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Linking river ecology, hydrology, and geomorphology for integrated river management (co-organized)
Convener: Megan Klaar  | Co-Conveners: Paolo Perona , Josie Geris , Matthew Johnson 
 / Fri, 22 Apr, 08:30–12:00
 / Attendance Fri, 22 Apr, 17:30–19:00

River ecosystems are characterised by a highly interactive, complex and often delicate balance between ecological, hydro-morphological, hydrochemical and thermal regimes. While the conditions or states of these systems are greatly variable in both space and time, they are also increasingly subjected to anthropogenic (e.g. river abstractions, impoundments, releases and other regulation) and climatic pressures. Particular challenges to the development of ecologically appropriate river management that require inter-disciplinary approaches include defining the natural state or 'reference conditions', the identification of system change or resilience to impacts of anthropogenic and climatic stressors, and the management actions required to maintain good status or enable recovery.

The aim of this session is to evaluate the current research knowledge on the inter-linkages of in-stream ecology, hydrology, morphology, and other environmental and anthropogenic (change) factors, how these affect ecosystem functioning at a range of spatio- and temporal scales, and how this information can be used to inform sustainable river ecosystem management. Multidisciplinary contributions are invited from field-based and/or modelling studies that provide new insights into these various linkages across scales. Contributions on innovative measurement, analyses and modelling approaches are also particularly encouraged, as are case studies and papers that consider a range of spatial and temporal scales. Specific topics of interest could include, but are not limited to: identifying environmental controls of river ecology; hydraulic and geomorphic interactions with aquatic communities, including ecosystem engineering; biogeochemical and thermal dynamics of rivers; impacts of river regulation and climate change on river ecosystems; dynamic environmental flows; sustainability of ecologically appropriate river restoration and management; and how scientific evidence can inform policy.

The session features an invited talk by Prof Stephen Rice (Loughborough University, with co-authors Andrew Pledger, James Smith and Julia Toone) entitled “Who’s been feeding in my bed? Benthivorous fish and fluvial sediment transport – fact or fairy tale?"