Quantitative Indicators & Metrics of Ecosystems Services, Health & Function

Theme III

landscape 6The challenges of mapping the capacity of landscapes to deliver aquatic ecosystem services (AES) are extensive, especially considering service assessment across scales varies from the regional to national levels. Aquatic ecosystems are hierarchically organized, and thus depend on processes that may occur far beyond the sites where AES are delivered (e.g., nutrient distribution across watersheds and its impact on local lake fish productivity). As a consequence, we need quantitative spatial frameworks to generate hydrological data at several scales that can then serve as predictors against known values of AES, which in turn can be used as a way to predict key ecosystem services.

Key Objectives:

  • Utilize and further develop the HydroSHEDS database (Lehner et al. 2008)                     –  a framework to generate consistent data and tools at multiple spatial scales to facilitate eco-hydrological modelling by generating information regarding watershed boundaries, drainage directions, flow accumulation, river networks, and others
  • Assess effects of single or multiple stressors in the river network through the use of HydroSHEDS model environment
  • Develop quantitative spatial frameworks to generate hydrological data at several scales that can predict key ecosystem services
  • Development of a Global River Classification (GloRiC), which will aim to derive functional ecosystem classifications based on physical and biological parameters at global and regional scales in order to better understand and recognize the various characteristics of habitats and their inter-connections



3.1 – Development of a pan-Canadian hydrological framework for modelling aquatic ecosystem services

3.2 – Fishing and safe consumption: understanding the drivers of provision and disruption of services

3.3 – Calibrating the community size spectrum to serve as an indicator of the health of aquatic ecosystems

3.4 – Evaluating ecosystem health by quantifying resilience

3.5 – Geospatial risk mapping of aquatic system across Canada: Determining regional generalities and local specificities

3.6 – Understanding the trade-offs among ecosystem services along disturbance gradients

3.7 – The roles of habitat change and fragmentation in determining community composition

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