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High value of ecological information for river connectivity restoration

Sethi, Suresh Andrew, O'Hanley, J.R., Gerken, Jonathon, Ashline, Joshua, Bradley, Catherine (2017) High value of ecological information for river connectivity restoration. Landscape Ecology, 32 (12). pp. 2327-2336. ISSN 0921-2973. E-ISSN 1572-9761. (doi:10.1007/s10980-017-0571-2) (KAR id:63369)

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Context: Efficient restoration of longitudinal river connectivity relies on barrier mitigation prioritization tools that incorporate stream network spatial structure to maximize ecological benefits given limited resources. Typically, ecological bene 5 fits of barrier mitigation are measured using proxies such as the amount of accessible riverine habitat. Objectives We developed an optimization approach for barrier mitigation planning which directly incorporates the ecology of managed taxa, and applied it to an urbanizing salmonbearing watershed in Alaska.

Methods: A novel river connectivity metric that exploits information on the distribution and movement of managed taxon was embedded into a barrier prioritization framework to identify optimal mitigation actions given limited restoration budgets. The value of ecological information on managed taxa was estimated by comparing costs to achieve restoration targets across alternative barrier prioritization approaches.

Results: Barrier mitigation solutions informed by life history information outperformed those using only river connectivity proxies, demonstrating high value of ecological information for watershed restoration. In our study area, information on salmon ecology was typically valued at 0.8-1.2M USD in costs savings to achieve a given benefit level relative to solutions derived only from stream network information, equating to 16-28% of the restoration budget. Conclusions Investing in ecological studies may achieve win-win outcomes of improved understanding of aquatic ecology and greater watershed restoration efficiency.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10980-017-0571-2
Uncontrolled keywords: anadromous, conservation planning, fish passage, Life Cycle Connectivity Index, optimization, Pacific salmon, spatial network
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation (do not use)
Depositing User: Jesse O'Hanley
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 08:35 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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