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SFS Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 24, 2018
11:00 - 12:30

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11:00 - 11:15: / 430 B DAMS, FISH, AND FISHERIES IN THE AMAZON BASIN

5/24/2018  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  430 B

DAMS, FISH, AND FISHERIES IN THE AMAZON BASIN Construction of large hydroelectric dams in the Amazon Basin affects the processes leading to fish production. Yet, little is understood about how dams affect fisheries in the Amazon. Dams affect fish populations by blocking their longitudinal migrations and disrupting their lateral floodplain migrations to feeding and reproductive areas. But these effects vary by taxa, as the life cycles of Amazonian fishes involve home ranges from tens to thousands of km, and migrations that can be longitudinal (i.e., along river channels), lateral (i.e., between river channels and floodplains), or both. The effects of any given dam on fisheries thus depend on the configuration of life cycles involved and the extent to which the dam disrupts fishes' lateral and longitudinal migrations. Whereas dams can extirpate fish populations that migrate longitudinally through the place where the dam was built, their effects on lateral migrant taxa depend on the extent to which they disrupt flow seasonality. Large disruptions of river flow seasonality can adversely affect fisheries of several of the dominant fishery taxa over long downstream distances. These potential impacts highlight the need to empirically assess dam impacts on Amazonian fisheries.

Leandro Castello (Primary Presenter/Author), Virginia Tech, leandro@vt.edu;


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11:15 - 11:30: / 430 B WHAT IF MANSERICHE DAM (PERU) IS BUILT? THEIR EFFECTS ON HYDROLOGY FEATURES, FISH DIVERSITY, AND FISH CONSUMPTION IN THE MARANON RIVER

5/24/2018  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  430 B

WHAT IF MANSERICHE DAM (PERU) IS BUILT? THEIR EFFECTS ON HYDROLOGY FEATURES, FISH DIVERSITY, AND FISH CONSUMPTION IN THE MARANON RIVER There have been proposals to impound the Marañón River near its outlet from the Andes at the Pongo de Manseriche, an area inhabited by several indigenous and mestizo communities, whose livelihoods are tightly linked to freshwaters ecosystem services. Fish diversity, fish migrations and fish consumption were evaluated in a 100-km section of the Marañón River and the potential flooding estimated if Manseriche dam was built. Two field expeditions allowed us the identification of 156 fish species, among which several migratory species (Curimatidae, Prochilodontidae, Pimelodidae) and the giant carachama Panaque schaeferi were distinguished. Local fisheries is maintained by the seasonal arrival of large fish schools and is essential for households either as source of income or as part of their diet; the average per capita fish consumption resulted in 15 kg/month during dry season, one of the largest values reported in the region. If Manseriche dam was built a large reservoir of about 5,439,300 Ha would be generated, which will flood a large portion of the Santiago River and some of its headwaters in Ecuador territory. Marañón’s ecosystem services are dependent on the natural hydrologic conditions, currently with no impoundment.

Carlos Canas (Primary Presenter/Author), Wildlife Conservation Society, ccanas@wcs.org;


Mariana Montoya (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Wildlife Conservation Society, mmontoya@wcs.org;


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11:30 - 11:45: / 430 B A MODEL SIMULATING INTERACTIONS BETWEEN HYDROLOGY, LANDSCAPE, SPECIES TRAITS AND BIOTIC INTERACTIONS TO PREDICT DAM IMPACTS ON RIVER-FLOODPLAIN SYSTEMS

5/24/2018  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  430 B

A MODEL SIMULATING INTERACTIONS BETWEEN HYDROLOGY, LANDSCAPE, SPECIES TRAITS AND BIOTIC INTERACTIONS TO PREDICT DAM IMPACTS ON RIVER-FLOODPLAIN SYSTEMS Understanding community dynamics is challenging because species respond differently to environmental conditions while interacting within networks of interactions with other species. Most food web models portray species populations or guilds as aggregate units, and thus have no capability to capture important interactions of organisms with their abiotic and biotic environments. This is a major shortcoming, because organism functional traits are known to have strong influences on population dynamics and population interactions. Building on previous research on individual-based modeling, we constructed a model that simulates fish population and food web dynamics for the last major un-dammed reach of the Upper Paraná River in Brazil. This model uses topographic information and hydrologic data to produce spatially explicit dynamics of food webs. The model incorporates general functions for biological processes and functional traits of species to simulate organism performance and population dynamics. Model calibration and validation instill confidence that the tool is sufficiently flexible to allow modifications to simulate other lotic systems, including rivers in the Amazon and other tropical regions impacted by hydroelectric dams. Simulation of hydrologic, land-use, and fishery scenarios will inform natural resource conservation.

Pitagoras Piana (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, pitapiana@yahoo.com.br;


Angelo Agostinho (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Universidade Estadual de Maringá, agostinhoaa@gmail.com;


Luiz Gomes (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Universidade Estadual de Maringá, lcgomes@nupelia.uem.br;


Kirk Winemiller (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas A & M University, k-winemiller@tamu.edu;


Eduardo Cunha (Primary Presenter/Author), Texas A&M University, edurcunha@gmail.com;


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11:45 - 12:00: / 430 B DAMMING THE AMAZON: EVALUATING TRADEOFFS BETWEEN HYDROPOWER AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES USING A COMPUTATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH

5/24/2018  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  430 B

DAMMING THE AMAZON: EVALUATING TRADEOFFS BETWEEN HYDROPOWER AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES USING A COMPUTATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH The rapid proliferation of hydropower is a critical issue threatening biodiverse regions such as the Amazon Basin, where >300 new dams have been proposed. While environmental assessments have considered individual dams, little attention has been paid to tradeoffs between hydropower production and portfolios of ecosystem services for different dam network configurations. Assessing spatial configurations of dams in rapidly developing regions is especially challenged by the lack of data on ecological, hydrological, and socioeconomic processes. Requisite with the complexity of the Amazon system, we are implementing a computational framework for evaluating tradeoffs between hydropower and different ecosystem services including floodplain fisheries, river connectivity, sediment export, and biodiversity. We find that optimal hydropower dam location choices based on single criteria contrast sharply with those considering multiple objectives. For example, some dams rarely contained in optimal solutions based on a single criterion such as river connectivity, are always found in optimal solutions when suites of ecosystem service criteria are considered. Clearly, planning for Amazon hydropower requires decision tools with adequate sophistication to navigate the multiple tradeoffs between energy and a diversity of ecosystem services.

Alexander Flecker (Primary Presenter/Author), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, asf3@cornell.edu;


Roosevelt García-Villacorta (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, rg676@cornell.edu;


Qinru Shi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, qs63@cornell.edu;


Suresh Sethi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, suresh.sethi@cornell.edu;


Scott Steinschneider (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, ss3378@cornell.edu;


Bruce Forsberg (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Institute of Amazon Research, Manaus, AM, Brazil, brforsberg@gmail.com;


Elizabeth Anderson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA, eanderson8@gmail.com;


Jonathan Gomes Selman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, jgs8@stanford.edu;


Carla Gomes (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, gomes@cs.cornell.edu;


the Amazon Dams CompSust Working Group (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cornell University, amazondamscompsust@gmail.com;


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12:00 - 12:15: / 430 B WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF DAMMING THE AMAZON?

5/24/2018  |   12:00 - 12:15   |  430 B

WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF DAMMING THE AMAZON? The prospect of building hundreds of new dams in the Amazon Basin presents a complex challenge for avoiding significant environmental and ecological degradation the world’s largest tropical river basin. The alteration of fundamental fluvial processes will disrupt riverine habitat structure and dynamics that are critical to sustaining ecological processes that support ecosystem productivity upon which indigenous and local peoples depend. Impacts spanning local (at-a-dam) to regional (basin-wide) scales will have a spatial distribution that reflects the size, location and operation of proposed dams in large tributary systems to the Amazon River main stem. The total environmental footprint of proposed dams (including greenhouse gas production) is not known, and there is an urgent need to comprehensively and transparently characterize the tradeoffs associated with hydropower energy production versus water and food security afforded by free-flowing Amazonian rivers. The presentations from this special session illustrate state-of-the art understanding about environmental risks of development of the Amazon’s hydropower potential. However, they also reveal knowledge gaps that require a coordinated, interdisciplinary and international scientific research program to assess risk to social-ecological sustainability posed by hydropower development in the Amazon Basin.

N LeRoy Poff (Primary Presenter/Author), Colorado State University, poff@lamar.colostate.edu;


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