Aquatic–terrestrial linkages provide novel opportunities for freshwater ecologists to engage stakeholders and inform riparian management

Freshwater Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

Studies of aquatic–terrestrial ecosystem linkages explore the mechanisms by which components of one ecosystem, such as the aquatic insect community in a stream, directly affect components of an adjacent ecosystem, such as the density and diversity of riparian predators. On a human level, research into these linkages allows freshwater ecologists to form novel collaborations with stakeholders and other interest groups by emphasizing shared interests. To highlight this point, we use 3 case studies as examples of how aquatic–terrestrial linkages research can be leveraged to achieve multifaceted goals of improving riparian and freshwater management, engaging stakeholders, and advancing ecological understanding. In the 1st case study, we describe a project in which consideration of the complex life histories of aquatic insects could have led to more effective outcomes for riparian bird restoration. The 2nd case study provides an example of how studying contaminant transport through ecological subsidies has been incorporated into programs for contaminant management. In the 3rd case, we use a study of terrestrial vertebrates feeding on adult aquatic insects to show how research into aquatic–terrestrial subsidies connects freshwater ecologists, youth groups, and commercial river guides. By focusing on how in-stream processes propagate onto land through ecological subsidies, we argue that freshwater ecologists also gain a platform for communicating their science to riparian managers and the public, which can improve the potential for stream and riparian co-management and restoration success.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Aquatic–terrestrial linkages provide novel opportunities for freshwater ecologists to engage stakeholders and inform riparian management
Series title Freshwater Science
DOI 10.1086/706104
Volume 38
Issue 4
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center, Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 946
Last page 952
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