New RBC Publication: Rates and States in Flow Ecology


New RBC Publication: Rates and States in Flow Ecology

River Basin Center Postdoctoral Associate Kit Wheeler worked with RBC Science Director Seth Wenger and colleague Mary Freeman of the USGS to detail complementary approaches to developing flow-ecology relationships. In a collaborative effort, they evaluated the characteristics of several approaches for generating these flow-ecology relationships (pure states, rates, and repeated states). The review examines how commonly each approach is used in flow-ecology literature and illustrates different outcomes of applying repeated states and rates approaches using a dataset for stream fish diversity in relation to flow magnitude.

The authors found that repeated states approaches were used far more commonly than pure states or rates approaches to generate flow-ecology relationships. Some hybrid studies used both state and rate responses, relying on repeated measurements over time, as well. While frequent data collection suitable for rates approaches is available, flow-ecology relationships have generally been developed using states approaches that relate changes in ecological states to different long-term average flow conditions. This cannot generate temporally specific predictions of ecological responses to changing flow conditions or describe observed demographic processes. A more frequent use of rates approaches would increase the ability to test flow-ecology hypotheses and understand mechanisms of flow-ecology relationships.

Citation: Wheeler K, Wenger SJ, Freeman MC. States and rates: Complementary approaches to developing flow‐ecology relationshipsFreshwater Biol2017;00:1–11.

Uploaded: 3/6/28 Text: Cyra Malec