Wednesday, June 7, 2017
09:00 - 10:30

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09:00 - 09:15: / 305B EVIDENCE NEEDS FOR RAPID LITERATURE REVIEWS: STARTING WITH A QUESTION

6/07/2017  |   09:00 - 09:15   |  305B

EVIDENCE NEEDS FOR RAPID LITERATURE REVIEWS: STARTING WITH A QUESTION Well informed decision-making in environmental policy and management settings requires classification and synthesis of many types of information and an assessment of its ‘fitness-for-purpose’. For consistent interpretation and rapid implementation, an evidence classification system should be conceptually simple to understand and apply. We developed a framework around an understanding of the relationships between question types, evidence needs, and study-design characteristics that yield suitable evidence. The process begins with a question typology describing five key categories of scientific data and information types as candidates for ‘evidence’ i.e. raw data, data collations or summaries, secondary information, information derived from the analysis of cause-effect relationships, and model outputs. These categories are applied within a framework to rapidly classify evidence for relevance, quality and suitability. Our framework assists in addressing the ‘context dependency’ of questions and evidence, which is at the core of understanding the type of scientific evidence needed to inform environmental decisions.

Susan Nichols (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Canberra, Australia, Sue.Nichols@canberra.edu.au;


Rob Richards ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Canberra and Evidentiary Pty Ltd, robr@evidentiary.com.au;


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09:15 - 09:30: / 305B SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND CASUAL FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING AIR POLLUTANT IMPACTS TO FRESHWATERS

6/07/2017  |   09:15 - 09:30   |  305B

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND CASUAL FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING AIR POLLUTANT IMPACTS TO FRESHWATERS The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is mandated under the Clean Air Act to periodically review the adequacy of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), for human health and welfare, including effects on water and wildlife. Four of six criteria air pollutants have the potential to impact freshwater ecosystems. Deposition of oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur affect biogeochemical and biological function of lakes and streams, while lead and particulate matter-associated metals and organics are toxic to some biota. The foundation for review of the NAAQS is the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), containing a synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science developed from a systematic literature review, typically including thousands of papers documenting effects in ecosystems. Causality is evaluated based on evidence of pollutant exposure and effects from field and laboratory studies. EPA has developed a framework to provide a consistent and transparent approach for considering aspects of causality in the ISAs. The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the US EPA.

Meredith Lassiter (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , lassiter.meredith@epa.gov;


Emmi Felker-Quinn ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , felker-quinn.emmi@epa.gov;


Molini Patel ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , patel.molini@epa.gov;


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09:30 - 09:45: / 305B LITERATURE-BASED SYNTHESIS OF NUTRIENT STRESSOR-RESPONSE RELATIONSHIPS TO INFORM ASSESSMENT, MONITORING, AND CRITERIA DEVELOPMENT IN RIVERS AND STREAMS

6/07/2017  |   09:30 - 09:45   |  305B

Literature-based synthesis of nutrient stressor-response relationships to inform assessment, monitoring, and criteria development in rivers and streams Eutrophication from nutrient pollution is a major stressor of freshwater ecosystems globally. Despite recognition of this problem by scientists and stakeholders, synthesis of scientific evidence is still needed to inform nutrient-related management decisions and policies, especially for streams and rivers. Nutrient-stressor response relationships are complicated by many interacting stressors, complex causal pathways involving multiple biotic assemblages, and the spatiotemporal variability of lotic ecosystems. A rigorous assessment of nutrient-stressor response relationships and modifying factors is a critical first step for identifying, managing, and restoring aquatic resources impaired by eutrophication. We describe three ongoing systematic reviews that compile and synthesize literature on the chlorophyll-a, diatom, and macroinvertebrate responses to nutrients in streams. These reviews will provide a state-of-the-science body of evidence for assessing nutrient impacts to the most widely-used indicators of biological responses to nutrients. These reviews answer questions regarding evidence demonstrating relationships between total nitrogen or total phosphorus concentrations and selected biotic endpoints in rivers and streams and examine how other factors affect these relationships. Disclaimer: authors views expressed here do not necessarily reflect views or policies of the US EPA.

Micah Bennett (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, bennett.micah@epa.gov;


Kate Schofield ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, schofield.kate@epa.gov;


Sylvia Lee ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. EPA, leesylvia@epa.gov;


Susan Norton ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, norton.susan@epa.gov;


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09:45 - 10:00: / 305B LINKING SCIENCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL WATER POLICY USING ECO EVIDENCE: A CASE STUDY FROOM THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN AUSTRALIA

6/07/2017  |   09:45 - 10:00   |  305B

LINKING SCIENCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL WATER POLICY USING ECO EVIDENCE: A CASE STUDY FROOM THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN AUSTRALIA Eco Evidence is an evidence synthesis method designed to collate, categorize and assess the (sometimes conflicting) scientific evidence base to inform environmental decision-making. This study aims to evaluate the utility of Eco Evidence for informing environmental water policy. We applied Eco Evidence with federal practitioners responsible for developing policy to support refuges for waterbirds during dry periods in the Murray-Darling Basin. We tested 5 hypotheses related to the effects of wetland availability on waterbird abundance. The literature evidence supported 3 of 5 hypotheses. Our results illustrate the importance of maintaining several refuge types to support residual populations of waterbirds during dry periods. Maintaining these refuges with environmental water will help achieve a basin policy target to increase waterbird abundance by 20 to 25% over 10 years from 2014. Our results also illustrate how the utility of Eco Evidence can be enhanced by incorporating a range of information into the evidence synthesis framework (from conceptual model development through to hypothesis testing). We propose several principles to conduct credible, salient and legitimate evidence synthesis to inform policy.

Michael Peat (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Canberra, Michael.Peat@canberra.edu.au;


Susan Nichols ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Canberra, Australia, Sue.Nichols@canberra.edu.au;


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10:00 - 10:15: / 305B A META-ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF AGRICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR REDUCING NUTRIENT POLLUTION IN FLORIDA

6/07/2017  |   10:00 - 10:15   |  305B

A META-ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF AGRICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR REDUCING NUTRIENT POLLUTION IN FLORIDA Best Management Practices (BMPs) that aim to reduce nutrients to off-site environmental media are regularly enacted by agriculture in Florida during Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development. Currently an assumption of a consistent 30% reduction is used in nutrient models. To determine a more empirical measure of the effectiveness and variability of BMP implementation, meta-analyses were conducted for cow/calf operations, agronomic crops, and vegetable crops. A literature search generated 1001 potentially relevant papers, which were systematically evaluated for pre-set inclusion criteria. Pooled effect size of BMP implementation on nitrogen and phosphorus was determined using the log ratio of means and a random-effects maximum likelihood model, and effect sizes were back-transformed to percent reduction. There were no reductions in nutrients for cow/calf operations. For agronomic crops, BMPs provided a 60% (95% CI [9.5%, 82.1%]) reduction in nitrogen but no reductions in phosphorus. For vegetable crops, BMPs reduced nitrogen by 66% (95% CI [39.3%, 79.8%]) and phosphorus by 35% (95% CI [14.8%, 50.3%]). Further evaluation is needed to determine if nutrient loads from operations implementing BMPs would be environmentally acceptable on a watershed or springshed scale.

Beck Frydenborg (Primary Presenter/Author), Frydenborg Ecologic, LLC, beck@frecologic.com;


Russel Frydenborg ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Frydenborg EcoLogic, russ@frecologic.com;


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10:15 - 10:30: / 305B USING CADLINK TO "BANK" LITERATURE-BASED EVIDENCE OF SPECIFIC CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS

6/07/2017  |   10:15 - 10:30   |  305B

USING CADLINK TO "BANK" LITERATURE-BASED EVIDENCE OF SPECIFIC CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS Evidence-based decision-making is necessary for effective environmental management, but it can be difficult to implement. A key challenge is the need to evaluate existing bodies of evidence within policy-relevant time frames. Management decisions often must be made quickly, with limited time to analyze relevant evidence from scientific publications. EPA has been working on tools designed to facilitate the use of literature-based evidence in environmental decision-making. CADLink (epa.gov/cadlink) is a publicly accessible database of cause-effect evidence from the peer-reviewed, published literature. Users can enter research results that provide evidence of a specific cause (e.g., total nitrogen) leading to a specific effect (e.g., chlorophyll a). This evidence, as well as other contextual information, is then “banked” in the database, where it can be accessed by other users. By extracting and banking research results in a searchable database, evidence from past assessments can be applied more readily to novel situations—thereby increasing the chance that scientifically sound evidence actually informs management decisions in a timely manner. DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the authors’ and not views or policies of the U.S.EPA.

Kate Schofield (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, schofield.kate@epa.gov;


Susan Norton ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, norton.susan@epa.gov;


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