Sunday, May 22, 2016
10:30 - 12:00

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10:30 - 10:45: / 309-310 FRESHWATER CONSERVATION IN CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

5/22/2016  |   10:30 - 10:45   |  309-310

FRESHWATER CONSERVATION IN CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Freshwater systems in Central America and the Caribbean share many similarities, most watersheds are relatively small, originating in a mountain ranges, draining a steep terrains, and emptying into the ocean after a few kilometers. Some components of the fauna maintain a marine connection and migratory life cycles (e.g., some decapods). Freshwater resources suffer of well-known conservation issues: river damming, water pollution, poor or lack of management of residual waters. All those conservation issues are now potentially changing in light of climate change. In Central America and the Caribbean, models predict changes in the annual distribution of rainfall and in the frequency of extreme events (e.g., hurricanes). Recent years have experienced uncommonly dry conditions. Drought not only increases demand for drinking water, but also alters ecosystem dynamics. In the Caribbean, a consequence of drought is the establishment of exotic fish species that compete with natives ones altering ecosystem dynamics. Here we discuss how freshwater conservation in Central America and the Caribbean might be affected by climate change, in particular the effects of drought on stream ecosystems.

Alonso Ramirez (Primary Presenter/Author), North Carolina State University, alonso.ramirez@ncsu.edu;


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10:45 - 11:00: / 309-310 SOUTH AMERICA: FRESHWATER FISH MEGADIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION MEGACHALLENGES

5/22/2016  |   10:45 - 11:00   |  309-310

SOUTH AMERICA: FRESHWATER FISH MEGADIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION MEGACHALLENGES South America harbours the most diverse freshwater fish fauna on Earth, with current richness standing above 5,100 species and estimates pointing to a final diversity between 8,000 and 9,000 species – roughly one third of all freshwater fishes worldwide. This astonishing diversity of fishes inhabits an equally outstanding number of freshwater habitat types. Mainly due to habitat loss and degradation caused primarily by extensive land use change and hydroelectric damming 4 to 10% of all freshwater fish species in South America face some degree of extinction risk. Hydroelectric damming is particularly harmful for South American migratory species because of their reproductive biology, which is distinct from those in the northern hemisphere. Different river basins are being impacted by a distinct range of threats, to which climatic changes have been added in more recent years. Despite the complex array of factors threatening South American freshwater habitats and its fishes, the situation in the continental portion of South America is still significantly better than in other parts of the world.

Roberto Reis (Primary Presenter/Author), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul - PUCRS, reis@pucrs.br;


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11:00 - 11:15: / 309-310 FRESHWATER CONSERVATION IN THE NORTHERN ANDES, CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES

5/22/2016  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  309-310

FRESHWATER CONSERVATION IN THE NORTHERN ANDES, CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES The Northern Andes host an amazing freshwater biodiversity. However, biodiversity pressures on freshwater ecosystems are strong threatening a biodiversity that is far from known. The mosaic of degraded areas and well-conserved lands is different in each country. Deforestation and industrial agriculture, with intensive use of pesticides, has replaced extensive areas of tropical forest, with not only a significant biodiversity and connectivity loss but also a change in rain regime and water availability. Artisanal and industrial mining is becoming more widespread in the area, with effects on water quality, in several cases from the headwaters to entire watersheds. Bad designed roads generate constant sediment augmentation to creeks, with strong effects on freshwater communities. Hydropower dams are being built and planned all over the Andes, without implementing accurate environmental flows and with strong consequences for migratory fish. Some community initiatives have recovered the land, increased connectivity among forest patches and manage areas for an effective conservation by changing agricultural practices. These constitute an example of productive systems that can contribute to biodiversity conservation, however the current scale of these projects is small.

Blanca Rios-Touma (Primary Presenter/Author), Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Cambio Climático (BioCamb), Ingeniería en Biodiversidad y Recursos Genéticos, Facultad de Ciencias de Medio Ambiente, blancarios@uti.edu.ec;


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11:15 - 11:30: / 309-310 MANAGEMENT OF FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS UNDER FAST ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

5/22/2016  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  309-310

MANAGEMENT OF FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS UNDER FAST ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE Freshwater ecosystems are important for global biodiversity and provide essential ecosystem services. There is consensus in the scientific literature that freshwater ecosystems are vulnerable to the impacts of environmental change, which may trigger irreversible regime shifts upon which biodiversity and ecosystem services may be lost. There are profound uncertainties regarding the management and assessment of the vulnerability of freshwater ecosystems to environmental change. Quantitative approaches are needed to reduce this uncertainty. We describe available statistical and modeling approaches along with case studies that demonstrate how resilience theory can be applied to aid decision-making in natural resources management. We highlight especially how long-term monitoring efforts combined with ecological theory can provide a novel nexus between ecological impact assessment and management, and the quantification of systemic vulnerability and thus the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.

David Angeler (Primary Presenter/Author), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, david.angeler@slu.se;


Craig Allen ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, callen2@unl.edu;


Hannah Birgé ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Nebraska - Lincoln, hbirge@gmail.com;


Brendan McKie ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, brendan.mckie@slu.se;


Stina Drakare ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, stina.drakare@slu.se;


Richard Johnson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, richard.johnson@slu.se;


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11:30 - 11:45: / 309-310 PLANNING AND ASSESSING RESTORATION USING MULTIPLE INDICATOR MONITORING AND INTEGRATED DATA MANAGEMENT IN THE DELAWARE RIVER BASIN

5/22/2016  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  309-310

PLANNING AND ASSESSING RESTORATION USING MULTIPLE INDICATOR MONITORING AND INTEGRATED DATA MANAGEMENT IN THE DELAWARE RIVER BASIN While researchers have called for improved assessment of watershed restoration projects for more than a decade, little has been done to evaluate their effectiveness, making it difficult to estimate the potential impact on fluvial ecosystems and scale of impact (spatial and temporal). Prioritizing the type and location of restoration activities in the context of other watershed activities is an essential step towards a more holistic approach in management planning and assessment. Agricultural BMPs across large regions have shown positive effects on ecosystems at large scales (e.g. the Mississippi Basin and the Gulf of Mexico), but these efforts have not been assessed at sub-watershed scales (<100km2). We identify problems hindering the use of empirical data to support restoration ecology theories at the sub-watershed scale. Further, we propose an approach to resolving these gaps through spatial analysis, multiple indicator monitoring and assessment, and integrated data management. We present results on multiple indicator responses to stressors through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) and lessons learned from project inventory through Pennsylvania DEP’s Growing Greener Program.

Stefanie Kroll (Primary Presenter/Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, sak345@drexel.edu;


David Keller ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, dhk44@drexel.edu;


Scott Haag ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, smh362@drexel.edu;


Richard Horwitz ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, rjh78@drexel.edu;


John Jackson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Stroud Water Research Center, jkjackson@stroudcenter.org;


Alison Minerovic ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, adm354@drexel.edu;


Frank Acker ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, fwa23@drexel.edu;


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11:45 - 12:00: / 309-310 ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO INCREMENTAL DECREASES IN SPRING DISCHARGE: EXAMPLES FROM THE GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERTS, USA

5/22/2016  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  309-310

ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO INCREMENTAL DECREASES IN SPRING DISCHARGE: EXAMPLES FROM THE GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERTS, USA Most springs have been altered by human activity, often causing extinction and extirpation of rare taxa. However, little is known about the ecological effects of disturbance. We assessed the effects of incremental decreases in spring discharge through field experiments and numerically modeling to: (1) quantifying changes in physical habitat and benthic macroinvertebrate habitat availability; (2) determine the effect on thermal patterns; and (3) delineate tipping points for environmental metrics, microhabitat availability, and changes in benthic macroinvertebrate community structure that exhibit a non-linear response to decreased flow. Tipping points for most habitat metrics, microhabitat availability for individual species, and in benthic macroinvertebrate community structure were associated with decreases less than 20 percent. A thermal tipping point was also observed with approximately a 30 percent decrease, and its occurrence was a function of distance from the spring source and seasonality. This work indicates that spring-fed environments and aquatic communities are highly sensitive to decreasing discharge, which can be attributed to factors such as surface diversion, groundwater depletion, and climate change.

Donald Sada (Primary Presenter/Author), Desert Research Institute, don.sada@dri.edu;


Rina Schumer ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Desert Research Institute, rina.schumer@dri.edu;


Ryan Morrison ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colorado State University, ryan.morrison@colostate.edu;


Mark Hausner ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Desert Research Institute, mark. hausner@dri.edu;


Mark Stone ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of New Mexico, stone@unm.edu;


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