Development and validation of models to assess the threat to freshwater fishes from environmental change and invasive species
May 2010 - March 2012
- Alaska Biological Science Center
By integrating the upstream landscape activities of humans, freshwater ecosystems are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats, including the pervasive effects of hydrologic alteration, agricultural and urban land-use, invasive species, and climate change (Allan and Flecker 1993; Dudgeon et al. 2006). Recent history has clearly illustrated that there are limits to the level of environmental damage that river systems can sustain before their natural productivity, native species, and many of the services they provide humans become severely degraded. Scientists, resource managers and policy makers are becoming increasingly cognizant of these limitations, yet there remains a critical gap in our knowledge. Presently, we only have a limited understanding of how multiple agents of large-scale environmental change may independently and interactively compromise the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems (Alcamo et al. 2008). Anticipating the potential synergistic effects of human water use, regional climate, and land-use practices is recognized as one of the greatest challenges for conserving freshwater ecosystems in the coming decades.