Impact of dams on global biodiversity: A scientometric analysis


  • Amanda Branquinho Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
  • Daniel Brito Departamento de Ecologia, Laboratório de Ecologia Aplicada e Conservação, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.



The extensive damming of rivers around the world, regardless their economic purpose, has changed the river landscapes and led to serious ecological consequences for the biological organisms associated with these ecosystems. In the present study, a scientometric analysis was performed aiming to assess temporal trends of the scientific production related to environmental concerns about the impact of large dams on biodiversity worldwide. On this context, a bibliographic review of the scientific works of this area, using the research platform “Web of Science” searching for the keywords “dam impact” or “dam effect” and “bio*diversity” in the subject line. The results showed that, despite the publication number increase in the field, these studies are clearly more abundant in temperate regions, which have less biological diversity. Although much of the planned hydroelectric expansion is expected to occur in the tropics, which have most of the world’s biodiversity, the biological knowledge about the species in these places is still very little. The lack of studies in these areas may mask the impact intensity and extent of dams on biodiversity and also induce decision-makers to adopt inefficient management strategies.

Keywords: Freshwater ecosystem, review, reservoir.






Review Article