Wednesday, May 25, 2016
15:30 - 17:00

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15:30 - 15:45: / 314 E-FLOWS FOR THE EU WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE - FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

5/25/2016  |   15:30 - 15:45   |  314

E-FLOWS FOR THE EU WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE - FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) sets binding objectives on protection and conservation of water-dependent ecosystems. The establishment and maintenance of ecological flows is an essential element in meeting those objectives, but until recently little progress was made in addressing this issue. To fill this gap, the EU countries have recently developed a guidance document “Ecological flows in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive”. In the WFD context, ecological flows are defined as “an hydrological regime consistent with the achievement of the environmental objectives of the WFD in natural surface water bodies”. The main WFD environmental objective is good ecological status, assessed as departure of biological indicators from type-specific reference conditions. To implement e-flows, it is therefore necessary to establish quantitative relationships between flow regime and ecological conditions. At present there are still large differences how EU countries put this in practice, but the guidance provides the framework for more harmonised approaches. Key to this is an understanding of how alterations to natural flow regimes have effects on biological communities through changes in habitat composition and river processes.

Wouter van de Bund (Primary Presenter/Author), European Commission DG Joint Research Centre, wouter.van-de-bund@jrc.ec.europa.eu;


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15:45 - 16:00: / 314 FUNCTIONAL FLOWS IN MODIFIED RIVERSCAPES: HYDROGRAPHS, HABITATS AND OPPORTUNITIES

5/25/2016  |   15:45 - 16:00   |  314

FUNCTIONAL FLOWS IN MODIFIED RIVERSCAPES: HYDROGRAPHS, HABITATS AND OPPORTUNITIES Building on previous environmental flow discussions and a growing recognition that hydrogeomorphic processes are inherent in the ecological functionality and biodiversity of riverscapes, we propose a functional-flows approach to managing heavily modified rivers. The approach focuses on retaining specific process-based components of the hydrograph, or functional flows, rather than attempting to mimic the full natural flow regime. Key functional components include wet-season initiation flows, peak magnitude flows, seasonal transition recession flows, dry-season low flows, and interannual variability. We illustrate the importance of each key functional flow using examples from western US rivers with seasonably predictable flow regimes. To maximize the functionality of these flows, connectivity to morphologically diverse overbank areas must be enhanced in both space and time, and consideration must be given to the sediment-transport regime. Finally, we provide guiding principles for developing functional flows or incorporating functional flows into existing environmental flow frameworks. We suggest this approach allows for development of flow regimes that encompass ecosystem processes alongside varied human needs and can be applied in an adaptive management framework allowing for changing conditions and needs.

Sarah Yarnell (Primary Presenter/Author), University of California, Davis, smyarnell@ucdavis.edu;


Geoffrey Petts ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Westminster, G.Petts@westminster.ac.uk;


John Schmidt ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, jack.schmidt@usu.edu;


Alison Whipple ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, aawhipple@ucdavis.edu;


Erin Beller ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), San Francisco Estuary Institute, erin@sfei.org;


Cliff Dahm ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of New Mexico, cdahm@sevilleta.unm.edu;


Peter Goodwin ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Idaho, pgoodwin@uidaho.edu;


Joshua Viers ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Merced, jviers@ucmerced.edu;


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16:00 - 16:15: / 314 QUANTIFYING MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO FLOW AND THERMAL VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH RESERVOIR OPERATIONS

5/25/2016  |   16:00 - 16:15   |  314

QUANTIFYING MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO FLOW AND THERMAL VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH RESERVOIR OPERATIONS The natural flow regime represents a master variable controlling lotic ecosystems through numerous direct and indirect influences. Physical and hydrological modifications to streams via impoundments have degraded instream communities globally, generating widespread recognition of the need to support ‘natural’ flow variability that can meet ecosystem needs. Environmental flows have been increasingly recognised as an effective way of mitigating ecological changes caused by hydrological alterations. However, further research is required to provide baseline information on abiotic controls in both natural and regulated systems to guide environmental flow methodologies. In this study, we quantify biotic responses to modifications of flow and thermal regimes across three impoundments. Long-term macroinvertebrate community responses to flow and thermal variability across regulated and unregulated (control) sites were examined. Structural and functional responses of macroinvertebrate communities varied significantly in relation to distinct facets of hydrological and thermal regimes, which differed between regulated and unregulated sites. The results show that quantifying long-term ecological responses to flow and thermal regimes unveil key environmental controls on lotic ecosystems, which could provide a benchmark for the future development of environmental flow targets.

James White (Primary Presenter/Author), Loughborough University, J.White2@lboro.ac.uk;


Paul Wood ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loughborough University, UK, p.j.wood@lboro.ac.uk;


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


Andy House ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Wessex Water, andy.house@wessexwater.co.uk;


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16:15 - 16:30: / 314 RESOLVING THE INFLUENCE OF STREAMFLOW ON ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES IN THE LOWER CEDAR RIVER, WASHINGTON

5/25/2016  |   16:15 - 16:30   |  314

RESOLVING THE INFLUENCE OF STREAMFLOW ON ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES IN THE LOWER CEDAR RIVER, WASHINGTON Ecological water management depends on clearly articulated objectives and evidence for the streamflow or water levels required to achieve those objectives. There has been recent progress in quantifying how streamflow regulates key ecological processes in lower Cedar River, Washington including channel migration, stream-bed scour, and connectivity of off-channel and mainstem habitats. Specifically, each process has been associated with a relatively narrow band of streamflow. This progress has been a result of integrating a broad suite of methods including detailed field surveys, continuous monitoring, hydraulic modeling, and LiDAR mapping. The results are being used by water managers for real-time reservoir operation but also for long-term monitoring of the river system including restoration efforts. Greater precision in the linkages between streamflow and ecological processes can narrow the conflict between competing objectives, clarify the likely consequences of decisions, and, thus, facilitate management of water resources for multiple objectives.

Christopher Konrad (POC,Primary Presenter), US Geological Survey, cpkonrad@usgs.gov;


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16:30 - 16:45: / 314 LEGACIES, LAGS, AND SHIFTING BASELINES: ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW RESTORATION IN A CHANGED AND CHANGING WORLD

5/25/2016  |   16:30 - 16:45   |  314

LEGACIES, LAGS, AND SHIFTING BASELINES: ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW RESTORATION IN A CHANGED AND CHANGING WORLD Anthropogenic impacts on natural ecosystems are now pervasive, and will play out ever more severely ways as human populations and per capita resource use increase. The effects of removals of water for irrigation and drinking mean that the vast majority of major river systems have dramatically altered flow regimes. Restoration of flow regimes is critical to maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in these systems. However, flow management requires a sophisticated approach that considers existing condition (legacies), delays in responses to restoration (lags) and underlying trends due to global impacts such as climate change (shifting baselines). We provide a general conceptual framework for restoration that deals with legacies, lags and shifting baselines, using environmental flow management as a case study. This framework is used to illustrate the challenges and opportunities for defining restoration targets. We identify the need for a trait-based approach to understanding the responses of different groups of biota to restoration as a critical next step to managing for improved ecological condition.

Ross Thompson (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Canberra, ross.thompson@canberra.edu.au;


Alison King ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Charles Darwin University, Alison.King@cdu.edu.au;


Richard Kingsford ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of New South Wales, richard.kingsford@unsw.edu.au;


Ralph Mac Nally ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Canberra, ralph.macnally@canberra.edu.au;


LeRoy Poff ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colorado State University, n.poff@rams.colostate.edu;


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16:45 - 17:00: / 314 FROM COBBLES TO CAUSATION: TRANSLATING FLOW ECOLOGY RELATIONSHIPS TO MANAGEMENT ACTIONS

5/25/2016  |   16:45 - 17:00   |  314

FROM COBBLES TO CAUSATION: TRANSLATING FLOW ECOLOGY RELATIONSHIPS TO MANAGEMENT ACTIONS The Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) framework uses relationships between changes in hydrology and changes in ecology to establish targets or thresholds that can be used to guide flow management decisions that protect stream health. However, the translation of ELOHA-derived relationships to management actions requires numerous decisions that are typically made after the analyses are complete. An alternative is an iterative process wherein decisions are informed by desired management endpoints and constraints (e.g., legal requirements to avoid flooding). For example, the choice of ecological endpoints (e.g. community, trait based, or indicator species) should be informed by established management goals and the combination of stressors that co-occur with hydrologic alteration. Similarly, the appropriateness of hydrologic metrics (e.g., base flow magnitude, low flow duration, storm flow recession rates) will vary based on the management goals, existing, and competing needs for water resources. Successful implementation of the ELOHA framework requires translation of these complex relationships to readily interpretable tools and thresholds. We explore examples of how these challenges are being addressed through case studies involving development and implementation of flow-ecology relationships

Eric Stein (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, erics@sccwrp.org;


Jonathan Kennen ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Geological Survey, New Jersey Water Science Center, jgkennen@usgs.gov;


J. Angus Webb ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Melbourne, angus.webb@unimelb.edu.au;


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