SS17 - Scaling patterns

Scaling Patterns and Processes in Stream and River Ecosystems

Convenors: Steven A. Thomas1, Ryan Sponseller2, Bob Hall3, Eugenia Marti4
Affiliation: 1University of Nebraska, USA, 2 Umea University, Sweden, 3University of Wyoming, USA, Centre for Advanced Studies in Blanes, Spain
Contact e-mail: sthomas5@unl.edu

Brief synopsis of the session:
To improve ecological forecasting, there is a pressing need to better understand how climate and land-use change drive spatial (local-to-global) and temporal (days-to-decades) patterns of ecosystem structure and function. This session will explore how relationships between various physical (e.g. discharge, temperature), chemical (e.g. nutrient concentrations, stoichiometric ratios), and biological (e.g. species extinctions or invasions) factors influence functional variables in stream ecosystems. Specifically, we invite speakers who can empirically and theoretically link the various drivers listed above to specific ecosystem functions in streams and rivers such as gross primary productivity, community respiration, carbon loss and breakdown rates, and nutrient cycling rates. Speakers are likely to address questions that include: 1) What abiotic and biotic factors influence congruence between small- and large-scale of short- and long-term behavior of a specific functional variable?; 2) What empirical evidence exists that relationships between specific ecosystem drivers and in-stream functional rates scale across time and space (or don’t); and 3) Under what conditions are we most likely to over- or under-estimate functional rates when scaling up and scaling down? Understanding how key structural and functional components of lotic ecosystems integrate across spatial and temporal scales is paramount for accurately assessing stream and river health and integrity beyond the scale of most measurements. This session will contribute toward that goal by bringing together lotic ecologists working in a wide variety of settings to better understand generalizable controls of variation in ecosystem function and the services they provide society.

List of potential contributors to the session:

  • Steven A. Thomas University of Nebraska, USA
  • Ryan Sponseller, Umea University, Sweden
  • Bob Hall, University of Wyoming, USA
  • Eugenia Marti, Centre for Advanced Studies in Blanes, Spain
  • Tom Battin, EAWAG, Switzerland
  • Amy Rosemond, University of Georgia, USA
  • Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Erin Hotchkiss, Virginia Tech University, USA