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01.06.2015 | Ausgabe 6/2015

Environmental Management 6/2015

Using Flow-Ecology Relationships to Evaluate Ecosystem Service Trade-Offs and Complementarities in the Nation’s Largest River Swamp

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Management > Ausgabe 6/2015
Autoren:
Justin P. Kozak, Micah G. Bennett, Anne Hayden-Lesmeister, Kelley A. Fritz, Aaron Nickolotsky
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00267-015-0474-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Large river systems are inextricably linked with social systems; consequently, management decisions must be made within a given ecological, social, and political framework that often defies objective, technical resolution. Understanding flow-ecology relationships in rivers is necessary to assess potential impacts of management decisions, but translating complex flow-ecology relationships into stakeholder-relevant information remains a struggle. The concept of ecosystem services provides a bridge between flow-ecology relationships and stakeholder-relevant data. Flow-ecology relationships were used to explore complementary and trade-off relationships among 12 ecosystem services and related variables in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana. Results from Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration were reduced to four management-relevant hydrologic variables using principal components analysis. Multiple regression was used to determine flow-ecology relationships and Pearson correlation coefficients, along with regression results, were used to determine complementary and trade-off relationships among ecosystem services and related variables that were induced by flow. Seven ecosystem service variables had significant flow-ecology relationships for at least one hydrologic variable (R 2 = 0.19–0.64). River transportation and blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) landings exhibited a complementary relationship mediated by flow; whereas transportation and crawfish landings, crawfish landings and crappie (Pomoxis spp.) abundance, and blue crab landings and blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) abundance exhibited trade-off relationships. Other trade-off and complementary relationships among ecosystem services and related variables, however, were not related to flow. These results give insight into potential conflicts among stakeholders, can reduce the dimensions of management decisions, and provide initial hypotheses for experimental flow modifications.

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