Presented February 23, 2017- Presentation Slides
Improvements in our fundamental understanding of the links between hydrological and ecological processes in arid and semi-arid environments are needed for the proactive conservation of imperiled species and their habitats on and around Department of Defense (DoD) installations. A SERDP project (RC-1724) addressed this challenge by examining how hydrology, hydrologic connectivity and other riverine characteristics influence the community structure and population genetics (e.g., gene flow, structure, diversity) of amphibian and aquatic insect species across a gradient of flow permanence within Fort Huachuca and the surrounding Sky Island mountain ranges. Specifically, the project addressed three main objectives that aim to provide both the science and management tools needed to ensure the conservation of aquatic species on DoD military lands in a rapidly changing environment. First, stream flow was measured to quantify flow permanence and hydrologic connectivity at multiple spatial scales. Second, the distribution and abundance of aquatic insects were characterized and modeled in relation to hydrology, riparian vegetation, and geomorphology. Third, population structure (gene flow) of insect and amphibian species was evaluated with contrasting life histories along a gradient of flow permanence and hydrologic connectivity. Rapid environmental change and limited management resources necessitate efficient and effective conservation planning to promote the persistence of aquatic species in dryland environments. Project findings emphasized the need to manage river systems for organisms that span a wide variety of dispersal abilities and local ecological requirements, and highlight the need to preserve both perennial refugia and critical intermittent habitats in fragmented networks.
Dr. Julian Olden is a Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and co-director of the Center for Creative Conservation, both at the University of Washington. Broadly motivated by a future where people recognize and respect the diverse values provided by functioning freshwater ecosystems, Dr. Olden seeks to integrate science-based approaches with on-the-ground management and conservation decisions. An author of over 180 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, his research focuses on challenges associated with dams, invasive species and climate change. Julian earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto in 1998, a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto in 2000, and a doctorate from Colorado State University in 2004.
Dr. David Lytle is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University. Dr. Lytle’s research, represented by over 60 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, uses evolutionary ecology to understand how organisms and communities are shaped by disturbances such as floods, droughts, and dams. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1992 and a doctorate from Cornell University in 1999.