Opportunities for barrier removal
depend to a large extent on barrier typology, as this dictates where barriers are normally located, their size, age, condition, and likely impacts. Crucially, river fragmentation depends chiefly on the number and location of barriers, not on barrier size, while the costs of barrier removal typically increase with barrier height. Acting on many small barriers will often be more cost-efficient than acting on fewer larger structures. Barriers are not randomly distributed and a small proportion of barriers have a disproportionately high impact on fragmentation, therefore targeting these ‘fragmentizers’ can result in substantial gains in connectivity.