Monday, February 28, 2011

Responding to the Global Water Crisis. May - USA

Program Committee Special Sessions:

Water Crisis: Biodiversity

Sustaining Freshwater Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Global Patterns, Processes, and Planning

The United Nations declared 2010 “International Year of Biodiversity” and the Convention on Biological Diversity has reconfigured its 2010 targets to reduce loss rates of biodiversity by 2020. What are the biodiversity targets in freshwater ecosystems, which have the highest threat of species losses? We need to be able to make stronger predictions of the patterns and consequences of declines and changes in biodiversity, specifically functional diversity, in global fresh waters. Freshwater ecosystems provide a variety of services (e.g., clean drinking water, nutrient processing, fisheries) that are maintained by the functioning of species. Global environmental changes are particularly threatening to freshwater organisms because of the direct effects of climate on water temperature and water scarcity, as well as the human demands of ecosystem services. Therefore, maintaining functional diversity likely ensures resilience of freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services to global environmental changes. However, balancing the freshwater needs of humans and the environment will likely require targeting specific ecosystem services and the freshwater functional diversity required to maintain them.
This session will address the global threats to freshwater functional diversity and ecosystem services, and investigate targets and planned implementation to establish freshwater sustainability. Talks can range from theoretical to applied, empirical to synthetic, as well as perspective talks that forecast patterns and processes related to global change effects on freshwater biodiversity, ecosystem services, and the sustainability of both. International talks, interdisciplinary talks, and participation from junior and senior scientists is encouraged.

Organizer: John Kominoski (


Water Crisis: Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Service Concepts in the Management of Freshwater Habitats

Recognizing and quantifying ecosystem services can help managers justify and allocate public funding for conservation, restoration, and preservation of freshwater systems. Ecosystem benefits integrates the public’s values in decision-making. Accounting for the ecosystem benefits of a management alternative or scenario (e.g., the environmental benefits per dollar spent) fosters more reliable prioritization among of restoration, remediation, conservation, or other management alternatives. The ecosystems services provided by aquatic systems are increasingly the motivation for and subject of ecological and socioeconomic research. In this session, we hope to feature presentations that address some of the key questions related to this expanding discipline including “what ecosystem services and human benefits do freshwaters provide?”, “what are the ecological functions that underlie ecosystem services (or benefits) and how should we quantify them?”, “how should we assign value to services?”, and “what research directions should we pursue?” Our goal for the session is to include presentations on the conceptual aspects of ecosystem services, on research that includes empirical measurements leading to estimation of benefits, on ecosystem valuation, and case studies where ecosystem service concepts have influenced decision-making. We encourage submissions from any geographic region dealing with ecosystem services provided by streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, brackish and freshwater estuaries, ephemeral waters, or groundwater.

Organizers: David Bolgrien (, Ted Angradi (

Further information here

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