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SFS Annual Meeting

Monday, May 20, 2019
09:00 - 10:30

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09:00 - 09:15: / 250 CF THE EPITOME OF TRANSLATIONAL ECOLOGY – FEEDBACKS BETWEEN BIOASSESSMENT PROGRAMS, SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY, AND ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

5/20/2019  |   09:00 - 09:15   |  250 CF

THE EPITOME OF TRANSLATIONAL ECOLOGY – FEEDBACKS BETWEEN BIOASSESSMENT PROGRAMS, SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY, AND ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT Sound science is needed to support effective bioassessment programs, but the data collected by these programs can also be used to advance ecological understanding of local and regional patterns in freshwater ecosystems. Historically, research on the macroecology of freshwater invertebrates was hindered by the paucity of spatially extensive observations describing both the distribution of biota and environmental conditions. However, the archiving of data collected in support of bioassessment programs has resulted in millions of records that can be mined both to advance basic ecological discovery and improve inferences about the relative importance of different threats to freshwater ecosystems. In this talk, I describe how data archived by the Utah State University/Bureau of Land Management Bug Lab, the USEPA’s National Aquatic Resources Survey, the USGS’s NAWQA program, and many States have contributed to our understanding of environmental constraints on species distributions, metacommunity processes in streams, the likely effects of climate change on freshwater invertebrates, and the local and regional importance of different historical and emerging threats to freshwater biodiversity. In short, bioassessment programs have been supporting and encouraging translational ecology for over 50 years.

Charles Hawkins (Primary Presenter/Author), Department of Watershed Sciences, National Aquatic Monitoring Center, and Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan Utah 84322-5210, chuck.hawkins@usu.edu;


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09:15 - 09:30: / 250 CF A FRAMEWORK TO SET GOALS AND INFORM MANAGEMENT DECISIONS

5/20/2019  |   09:15 - 09:30   |  250 CF

A FRAMEWORK TO SET GOALS AND INFORM MANAGEMENT DECISIONS The Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) is a conceptual, scientific framework for interpreting biological response to increasing effects of stressors on aquatic ecosystems. Water quality management programs are increasingly using the BCG as an organizing framework to help link biological assessments with stressor monitoring, stream reach, catchment and watershed scale data. We consider innovative ways in which state and county water quality programs are applying BCGs and bioassessments in conjunction with chemistry and physical data, technical approaches and modeling to set goals for protection and restoration of their aquatic resources, identify and protect high quality waters, track biological response to remediation and controls, and effectively engage the public in decision making.

Susan Jackson (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson.Susank@epa.gov;


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09:30 - 09:45: / 250 CF TRANSLATING HISTORICAL AND ONGOING MONITORING DATA INTO GOALS AND ACTIONS IN WATERSHEDS

5/20/2019  |   09:30 - 09:45   |  250 CF

TRANSLATING HISTORICAL AND ONGOING MONITORING DATA INTO GOALS AND ACTIONS IN WATERSHEDS Monitoring data accumulated over time provide opportunities to identify ecosystem trends that benefit management and conservation efforts. Here, we show how historical and ongoing monitoring efforts in reservoirs and streams are providing valuable information for nutrient and watershed management, along with a better understanding of how changing climate conditions affect expectations. We further focus on an intensively monitored reservoir in Ohio and its agriculturally dominated watershed as an example of how translational science is turning data and stakeholder engagement into conservation and management actions with better ideas of achievable goals. DNA metabarcoding of stream diatoms is further informing possible nutrient goals. Interdisciplinary collaboration and ongoing engagement among stakeholders, practitioners, ecologists, economists, and modelers are leading to the identification and prioritization of conservation and management practices in the watershed. Actions from 2011 to 2018 include cover crop plantings expanding from 0 to 69 square kilometers, 125 active USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program contracts being implemented, and 59 nutrient management and conservation practices being funded by the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Ongoing monitoring and stakeholder engagement will continue being important to realizing the effectiveness of management practices for improving downstream ecosystems.

Nathan Smucker (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, smucker.nathan@epa.gov;


Christopher Nietch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nietch.christopher@epa.gov;


Erik Pilgrim (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USEPA/NERL/SED, Cincinnati, OH, pilgrim.erik@epa.gov;


Matthew Heberling (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heberling.matt@epa.gov;


Amr Safwat (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Aptim Federal Services, LLC, amr.safwat@aptim.com;


John McManus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District, jmcmanus@clermontcountyohio.gov;


Rebecca McClatchey (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District, rmcclatchey@clermontcountyohio.gov;


Hannah Lubbers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality, hlubbers@clermontcountyohio.gov;


Lori Lenhart (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service of Clermont and Brown Counties, lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov;


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09:45 - 10:00: / 250 CF DESIGNATING AQUATIC LIFE USES ACROSS THE FLOW REGIME SPECTRUM IN ARIZONA STREAMS, USING BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE DATA

5/20/2019  |   09:45 - 10:00   |  250 CF

DESIGNATING AQUATIC LIFE USES ACROSS THE FLOW REGIME SPECTRUM IN ARIZONA STREAMS, USING BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE DATA Macroinvertebrate datasets are increasingly used to verify flow regime status and refine designated use classes in Arizona’s surface water standards. Arizona’s unique aquatic & wildlife designated use classes recognize cold, warm, effluent-dependent, and ephemeral streams all as separate categories, with orders of magnitude different chemistry criteria as well as different Index of Biological Integrity thresholds. ADEQ created a statewide elevation-based classification model based on macroinvertebrate species distributions, to distinguish cold from warm designated uses in streams. ADEQ has also used biological data to modify designated uses; a case example that resulted in a designated use upgrade is presented. Macroinvertebrate datasets, photo flows, and visual based flow duration methods are being tested to distinguish ephemeral from intermittent streams and to develop a bioassessment tool for seasonally intermittent streams. Using biological data to more accurately identify flow regime status and associated designated uses is more important now than ever, with a potential loss in Clean Water Act protection for >99% of Arizona’s ephemeral and other stream miles under the proposed WOTUS rule.

Patrice Spindler (Primary Presenter/Author), AZ Dept of Environmental Quality, phs@azdeq.gov;


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10:00 - 10:15: / 250 CF BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION SUPPORTS RAPID DETERMINATION OF STREAMFLOW PERMANENCE OF HEADWATER, INTERMITTENT, AND EPHEMERAL STREAMS

5/20/2019  |   10:00 - 10:15   |  250 CF

BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION SUPPORTS RAPID DETERMINATION OF STREAMFLOW PERMANENCE OF HEADWATER, INTERMITTENT, AND EPHEMERAL STREAMS Biological indicators were among the most important attributes in discriminating among streamflow permanence classes (i.e. perennial, intermittent, ephemeral) in a three-state study evaluating the efficacy of ~30 physical and biological predictor variables for a rapid assessment framework to inform jurisdictional determinations for purposes of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA). Hydrology (duration, frequency, timing of flow) is a critical element of the abiotic template that governs the biological attributes of headwater and temporary streams; physical measures may be influenced by factors other than streamflow permanence, such as flow magnitude. Recent studies verify that non-perennial streams maintain distinct macroinvertebrate communities with adapted species. The Streamflow Duration Assessment Method (SDAM) for the Pacific Northwest, which relies primarily on biological indicators, has proven useful where knowledge of streamflow permanence improves ecological assessment and management, including informing CWA jurisdictional determinations. Given SDAM’s utility, the scarcity of long-term stream gauges, and the national need for accurate classification of flow permanence to inform water resource management decisions, we are evaluating the efficacy of indicators that performed well in the Pacific Northwest via an expansion study in the American southwest and mountain west, focusing on biological information.

Tracie Nadeau (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nadeau.tracie@epa.gov;


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10:15 - 10:30: / 250 CF THE USE OF BIOLOGICAL DATA IN CLIMATE ASSESSMENTS AND BEYOND

5/20/2019  |   10:15 - 10:30   |  250 CF

THE USE OF BIOLOGICAL DATA IN CLIMATE ASSESSMENTS AND BEYOND Climate assessments have taken on added importance to biomonitoring programs as changing air temperature and precipitation patterns and extreme weather events are triggering wide-ranging impacts in aquatic waterbodies across the globe, even in pristine locations. In this presentation, we provide examples of ways in which state and tribal biomonitoring programs are using stream macroinvertebrate data in climate assessments in the eastern US and Pacific Northwest. While the biological data have great value in and of themselves, their value is enhanced when used in combination with other types of data, including thermal and hydrologic data and landscape-scale watershed condition data. Together these multiple layers of information are being used to refine lists of climate indicator taxa, improve hypotheses on where and how climate change is likely to affect biological communities, identify ecologically meaningful thresholds related to thermal and hydrologic events, and to better understand resiliency to extreme weather events. We conclude with some examples of how biomonitoring programs are starting to utilize climate assessment information to help inform monitoring strategies and prioritization of sites for restoration and conservation.

Jennifer Stamp (Primary Presenter/Author), Tetra Tech Center for Ecological Sciences, Jen.Stamp@tetratech.com;


Anna Hamilton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Tetra Tech Center for Ecological Sciences, Anna.Hamilton@tetratech.com;


Britta Bierwagen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US EPA, bierwagen.britta@epa.gov;


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