Human effects on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems: Integrating scientific approaches to support management and mitigation Public Deposited


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  • Understanding the drivers and implications of anthropogenic disturbance of ecological connectivity is a key concern for the conservation of biodiversity and 50 ecosystem processes. Here, we review human activities that affect the movements and dispersal of aquatic organisms, including damming of rivers, river regulation, habitat loss and alteration, human-assisted dispersal of organisms and climate change. Using a series of case studies, we show that the insight needed to understand the nature and implications of connectivity, and to underpin conservation and 55 management, is best achieved via data synthesis from multiple analytical approaches. We identify four key knowledge requirements for progressing our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic impacts on ecological connectivity: autecology; population structure; movement characteristics; and environmental tolerance/phenotypic plasticity. Structuring empirical research around these four 60 broad data requirements, and using this information to parameterise appropriate models and develop management approaches, will allow for mitigation of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems.
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  • Crook, D. A., Lowe, W. H., Allendorf, F. W., Erős, T., Finn, D. S., Gillanders, B. M., ... & Hughes, J. M. (2015). Human effects on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems: Integrating scientific approaches to support management and mitigation. Science of The Total Environment, 534, 52-64. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.034
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  • 534
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  • The following organisations/funding sources are acknowledged for their financial support during the preparation of this paper: Northern Australia Hub of the National Environmental Research Program (DAC); OTKA K104279 grant and the Bolyai János Research Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (TE); the Prometeo Project of the Secretariat for Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation of the Republic of Ecuador (DSF); Australian Research Council grants FT120100183 (IN) and FT100100767 (BMG); U.S. National Science Foundation grants DEB-1050459 and DEB-1258203 (WL and FA).
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