Integrating Human Dimensions into Riverscape Ecology and Management

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Incorporation of concepts from landscape ecology into understanding and managing riverine ecosystems has become widely known as riverscape ecology.

Past studies have focused on understanding how humans modify ecological processes in riverscapes, yet exploring drivers behind actions that lead to human modification also merits consideration. Greater emphasis on feedbacks between social and ecological processes will help scientists and managers more completely understand riverscapes as complex, dynamic, interacting social–ecological systems. In a new paper, authors highlight why and how an interdisciplinary approach that links ecological and social science can improve understanding and management of riverscapes. They present emerging applications in riverscapes, as well as studies of other ecosystems, that provide examples of social and ecological science integration. Researchers point out that conservation successes within riverscapes may not occur if the fundamental drivers of human behaviors are not understood and addressed in conservation planning and implementation.

Dunham, J.B., Angermeier, P.L., Crausbay, S., Cravens, A., Gosnell, H., McEvoy, J., Moritz, M., Raheem, N., Sanford, T., 2018, Rivers are social–ecological systems- Time to integrate human dimensions into riverscape ecology and management: WIREs Water, https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1291.

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Date published: November 20, 2017
Status: Active

FRESC Aquatic & Landscape Ecology Team

Fresh waters are one of the most valuable and threatened resources worldwide. They supply critical services to society and harbor many of the world’s most imperiled species. We conduct research and provide technical assistance to address challenges to fresh waters. Our research focuses on ecological processes in freshwater and terrestrial systems and the effects of those processes on landscape...