Challenges to and Opportunities for Linking Water Quality Management with Biological Responses in Freshwater Ecosystems

Water quality management in freshwater ecosystems could significantly improve with better understanding of how biological communities respond to specific and collective changes in water quality resulting from point source regulation and watershed restoration activities.  Many state and federal water quality criteria, such as those set for temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH, have been put in place largely to ensure survival and reproduction of sensitive aquatic communities.  However, management plans developed on the ground often do not go beyond the objective of meeting specific water quality standards.  Biological responses may not be explicitly considered or monitored during implementation of these plans.  This special symposium will facilitate the exchange of knowledge among managers, researchers, and stakeholders interested in developing connections between water quality management actions and responses related to fish, macroinvertebrate, and algae communities in freshwater ecosystems.  Presentations will include case studies where successful links between water quality management and biological responses have been achieved, as well as research that examines water quality management and biological responses at different spatial and temporal scales. With a focus on how research findings could be used to improve existing state or federal frameworks for water quality and aquatic ecosystem management. The ultimate goal of this symposium is to help chart a roadmap by which connections between water quality management and aquatic community responses can be further improved.
Daniel Sobota and Eugene Foster
Daniel Sobota
Daniel Sobota, Eugene Foster, Ryan Michie and Peter Bryant
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