center for synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB
Intermittent River Biodiversity Analysis and Synthesis


Principal Investigator: Thibault Datry, IRSTEA, Lyon, France (

5 participants : Klement Tockner, IGB Berlin, Germany; Nuria Bonada, University of Barcelona, Spain; Clifford Dahm, University of New Mexico, USA; Eric Sauquet, IRSTEA Lyon, France; Scott Larned, NIWA, Christchurch, New Zealand 



Abstract : A large proportion of the global river network is composed of intermittent rivers (IRs). IRs are characterized by dynamic alternations between terrestrial and aquatic habitats. These habitat dynamics result in a unique high-diversity biota consisting of aquatic, transitional, and terrestrial species. In addition to their biodiversity values, IRs also provide essential ecosystems services to society, including flood control and effluent removal. The abundance and distribution of IRs, and the severity of flow intermittence are being altered by climate change and by water abstraction and interbasin transfers. Nevertheless, IRs are chronically under-studied and protective management is inadequate.

The aims of the IRBAS project, which brings together some of the most influential and productive scientists in the field of IR ecology, is to discover biodiversity patterns and relationships in IRs, provide policy-makers and resource managers with the tools they need for effective management, restoration and conservation of IRs, and raise awareness of the importance of IRs. By compiling, analyzing and valuing current fragmented data, IRBAS will generate the products needed to achieve these aims, including (i) data bases of IR biodiversity, (ii) simple, mechanistic models of flow intermittence, habitats and biodiversity relationships, (iii) large-scale maps of IRs, (iv) hydrological and biodiversity trend analyses, and (v) guidelines for flow management in IRs.

IRBAS is co-financed by the FRB and the ONEMA.


About the project in English




Link to the data delivered