Barrier database (AMBER-GB) for: A comprehensive assessment of stream fragmentation in Great Britain

Published: 27 Aug 2019 | Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/d79vb52nwd.2

Description of this data

Artificial barriers are one of the main threats to river ecosystems, resulting in habitat fragmentation and loss of connectivity. Yet, the abundance and distribution of most artificial barriers, excluding high head dams, is poorly documented. We provide a global assessment of the distribution and typology of artificial barriers in Great Britain, and estimate for the first time the extent of river fragmentation. To this end, barrier data were compiled from existing databases and were ground truthed by field surveys in England, Scotland and Wales to derive a correction factor for barrier density across Great Britain. Field surveys indicate that existing barrier databases underestimate barrier density by 68%, particularly in the case of low-head structures (<1 m) which are often missing from current records. Field-corrected barrier density estimates ranged from 0.48 barriers/km in Scotland to 0.63 barriers/km in Wales, and 0.75 barriers/km in England. Corresponding estimates of stream fragmentation, measured as mean barrier-free length, were 12.30 km in Scotland, 6.68 km in Wales and 5.29 km in England, reflecting different anthropogenic pressures. Our study indicates that 97% of the river network in Great Britain is fragmented and none of the rivers are free of artificial barriers.

Experiment data files

This data is associated with the following publication:

A comprehensive assessment of stream fragmentation in Great Britain

Published in: Science of The Total Environment

Latest version

  • Version 2


    Published: 2019-08-27

    DOI: 10.17632/d79vb52nwd.2

    Cite this dataset

    Jones, Joshua; Borger, Luca; Tummers, Jeroen; Jones, Peter; Lucas, Martyn; Kerr, James; Kemp, Paul; Bizzi, Simone; Consuegra, Sofia; Marcello, Lucio; Vowles, Andrew; Belletti, Barbara; Verspoor, Eric; Van de Bund, Wouter ; Gough, Peter; Garcia de Leaniz, Carlos (2019), “Barrier database (AMBER-GB) for: A comprehensive assessment of stream fragmentation in Great Britain”, Mendeley Data, v2


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Environment Agency, European Commission Joint Research Centre Ispra Sector, McGill University, Swansea University


Spatial Analysis, Barrier, River, Dam, Stream, Inventory, Infrastructure


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