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FRESHMAN: Management of freshwater ecosystems in a changing climate

Research project The goal of the project is to assess the relevance of methods for ecological restoration of streams and lakes in a future climate, and evaluate which restoration methods that may be efficient in managing biodiversity and ecosystem functions in the future.

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Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

Start date: 2018-01-01

Funding

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research area

Biological sciences, Ecology

Project description

Freshwater ecosystems (watercourses and lakes) already belong to the environments most modified by human use, and demands for restoring them to enhance biodiversity and the supply of goods and services are increasing. At the same time, climate change will further transform freshwater ecosystems.

The purpose of this project is to evaluate how methods for restoration of streams and lakes and adjoining riparian ecosystems will respond to climate change, and analyse available options to manage biodiversity and ecosystems functions and services from streams and lakes in the face of climate change. We ask what will be the effectiveness and relevance of restoration methods for freshwater ecosystems in a future climate, and how restoration needs will change.

To evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of restoration measures in a future climate, we will review the scientific literature to identify restoration measures to improve ecological conditions in lakes or streams and evaluate how they will be affected by climate change, based on information about target ecosystems, position in the catchment etc.

We will also (1) provide scenarios of future hydropower production and opportunities for implementing environmental flows in regulated river systems, and (2) synthesise experiences of approaches to accommodate multiple use of ecosystem services in freshwater ecosystems in a literature review.

A working group consisting of experts from multiple disciplines and stakeholders will synthesize and analyse the results and formulate management recommendations, identify conflicts among stakeholders, and need for new knowledge. The results are relevant for water and conservation management authorities, hydropower companies, environmental courts and NGOs active in riverine ecosystem conservation and restoration.