Themes & Projects

Theme 3

Quantitative Indicators & Metrics of Ecosystems Services, Health & Function

The challenges of mapping the capacity of landscapes to deliver aquatic ecosystem services (AES) are extensive, especially considering service assessment across scales varies from the regional to national levels. Aquatic ecosystems are hierarchically organized, and thus depend on processes that may occur far beyond the sites where AES are delivered (e.g., nutrient distribution across watersheds and its impact on local lake fish productivity). As a consequence, we need quantitative spatial frameworks to generate hydrological data at several scales that can then serve as predictors against known values of AES, which in turn can be used as a way to predict key ecosystem services.

Key Objectives:

  • Utilize and further develop the HydroSHEDS database (Lehner et al. 2008) – a framework to generate consistent data and tools at multiple spatial scales to facilitate eco-hydrological modeling by generating information regarding watershed boundaries, drainage directions, flow accumulation, river networks, and others
  • Assess effects of single or multiple stressors in the river network through the use of HydroSHEDS model environment
  • Develop quantitative spatial frameworks to generate hydrological data at several scales that can predict key ecosystem services
  • Development of a Global River Classification (GloRiC), which will aim to derive functional ecosystem classifications based on physical and biological parameters at global and regional scales in order to better understand and recognize the various characteristics of habitats and their interconnections

PROJECTS

3.1a – Using the concepts of river classifications, environmental flow requirements, and aquatic ecosystem services to inform sustainable management strategies for large river basins with a focus on Canada
Camille Ouellet Dallaire, McGill University

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3.2a – Can watershed-based classification help explain patterns in fish mercury concentrations across Ontario and Quebec?
Stephanie Melles, University of Toronto

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3.2b – Quantitative Frameworks to Improve the Analyses of Ecological Communities
Wagner da Costa Moreira, Université du Québec à Montréal

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3.3a – Biomass size spectra as indicators of ecosystem health in Ontario’s inland lakes
Cindy Chu, University of Toronto

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3.3b – Expanding biomass size spectra models
Cindy Chu, University of Toronto

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3.3c – Size spectra of fish assemblages: longitudinal and temporal variation in neotropical reservoirs
Mateus Ferrareze, University of Toronto

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3.3d – Calibrating the zooplankton body-size spectrum to serve as an indicator of lake characteristics and environmental perturbations
Lauren Barth, University of Toronto

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3.3e – Investigating how fish community size structure will change under a climate change drought scenario
Abby Daigle, University of Toronto

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3.4a – Evaluating ecosystem health by quantifying resilience
Karl Lamothe, University of Toronto

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3.5a – Fish community responses to spatio-temporal effects of global change in aquatic ecosystems
Andrew Chin, University of Toronto

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3.5b – Geospatial Risk Mapping – Relating Downstream Aquatic Species and Communities to Upstream Water Quality and Land Use in the New Brunswick Northumberland Straight Region
Julia Linke, University of Toronto

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3.6a – Understanding the trade-offs among ecosystem services along disturbance gradients
Ira Sutherland, McGill University

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3.6b – The conservation and sustainable use of riverine ecosystem services
Dalal Hanna, McGill University

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3.7 – The roles of habitat change and fragmentation in determining community composition
Chris Edge, University of Toronto

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