Posted: April 23, 2020

Proposals due June 12, 2020


The overall objective of this project seeks to develop next generation integrated ecological models to better predict ecological response across spatial and temporal scales. These models will illustrate how the distributions and abundances of invasive species will change in uncertain futures, maintaining and improving navigation infrastructure, managing flood risk and coastal storm damage, among others. Current ecological models do not have the quantitatively rigorous predictive capacity compared to engineering-based models. Improved integrated ecological models will benefit the Public in formulating sustainable strategies that balance societal and environmental needs of the inland and intracoastal navigable waterways. These waterways are tightly integrated systems driven by complex, system-level interactions among physical, ecological and social factors. Accurate forecasting of how these integrated systems will respond to the changing face of the natural and physical environment, (e.g., colonization of new regions by both native and invasive species, increased flood risk, economic drivers, among others) is needed. The university partner will complete field and laboratory studies to determine the physical and environmental drivers that are responsible for shaping ecological response across spatial and temporal scales. These studies will provide critical data and parameters for developing and parameterizing next generation integrated ecological models that can be used to predict ecological response including invasive species colonization. 

Brief Description of Anticipated Work:

This research will focus on the following objectives

  1. Develop a robust field-based dataset that determine which environmental variables drive the distribution and abundance of aquatic species (surface and hyporheic, native and invasive) at multiple spatial and temporal scales and across hydrogeomorphic conditions.
  2. Quantification of small-scale patterns in ecological response for invasive and native benthic communities to quantify how changes in flow affect spatial distributions.
  3. Develop streamflow studies to quantify how differences in climatic disturbance (e.g., flood and drought) impact ecological response for invasive and native benthic communities across temporal scales.
  4. Determine positive and negative associations among species with respect to their distribution and abundance and examine if these associations are a consequence of interactions through biological or abiotic pathways.
  5. Quantify relationships between the hydrogeomorphology of a watershed and species distributions within the watershed.
  6. Develop parameter estimates for next generation integrated ecological models developed for quantifying ecological response.

Read full solicitation here

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