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      Ecohydrologic Description of Springs in the North Western Ghats, Maharashtra

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          Abstract

          Springs are essential components of the freshwater resources in the North Western Ghats yet they are not well studied and are under threat from ecological degradation. This study surveyed ecology and hydrogeology of five springs. Observations included geology, flora, fauna and impact of human pressures. The goal was to describe the range of ecological conditions to improve baseline understanding. Results show that spring recharge and discharge areas were found to hydrologically connect separate parts of the landscape, sometimes spanning different watersheds. While spring discharge is likely controlled in large part by catchment size and aquifer characteristics, impacts from human pressures may reduce spring discharge or water quality. Reduction in spring discharge may reduce biodiversity, particularly at the spring outlet where natural ponds or wetlands may dry up and destroy freshwater habitat. Grazing, fire, construction, pumping and fuel wood collection were common human pressures effecting nearly all springs. Discussed are refined definitions of a spring shed and recommendations for future assessment, conservation and management efforts.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Journal of Ecological Society
          2278-0823
          1 April 2015
          : 28
          : 1
          : 8-24
          Article
          10.54081/JES.024/02
          The Authors

          Published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International ( CC BY 4.0). Users are allowed to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially), as long as the authors and the publisher are explicitly identified and properly acknowledged as the original source.

          Ecology

          aquifer, biodiversity, ecosystem, hydrogeology, spring shed, groundwater

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