River ecosystems are characterised by a highly interactive, complex and often delicate balance between ecological, hydro-morphological, biogeochemical 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. flow regulation, pollution, land change) and climatic pressures. Such multiple-stressors are important drivers of change, but the relative importance of ameliorative cf. synergistic interactions between factors that reduce or intensify responses of waterbodies to pressures are poorly developed. Such knowledge is critical to understanding processes relating to good aquatic ecosystem status 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, biogeochemistry and catchment characteristics, how these respond variably in space and time to multiple-stressors and how this information can be used to inform sustainable river ecosystem management. We wish to draw out aspects of grouped behaviours across space where combining catchment attributes and river responses may inform catchment ‘typologies’. Improving our mechanistic understanding within a typologies framework will facilitate risk-based modelling of multiple-stressor responses, and facilitate the transfer of understanding from data rich to data poor catchments.
This session welcomes multidisciplinary contributions from field-based, laboratory and/or modelling (empirical, process or GIS based) studies that provide new insights into these various linkages across scales. These will examine how in-stream conditions respond to multiple environmental controls, encompassing natural and engineered processes in rivers. We welcome approaches with novel combinations of spatial data to explain and understand responses in river systems and how such scientific evidence can inform policy for management or restoration.