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SFS Annual Meeting

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Riverine biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning is under threat from many of the same problems as terrestrial and marine ecosystems. While reserve creation has been a cornerstone of conservation efforts on land and in the sea, freshwaters have been considered only as a secondary value of protected areas selected based on terrestrial value. Despite overharvest being widely regarded as one of the most acute human impacts on ecosystems, inland fisheries are rarely considered in spatial protection efforts. Here we make a first attempt to conceptually apply principles of reserve design, drawing heavily from the marine reserve literature, to riverine ecosystems. Ecological and social siting criteria, optimum reserve network topologies, and bioeconomic models have been well-developed for marine systems with the dual aims to achieve biodiversity conservation goals and to augment harvest production. Rivers produce a disproportionate amount of global inland harvest, but implementing successful riverine spatial protection will require a rethinking of traditional reserve design based on the topological and connectivity constraints of dendritic network structures, inherent polarity of flow processes, and susceptibility to degradation from external sources. Doing so, however, may provide new insights for global freshwater conservation planning.

Aaron Koning (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology,;