes auf rund 10 km Länge gänzlich neu gestaltet. Dabei wurde der alte kanalisierte Arm mit mehreren Sohlschwellen als Altwasser bzw. Überwasserkanal erhalten und ein völlig neuer, naturnaher Lauf durch den Auwald angelegt. Das begleitende Monitoring der Fi...
Book
This open access book surveys the frontier of scientific river research and provides examples to guide management towards a sustainable future of riverine ecosystems. Principal structures and functions of the biogeosphere of rivers are explained; key threats are identified, and effective solutions for restoration and mitigation are provided. Rivers...
Article
In ecosystems with high fish species endemicity, such as Mediterranean-type rivers, biogeographical differences among ecoregions present serious obstacles to developing broadly-applicable river bioassessment indices. This impediment has contributed to a serious time-lag in developing EU policy-relevant fish-based indices in the Eastern Mediterranea...
Article
Full-text available
This work addresses multiple human stressors and their impacts on fish assemblages of the Drava and Mura rivers in southern Austria. The impacts of single and multiple human stressors on riverine fish assemblages in these basins were disentangled, based on an extensive dataset. Stressor configuration, i.e. various metrics of multiple stressors belo...
Technical Report
D3.2 summary - river manuscripts: Manuscript 1 investigates the effects of a two months experimentally induced extreme low-flow scenario on the physical, biological, and functional characteristics in a macrophyte- rich lowland stream. A significant decline in the stream wetted habitat area, an increase in water temperature, and an increase in the a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Non-native species, i.e. species occurring outside of their native range, have been recognised as a major threat for ecosystem functioning. Indeed, the number of non-native species introduced at all continents to support human activities or needs has increased during the last decades and several non-native species are now spread worldwide, e.g. mos...
Article
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The article from this special issue was previously published in River Research and Applications, Volume 32, Issue 7, 2016. For completeness we are including the title page of the article below. The full text of the article can be read in Issue 32:7 on Wiley Online Library: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rra.2985/abstract
Technical Report
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Summary D5.1-1 Part 1: Multi-stressors on surface water and effects on ecological statusHumans have increased the discharge of pollution, altered water flow regime and modified the morphology of rivers. All these actions have resulted in multiple pressures on freshwater ecosystems, undermining their biodiversity and ecological functioning. The Euro...
Article
High-head storage hydropower is deemed to be the ideal renewable energy source in Alpine regions to meet the increasing demand for daily peak electrical energy. However, this mode of operation - called hydropeaking - can imply severe hydrological and hydromorphological consequences for river ecosystems, affecting fish populations by e.g. drift and...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This work addresses human stressors and their impacts on fish assemblages at pan-European scale by analysing single and multiple stressors and their interactions. Based on an extensive dataset with 3105 fish sampling sites, patterns of stressors, their combination and nature of interactions, i.e. synergistic, antagonistic and additive were...
Article
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Hydropeaking has negative effects on aquatic biota, but the causal relationships have not been studied extensively, especially when hydropeaking occurs in combination with other environmental pressures. The available evidence comes mainly from case studies demonstrating river-specific effects of hydropeaking that result in modified microhabitat con...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Deliverable D4.1 is a synthesis report of the 16 regional case studies being undertaken in WP4 (Multi-stressors at the river basin scale. The report is composed of 3 parts. Part 1: Task 4.2 - Southern Basins region Part 1 reports the background to, and results and conclusions from Task 4.2 on four case studies from the Southern Basins region. The...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A community hosted by an ecosystem composed of species sharing the same characteristics i.e. species showing the same response to the environment and/or species with the same impact on their environment, can be defined as a community with high functional redundancy. Such community is supposed to be less vulnerable to species loss and the ecosystem...
Article
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Europäische Fließgewässer stehen unter starkem Nutzungsdruck. Dabei zählen Eingriffe in die Hydromorphologie im Rahmen energiewirtschaftlicher Nutzung oder durch Hochwasserschutzmaßnahmen zu den stärksten Belastungen. Heute gibt es nur noch wenige verbleibende natürliche oder naturnahe Gewässerstrecken. In Österreich befinden sich derzeit nur 15 %...
Chapter
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Die Erzeugung von Spitzenstrom durch Speicherkraftwerke führt zu künstlichen und bis zu mehrmals am Tag variierenden Abflussschwankungen in den Vorflutern. Diese Sunk-Schwallsituation wurde als eine der wesentlichen Beeinträchtigungen von alpi-nen Fließgewässern ausgewiesen. Vor allem das Stranden von aquatischen Organismen durch di...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change will impact the riverine environment of aquatic organisms. However, most studies focus solely on environmental characteristics to evaluate future distribution shifts. Here, we analyse current and future distribution of the freshwater fish species Thymallus thymallus in relation to the caddisfly Allogamus auricollis. Current and futur...
Article
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This introductory paper presents 20 river restoration cases throughout Europe that were investigated in the EU-funded research project REFORM. In the following, this special issue provides seven specific papers that highlight and discuss the effects of restoration on the investigated river–floodplain systems. Additionally, restoration success was e...
Article
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Hydropower (HP) is an important renewable energy source contributing 65.7% to Austria's national electricity generation. However, HP is also associated with ecosystem degradations jeopardizing the aims of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Habitats Directive. Based on the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Austrian Energy Strategy has...
Article
Hydro peaking causes an important environmental impact on running water ecosystems. Many affected rivers have a poor ecological status. In rivers affected by hydro peaking, the flow conditions are highly complex and difficult to grasp. To develop a general framework for detecting and characterizing sub-daily flow fluctuations, we analysed more than...
Article
1.Restoration of river hydromorphology often has limited detected effects on river biota. One frequently discussed reason is that the restored river length is insufficient to allow populations to develop and give the room for geomorphologic processes to occur.2.We investigated ten pairs of restored river sections of which one was a large project in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Aquatic ecosystems facing multiple stressors lead to challenging conditions for their management, as stressors can have additive, but also interactive effects on organisms, populations and communities. Accounting for these interactions is important in the assessment of the stressor’s impacts and to implement good restoration measures. Using a compa...
Article
Full-text available
European rivers are highly degraded and restoration efforts are becoming more frequent. However, only few restoration projects have been rigorously evaluated so far. We investigated the response of fish assemblages to hydromorphological restoration measures including river widening, creation of instream structures, flow enhancement, remeandering an...
Article
Full-text available
Hydropower plants delay or prevent fish migration. While the construction of fish passes for upstream migration is now compulsory, and guidelines for building upstream fishways (BMFLUW 2012) in Austria have been published, efficient solutions for downstream migration are much less advanced. This article summarizes our current understanding of the d...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Aquatic ecosystems facing multiple stressors lead to challenging conditions for their management, as stressors can have additive, but also interactive effects on organisms, populations and communities. Accounting for these interactions is important in the assessment of the stressor’s impacts and to implement good restoration measures. Using a compa...
Article
Full-text available
Water resources globally are affected by a complexmixture of stressors resulting from a range of drivers, including urban and agricultural land use, hydropower generation and climate change. Understanding how stressors interfere and impact upon ecological status and ecosystem services is essential for developing effective River Basin Management Pla...
Article
Various human pressures are affecting the aquatic biocoenosis in running waters of Iran - similar to many other areas of the world. Overall 190 sites, 88 at salmonid (44 reference/impacted respectively) and 102 at cyprinid (50 reference/52 impacted) streams of the southern Caspian Sea basin were investigated in terms of human pressures present and...