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USING SPATIALLY EXTENSIVE, LONG-TERM DATA TO UNDERSTAND THE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF A CHANGING, FLOOD-PLAIN RIVER SYSTEM

Large floodplain rivers are complex, spatially extensive ecosystems. Collecting, processing, and learning from data across their full longitudinal and lateral extent is challenging. The Long Term Resource Monitoring element of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program has collected standardized data from 6 study reaches of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers (collectively, the UMRS) for more than 20 years. The study reaches range in length from 38 to 125 river km, are spread across 1300 river km, and are composed of a diversity of contrasting aquatic and terrestrial areas (e.g., main channel, side channel, backwater lakes). Within and among these study reaches there exist multiple informative physical and biological gradients that, combined with seasonal and annual variability in discharge, have enabled diverse studies of the ecology of the UMRS. There are persistent spatial patterns (longitudinal trends and contrasts among aquatic areas within study reaches) in nutrients, aquatic vegetation, and fish communities, which have allowed us to test a variety of concepts in large river ecology. Of particular interest is how these patterns and relationships have changed over time. Major changes in the river include a long-term recovery of vegetation abundance from a collapse in the late 1980s and associated changes in biogeochemistry and biota that has occurred in the northern, but not southern, study reaches; substantial decline of common carp throughout the system; and a dramatic proliferation of invasive Asian carp in the southern study reaches.

Authors

Houser, J. H., US Geological Survey, USA, jhouser@usgs.gov

Bierman, D. W., Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USA, dave.bierman@dnr.iowa.gov

Burdis, R. M., Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, USA, Robert.Burdis@state.mn.us

Casper, A. F., Illinois Natural History Survey, USA, afcasper@illinois.edu

DeLain, S. A., Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, USA, steve.delain@state.mn.us

Drake, D. C., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, USA, deanne.drake@wisconsin.gov

Fischer, J. R., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, USA, jamesr.fischer@wisconsin.gov

Giblin, S. M., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, USA, Shawn.Giblin@wisconsin.gov

Moore, M. J., Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, USA, megan.moore@state.mn.us

Solomon, L. E., Illinois Natural History Survey, USA, soloml@illinois.edu

Pendleton, R. M., Hudson River Estuary Program/Cornell University, USA, richard.pendleton@dec.ny.gov

Kreiling, R. M., US Geological Survey, USA, rkreiling@usgs.gov

Jankowski, K. J., US Geological Survey, USA, kjankowski@usgs.gov

Details

Oral presentation

Session #:091
Date: 03/03/2017
Time: 14:30
Location: 308 A/B

Presentation is given by student: No