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Differing modes of biotic connectivity within freshwater ecosystem mosaics

August 30, 2018

We describe a collection of aquatic and wetland habitats in an inland landscape, and their occurrence within a terrestrial matrix, as a “freshwater ecosystem mosaic” (FEM). Aquatic and wetland habitats in any FEM can vary widely, from permanently ponded lakes, to ephemerally ponded wetlands, to groundwater‐fed springs, to flowing rivers and streams. The terrestrial matrix can also vary, including in its influence on flows of energy, materials, and organisms among ecosystems. Biota occurring in a specific region are adapted to the unique opportunities and challenges presented by spatial and temporal patterns of habitat types inherent to each FEM. To persist in any given landscape, most species move to recolonize habitats and maintain mixtures of genetic materials. Species also connect habitats through time if they possess needed morphological, physiological, or behavioral traits to persist in a habitat through periods of unfavorable environmental conditions. By examining key spatial and temporal patterns underlying FEMs, and species‐specific adaptations to these patterns, a better understanding of the structural and functional connectivity of a landscape can be obtained. Fully including aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial habitats in FEMs facilitates adoption of the next generation of individual‐based models that integrate the principles of population, community, and ecosystem ecology.

Publication Year 2018
Title Differing modes of biotic connectivity within freshwater ecosystem mosaics
DOI 10.1111/1752-1688.12683
Authors David M. Mushet, Laurie C. Alexander, Micah Bennet, Kate Schofield, Jay R. Christensen, Genevieve Ali, Amina I. Pollard, Ken M. Fritz, Megan Lang
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Index ID 70199065
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center; John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis