It is difficult to find an ecological topic that receives more attention than the headline “Biodiversity Crisis”. For decades, researchers have been sounding the alarm about human induced environmental degradation, exploitation, and negligence, and its direct and indirect effects on species around the world. Unfortunately, this discourse very often overlooks the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems.
Freshwater accounts for a fraction of the total water on Earth, and yet hosts a disproportionately large number of species and critical functions: it provides water, food, and habitat to enormous amounts of microorganism, plant and animal species, while regulating the weather, climate, and flows of matter and energy (Albert et al., 2021). Equally as important, many waterbodies and forms of living with water have exceptional historical and cultural value (Jackson (2005) in Humphries, 2007).
Spatial extension and the increasingly intensive use of aquatic waterbodies and groundwater have led to an overall degradation and destruction of waterbodies and the landscapes around them. Similar to the waterbodies themselves, their associated wetlands and riparian zones experience the negative effects of pollution, over-exploitation, flow modification, invasive species, and the climate crisis, placing the species that live within, at a significant risk (Reid et al., 2019).
Global collaboration (Tiegs et al., 2019) increases our understanding of the importance of the interface between aquatic and terrestrial systems, the processes that occur within, and the way these depend on their spatial context. Simultaneously, attention for under-represented taxa (e.g. Tolkkinen et al., 2020) and non-Western ways of disseminating knowledge (e.g. Martuwarra RiverOfLife et al., 2021) slowly increases and shows that there is much left to explore. Our symposium will bring together researchers and conservationists working on these important and exciting topics, as well as those that aspire to contribute to these fields. Our goal is to outline a real-world aquatic-riparian conservation research framework and spur future collaboration between attendees with a focus on freshwater biodiversity.
Albert, J. S., Destouni, G., Duke-Sylvester, S. M., Magurran, A. E., Oberdorff, T., Reis, R. E., Winemiller, K. O., & Ripple, W. J. (2021). Scientists’ warning to humanity on the freshwater biodiversity crisis. Ambio, 50(1), 85–94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01318-8 Humphries, P. (2007). Historical indigenous use of aquatic resources in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, and its implications for river management. Ecological Management and Restoration, 8(2), 106–113. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-8903.2007.00347.x Martuwarra RiverOfLife, Unamen Shipu Romaine River, Poelina, A., Wooltorton, S., Guimond, L., & Sioui Durand, G. (2021). Hearing, voicing and healing: Rivers as culturally located and connected. River Research and Applications, July, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.3843 Reid, A. J., Carlson, A. K., Creed, I. F., Eliason, E. J., Gell, P. A., Johnson, P. T. J., Kidd, K. A., MacCormack, T. J., Olden, J. D., Ormerod, S. J., Smol, J. P., Taylor, W. W., Tockner, K., Vermaire, J. C., Dudgeon, D., & Cooke, S. J. (2019). Emerging threats and persistent conservation challenges for freshwater biodiversity. Biological Reviews, 94(3), 849–873. https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12480 Tiegs, S. D., Costello, D. M., Isken, M. W., Woodward, G., McIntyre, P. B., Gessner, M. O., Chauvet, E., Griffiths, N. A., Flecker, A. S., Acuña, V., Albariño, R., Allen, D. C., Alonso, C., Andino, P., Arango, C., Aroviita, J., Barbosa, M. V. M., Barmuta, L. A., Baxter, C. V., … Zwart, J. A. (2019). Global patterns and drivers of ecosystem functioning in rivers and riparian zones. Science Advances, 5(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav0486 Tolkkinen, M. J., Heino, J., Ahonen, S. H. K., Lehosmaa, K., & Mykrä, H. (2020). Streams and riparian forests depend on each other: A review with a special focus on microbes. Forest Ecology and Management, 462(January), 117962. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117962
Biodiversity change in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
- Anne Magurran (University of St Andrews, UK)
Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) of riverine fishers in the Philippines: linking social capital to socio-ecological resilience
- Ronald Maliao (Pál Juhász-Nagy Doctoral School Of Biology And Environmental Sciences, University of Debrecen)
Trophic structure and the effect of environmental variables on riverine fishes in an anthropogenically altered river ecosystem
- Petra Horká (Charles University, Faculty of Science, Czech Republic)
Contextualizing Fish Habitat in Novel Riverscapes
- Henry Hansen (Karlstad University, Sweden)
Impacts of Hydropower Dams on Semi-Aquatic Megafauna
- Vassil Altanov (Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany)
Influence of water quality parameters on the distribution and abundance of phytoplankton in Ikere-gorge, Oyo State, Nigeria
- Stephen Olubusoye Ajagbe (Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Nigeria)
Biogeomorphology and riparian ecosystem conservation
- Annegret Larsen (Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands)
The effects of an ecosystem engineer species (Castor fiber) in the light of the biodiversity crisis along Central European watercourses
- Erika Juhász (Institute of Ecology and Botany, Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary)
The effects of ecosystem restoration on soil biota: 5-year data from a BACI experiment in forested wetlands
- Kadri Runnel (Tartu University, Estonia)
Understanding the resilience of artificially drained forest-wetland landscapes
- Asko Lõhmus (University of Tartu, Estonia)
The role of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in conservation - a review of wetland policy and practice
- Isabel Wallnöefer (Convention on Wetlands)
Mainstreaming the importance of Riparian Zones in Norway
- Anders Iversen (Norwegian Environment Agency, Norway)