Land clearing, wetland drainage, dam building, beaver trapping, channelization, N deposition, and overfishing have had both direct and indirect impacts on aquatic ecosystems. This chapter details the various techniques used to measure discharge, and ranges from volumetric analysis (the most accurate but least used) to the most commonly applied velocity–area method to more advanced slope–area methods, which require estimates of channel resistance. Many of these services, which are underpinned by biodiversity, are greatly undervalued. The structure and function of Arkansas River ecosystems, from montaine headwaters to confluence with the Mississippi River, have not been studied comprehensively. These include the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention of Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species, and the World Heritage Convention. In contrast, richness may increase from upstream to downstream in catchments with intermittent headwaters, because downstream perennial reaches are refuges that provide recolonists once flow resumes (Fig. John Valbo-Jørgensen, ... Kent Hortle, in The Mekong, 2009. Thorp, in Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, 2009. The following hypotheses pertain to changing river network function in a changing environment: H1: Contemporary river networks are much more autotrophic than they were historically because (a) terrestrial carbon inputs at network scales have declined due to riparian clearing, wetland drainage, and channelization that prevents linkages with riparian floodplains; (b) increased light inputs in smaller streams due to riparian clearing and construction of reservoirs; (c) increased N and P inputs have lessened nutrient limitation throughout the stream continuum, including lakes. This chapter has highlighted the important role of fish biodiversity to human welfare in the region but the service provided by this component of biodiversity is only one of many that should be managed collectively if the basin is to be sustainably developed. Only by developing and implementing holistic land-use policies that emphasize user participation and an ecosystem/biodiversity-based approach to management will be possible to succeed in turning around the histories of nonsustainability of aquatic resource use (Parveen and Faisa, 2003; Pullin, 1999). The ecosystem boundaries are permeable with respect to energy and materials flux; therefore, even large systems are influenced by external events such as global climate change, pollution, national and global economies, and emigration of people and nonnative biota. River ecosystems are influenced by natural processes and anthropogenic impacts at different spatial and temporal scales. (2008) found that richness differed among Californian, South African, southwestern Australian, and Mediterranean Basin regions: northern hemisphere regions had higher gamma diversity, probably due to past geological events such as glaciations promoting evolution of new species. Describe the management regime (policies, institutions, environmental factors, and social and ecological demands operating on a river) for your system. Downstream ecosystems buffer network scale responses, and have potentially become relatively more important in the N cycle. In IRES with perennial headwaters, richness may decrease with distance downstream if intermittence increases (Fig. They provide water for drinking, cooling, and irrigation, fish as food supply or for recreational fishing, and areas for flood protection, and they can have cultural and esthetic value. Donors also often preferred to invest in monumental projects with tangible and easily measurable outputs such as dams for flood protection, irrigation, or hydropower. Until about the mid-1970s, most research concerned competition, especially interference (aggressive or agonistic) competition for space on rocks and other hard surfaces in small streams where the winner had better access to food (attached algae or drifting prey and other seston). For example, Bonada et al. But we also wanted to know what kind of impact sewage has on river and lake ecosystems and wanted to share this information with you. Further details of such reasoning and approaches are provided in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005a,b). What are the primary management goals and challenges for your local river system? Many of the mechanisms listed have been identified in reach scale studies. However, no studies have quantified these effects at network scales, or how effects vary across river networks in different watersheds or biomes. The second component was that native predators rarely control species diversity in lotic ecosystems over ecological time periods (shorter than evolutionary periods) unless the predators are recent immigrants, such as invasive or introduced species. 4.3.5E). However, patterns may vary depending on the spatial arrangement of intermittent and perennial sections (Fig. The ecosystem of rivers is generally described by the river continuum concept, which has some additions and refinements to allow for dams and waterfalls and temporary extensive flooding. and restoration of aquatic ecosystems in river and lake basins 6 Freshwater resources are increasingly used, wasted and polluted, with the result that aquatic ecosystems Climate change causes alterations of hydrologic patterns such as seasonal flow and extreme flows. However, it is very difficult to find information about these types of activities through official channels. How can data collected by scientists in your location be effectively conveyed to managers? Thus, they need to be better involved in the decision-making process. The Mekong River ecosystem provides an enormous range of services which support human well-being. Can you envision ways in which information flow among these groups could be improved? River landscapes have served as areas for settlements, infrastructure, and production for several thousand years. Are data on pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials, or other micropollutants available for your local river system? Historically, national policies in most cases have favored the more visible economic sectors such as agriculture, and other sectors with political leverage. To manage the Mekong River environment better and to achieve more balanced and sustainable development, “ecosystem services” based approaches to policy and decision making need to be adopted instead of sector-based approaches which tend to lead to disparities in service delivery and inequities in benefits across the population. This led to the concept that freshwater predators had two distinct roles. Explore the graphic to see all the important ways the living and nonliving elements bring about resiliency. For these questions, consider a river ecosystem in your area: What agency is charged with managing the river? However, environmental change continues to accelerate, so that understanding the trajectory and rate of ecosystem change at various scales is critical. This holistic view should be kept in mind as approaches to resolution of river ecological questions are considered. Most often data are not available or are produced by, for example, NGOs or academic institutions, and there is resistance at Government level to use such sources. Allan, in Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, 2009. A State of Emergency in Canmore. The River Ecology program focuses their research on; providing information on the overall structure and function of aquatic ecosystems; providing specific information on available resources; and evaluating various management, consveration, and restoration practices, to determine how such practices affect aquatic ecosystems. The Ecosystems of the San Antonio River Watershed Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration Reintroduction of the Guadalupe Bass. The speed of water also varies and is subject to chaotic turbulence. By protecting native plant communities and the ways they connect our landscape, we can protect valuable habitats that benefit wildlife, improve water quality, and the overall health of the environment. Wollheim, in Stream Ecosystems in a Changing Environment, 2016. The concept describes the river as a system in which the physical parameters, the availability of food particles and the composition of the ecosystem are continuously changing along its length. Further hypotheses therefore are: H2: Contemporary river networks have reduced denitrification capacity compared to historical conditions because fewer organic carbon inputs lead to less sediment organic matter demand for alternative electron acceptors. WILLIAM J. MATTHEWS, ... EDIE MARSH-MATTHEWS, in Rivers of North America, 2005. Regional Differences. Fig. NPS Photo. We end this treatment of riverscape scaling with three thought challenges: Using the salmon example as a general guide, list a series of river ecological questions that may be inferred from the landscape attributes of your catchment basins. However, to achieve this they need to be empowered. 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