Effects of environmental stressors on the aquatic biosphere: crossing the boundaries of geomorphology, ecology, engineering, hydrology and biogeochemistry in a changing world
In recent years there has been a growing emergence of interdisciplinary research areas concerned with investigating the dynamic and multifaceted interactions between biotic and abiotic components of aquatic ecosystems. Such is the acknowledged importance of these interactions, that quantifying and understanding the two-way feedbacks of interacting abiotic and biotic components is recognised as a key contemporary research challenge. However, the different terminology used by various disciplines highlights the separation rather than the overlap between disciplines. Further, in many instances the creation of new sub-disciplines (or research areas) is not developing the study field, but arguably is leading to the ‘reinvention of the wheel’ in parallel disciplines. Changing the traditional perspectives by bridging the gaps between disciplines is therefore key to bring considerable advances in aquatic research.
This session focuses on bringing together scientists from different backgrounds dealing with the effects of environmental (both biotic and abiotic) stressors on the aquatic biosphere, from individual organisms through to whole ecosystems with the aim of simulating truly interdisciplinary research. Several temporal scales ranging from a single event (e.g. response to hydropeaking, predatory attacks) to long term evolution (e.g. adaptation to climate change, ecosystem modification) may be considered. We expect strong contributions from researchers transcending a variety of disciplines such as geomorphology, engineering, ecology and environmental sciences. Emphasis is given to studies dealing with stressors driven by climate change or anthropogenic activities. In this context we particularly welcome contributions on consolidated or novel measurement techniques and modelling tools to assess the effects of environmental stressors (e.g. flow modifications, habitat alterations) on biota, such as vegetation, macroinvertebrates and fish, that cross disciplinary boundaries.
The session will include an invited keynote by Prof. Markus Holzner from ETH Zürich.