Monday, May 23, 2016
10:30 - 12:00

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10:30 - 10:45: / 306 TRAITS-BASED VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE

5/23/2016  |   10:30 - 10:45   |  306

TRAITS-BASED VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change vulnerability assessments can inform adaptation by providing results that help managers identify and set priorities among addressable impacts. Iterative vulnerability assessments can inform monitoring and adaptive management to assess effectiveness, adjust actions, and re-evaluate goals and objectives. Traits-based approaches can contribute effectively to many aspects of this vulnerability assessment framework by informing the mechanistic link between pattern and process, providing insights into why certain vulnerability patterns are observed, and allowing for comparisons across geographic regions that may have differing species pools. However, there are still many unresolved issues in using traits-based approaches, from understanding which traits are responding to specific environmental gradients, to recognizing trait variations resulting from phenotypic plasticity, genotypic responses to the environment, or ontogeny in order to make better trait assignments. Progress has been made in traits research and methods, and we will show how these advances improve our ability to apply traits and trait suites in vulnerability assessment and monitoring. Views expressed are the authors’ and not views or policies of the U.S.EPA.

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


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


Susan Julius ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. EPA/ORD, Julius.Susan@epa.gov;


Jen Stamp ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Tetra Tech, jen.stamp@tetratech.com;


Jonathan Witt ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Fairfax County Division of Stormwater Planning, jonathan.witt@fairfaxcounty.gov;


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10:45 - 11:00: / 306 A REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF TRAIT-FLOW RELATIONSHIPS IN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

5/23/2016  |   10:45 - 11:00   |  306

A REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF TRAIT-FLOW RELATIONSHIPS IN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS Species trait distributions are increasingly used in a stream bioassessments and have the potential to detect hydrological disturbances (i.e., changes in mean flow, flow variability or extreme flow events) due to climate change and other anthropogenic activities. I reviewed the scientific literature looking for discussions of potential aquatic insect trait-flow relationships and found 44 scholarly publications, such as textbooks or review papers, which use ecological principles to make a priori predictions concerning trait distributions and flow. I found an additional ~75 peer-reviewed papers that tested trait flow relationships at various scales. Additionally, I tested a priori predictions of trait-flow relationships using a large-scale analysis of 253 least-impacted streams in the western United States using multinomial regression. Measures of hydrological disturbance (e.g., frequency of low flows, duration of flood free days) did not exhibit strong relationships with traits in my analysis while many papers with small-scale analyses matched predictions. My results indicate that traits may not be effective in detecting natural hydrological variation in streams at large scales.

Matthew Pyne (Primary Presenter/Author), Lamar University, mattpyne@hotmail.com;


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11:00 - 11:15: / 306 DETERMINATION OF BENTHIC INVERTEBRATE FLOW TRAITS IN GERMAN RIVERS

5/23/2016  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  306

DETERMINATION OF BENTHIC INVERTEBRATE FLOW TRAITS IN GERMAN RIVERS Even that the discharge of many rivers is expected decrease worldwide due to climate change, surprisingly little empirical knowledge is available on the ecological requirements of benthic invertebrates dwelling there. Being rather descriptive so far, these ecological traits are of limited value to quantify effects of changes in flow. Hence, we aimed to determine quantitative preferences of lotic invertebrates regarding flow conditions (“flow traits”) for Central Europe. For that, we gathered two datasets: (1) Long-term hydrological data recorded at 365 gauging stations in Germany and (2) results from benthic invertebrate samples (774 sites) of Germany's rivers and streams. Hydrological data were characterized by 10 selected hydrological indices, providing information on magnitude, timing, duration, rate and frequency of changes in flow. By using hierarchical logistic regression modeling, we then identified invertebrate preferences for a variety of hydrological conditions, e.g. min./max./optimum values for individual taxa. Additionally, the variation in flow traits among taxa was explored. The results of this analysis enable a quantitative description of taxa responses to flow alteration, which represent valuable information for ecological modelling and predicting impacts of flow changes.

Karan Kakouei (Primary Presenter/Author), Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, kakouei@igb-berlin.de;


Jens Kiesel ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB-Berlin), kiesel@igb-berlin.de;


Martin Pusch ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB-Berlin), pusch@igb-berlin.de;


Sonja C. Jähnig ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany , sonja.jaehnig@igb-berlin.de;


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11:15 - 11:30: / 306 WHAT CAN TRAITS TELL US THAT TAXONOMY CANNOT? A CASE STUDY OF A DRYING STREAM IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST

5/23/2016  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  306

WHAT CAN TRAITS TELL US THAT TAXONOMY CANNOT? A CASE STUDY OF A DRYING STREAM IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST Multivariate functional diversity methods have emerged as a promising direction in applied freshwater research. The sheer number of trait-based studies suggests that these approaches are intuitively appealing, but whether or not they generate novel inferences beyond those obtained from traditional taxonomic analyses is still largely uncertain. Here we applied a multidimensional functional trait framework to analyze changes in stream invertebrate composition during a drought-induced transition from perennial flow (years: 2002-2005) to intermittent flow (years: 2005-2009) and then compared the outcomes of trait and taxonomic approaches. We found that taxonomic richness was not affected by this transition to intermittent flow, but trait richness was. Taxa with diverse combinations of traits were replaced by functionally similar colonists, thus reducing the functional diversity of the community. Our functional analysis also highlighted the importance of spatial context and proximity to colonist sources in determining community responses to drought – inferences not apparent from taxonomic analyses alone. Our results suggest that trait-based analyses can augment system-specific natural history and taxonomic knowledge to increase our understanding of the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems.

Kate Boersma (Primary Presenter/Author), University of San Diego, kateboersma@sandiego.edu;


Michael Bogan ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Natural Resources and the Environment, The University of Arizona, mbogan@email.arizona.edu;


Laura Dee ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota, laura.ellen.dee@gmail.com;


Alix Gitelman ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Oregon State University, gitelman@stat.oregonstate.edu;


Steve Miller ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota, Steve.Miller@gmail.com;


Adam Siepielski ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arkansas, amsiepie@uark.edu;


David Lytle ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Oregon State University, lytleda@oregonstate.edu;


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11:30 - 11:45: / 306 RHEOPHILY AND THERMOPHILY AS POWERFUL TRAITS FOR PREDICTING RESPONSES OF AQUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES TO DROUGHT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

5/23/2016  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  306

RHEOPHILY AND THERMOPHILY AS POWERFUL TRAITS FOR PREDICTING RESPONSES OF AQUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES TO DROUGHT AND CLIMATE CHANGE Rheophily and thermophily are traits describing the preferences of aquatic organisms for current velocity and water temperature respectively. Although treated in the past as categorical variables, the rheophily and thermophily of species or higher taxa can easily be estimated on a continuous scale from field distributions and associations with velocity or visually defined hydraulic biotopes. In south-eastern Australia, patterns of rheophily and thermophily within stream macro-invertebrates assemblages have shown strong relationships with long-term climatic change and with fluctuations between periods of drought and flooding. Rheophily and thermophily are correlated with each other and with respiration mode and tolerance of low dissolved oxygen levels, suggesting a trait syndrome related to adaptation to rithron versus potamon and lentic environments. These traits have a high potential to identify species that are vulnerable to future climatic warming and drying and are also correlated with diet, indicating potential consequences for ecosystem processes of shifts in patterns of rheophily and thermophily within macroinvertebrate assemblages.

Bruce Chessman (POC,Primary Presenter), University of New South Wales, Australia, brucechessman@gmail.com;


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11:45 - 12:00: / 306 IMPLICATIONS OF GLACIER RETREAT FOR MACROINVERTEBRATE FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY IN ALPINE RIVERS

5/23/2016  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  306

IMPLICATIONS OF GLACIER RETREAT FOR MACROINVERTEBRATE FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY IN ALPINE RIVERS In alpine river systems, water source (i.e. snow/ice melt or groundwater) dynamics are a major control on benthic community structure. However, to date studies linking quantitative measurement of water source contribution to functional traits are limited. In this study we aimed to identify: (i) functional trait profiles sensitive to meltwater reductions and (ii) community assembly processes operating across the meltwater spectrum (i.e. meltwater - groundwater). Habitat characteristics and macroinvertebrate trait profiles (fuzzy coded) were recorded at 24 sites in the French Pyrénées. Multivariate methods were used to link traits to environmental variables and a null modelling approach was adopted to assess trait convergence – divergence. Three functional strategies associated with high meltwater contribution were identified: (i) an r selected life history strategy, (ii) an omnivorous feeding strategy, and (iii) a flow resistant body from. As meltwater contributions decreased, locally dominant taxa shifted from displaying a convergent resistant/resilient functional strategy to displaying divergent functional strategies. This suggests that community assembly processes are likely to become more stochastic under future scenarios of glacier retreat.

Kieran Khamis (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Birmingham, k.khamis@bham.ac.uk;


Victoria Milner ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Worcester, v.milner@worc.ac.uk;


Lee Brown ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Leeds, UK, l.brown@leeds.ac.uk;


David Hannah ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Birmingham, UK, D.M.HANNAH@bham.ac.uk;


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