Paper: Aquatic connectivity - challenges and solutions in a changing climate

RIBES ESRs Rachel Mawer (UGENT and SJE) and Velizara Stoilova (KAU and NOAB), and others recently published the paper "Aquatic connectivity: challenges and solutions in a changing climate." in the Journal of Fish Biology.  The paper was led by Paul Franklin from the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand, and in the abstract the authors write: 

"The challenge of managing aquatic connectivity in a changing climate is exacerbated in the presence of additional anthropogenic stressors, social factors, and economic drivers. Here we discuss these issues in the context of structural and functional connectivity for aquatic biodiversity, specifically fish, in both the freshwater and marine realms. We posit that adaptive management strategies that consider shifting baselines and the socio-ecological implications of climate change will be required to achieve management objectives. The role of renewable energy expansion, particularly hydropower, is critically examined for its impact on connectivity. We advocate for strategic spatial planning that incorporates nature-positive solutions, ensuring climate mitigation efforts are harmonized with biodiversity conservation. We underscore the urgency of integrating robust scientific modelling with stakeholder values to define clear, adaptive management objectives. Finally, we call for innovative monitoring and predictive decision-making tools to navigate the uncertainties inherent in a changing climate, with the goal of ensuring the resilience and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems."

Access the paper here: Franklin, P., Bašić, T., Davison, P. I., Dunkley, K., Ellis, J., Gangal, M., González-Ferreras, A. M., Gutmann Roberts, C., Hunt, G., Joyce, D., Klöcker, C.A., Mawer, R., Rittweg, T., Stoilova, V., Gutowsky, L.F.G., 2024. Aquatic connectivity: challenges and solutions in a changing climate. Journal of Fish Biology.

Published on: 29/04/2024