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M. J. Wiley & M. Omair School of Natural Resources and Environment University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Regional River Management: Recent developments in the Great Lakes Basin. Why are we here? To learn about research and conservation activities in the Gangan Basin

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slide1

M. J. Wiley & M. Omair

School of Natural Resources and Environment

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Regional River Management:

Recent developments in the Great Lakes Basin

slide2

Why are we here?

  • To learn about research and conservation activities in the Gangan Basin
  • To explore possibilities of collaborative research focusing on River Ecosystem Management
slide3

Ganga Watershed St. Lawrence Watershed

Percent

80

60

40

20

0

Land cover within 5km of the river

Land cover within 5km of the river

Percent

80

60

40

20

0

Crop Developed Forest Shrubland Grassland Barren

Crop Developed Forest Shrubland Grassland Barren

slide5

The ecological complexity of large river systems

and the many, inter-related impacts of our own societies on this ecology, make practical management and restoration activities in large rivers

Regional River Management:

Recent developments in the Great Lakes Basin

  • Ecosystem Management Approach : Collaborative, Interdisciplinary, Cross-institutional
  • Classification frameworks for regional Ecological Inventory, Modeling & Assessment
slide6

Ecosystem Management Approach:

Cross-institutional, interdisciplinary research

Collaborative, Stake-holder sensitive Planning and Management

Some examples:

  • {Bi-lateral treaties and management activities (Canada-U.S.)}
  • Inter-University science supported by state agencies and private foundations
  • Inter-State collaborations with Federal support: Fisheries Agencies MI,WI,IL,
  • USGS Great Lakes Aquatic Geographic Analysis Program (AGAP)
  • Strong involvement of local Citizens, NGO’s, and other stakeholders
  • Laurentian (Great Lakes) and Gangan Basin Researchers?
michigan rivers inventory vsec units map
Michigan Rivers Inventory VSEC units MAP

2. Ecological Classification frameworks

for regional Ecological Inventory, Modeling and Assessment

280 main stem river segments

and

2000+ tributary units

[mri-vsec v1.0]

slide8

What is Ecological Classification?

Identifying the “fundamental units of nature” (Tansley 1935)

Biological

character

Geomorphic

character

Integrated

multi-factor

[Ecological]

Character

of a River Segment

Hydrologic

character

Chemical

character

slide9

structural and functional units of river ecosystems

  • Functional Ecosystem Units
    • Watersheds
    • { = Landscape (Regional) ecosystems? }

Structural Ecosystem Units

The relatively homogeneous river segments we encounter having distinctive biology, temperature, chemistry, etc.;

Valley Segment Ecological Unit = Biogeocoenose = Ecosystem type

these are local structural expressions of functional watershed units

slide10

Raisin River

mainstem units

slide11

Au Sable River

mainstem units

slide12

Example applications: regional inventory

Basin-wide

hydrologic assessment

of classification units

useful for regional fisheries resource

And water quality planning

Lake Michigan Tributary Systems

example application river otter kotanchik 1997
Example application: River Otter (Kotanchik 1997)

MDNR Trapping record

PCB threshold

Hg threshold

otter and contaminant data aligned on mri vsec segments
Otter and contaminant data aligned on MRI-VSEC segments

Otters present

high trapping success

PCB contaminated

Hg contaminated

both

logistic modeling of otter distribution
Logistic modeling of Otter distribution

Logistic Regression Results

Prediction success: 83%

Primary predictors:

- Extreme hydrologies

- PCB contamination

- Urban development

- Ag development

+ conifer forests

Using moderls to plan restoration

slide16

Landcover alterations pose a major threat to aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes Basin

1820 1995 2020 2040

Modeling timelines for 3-State EPA-STAR project. GIS maps based on original 1810-1830 GLO surveys, Current Air photo, and Neural Net (LTM) projections for the future.

slide17

Integrated, GIS-linked Computer modeling provides one tool for regional river-based planning and management: Muskegon River example

Our goal is to use MREMS to evaluate the risks and benefits of alternate land and water management strategies in a spatially explicit way. A 2002 conference with regional

Stakeholders developed specific management scenarios for evaluation.

Issues of concern identified by stakeholders in Muskegon River Partnership meetings

include:

(1) Negative effects of development and urbanization;

(2) Increasing bank erosion and sedimentation

(3) Impacts of power and recreational impoundments

slide18

MREMS

VSEC Modeling framework

Valley Segment Ecological Classification Unit

(Seelbach et al. 1997)

All modeling input & output

is referenced to the VSEC channel units map

and can be displayed in GIS format

slide19

An illustration, from the current Muskegon River study, of our method for linking valley scale ecologicalclassification (VSEC) units to landscape sensitive models. A..Sample sites are used to represent the entire VSEC unit theyoccur in, based on the mapping objective of ecological homogeneity. B.VSEC unit ID # is used to geo-reference andquery the associated catchment, buffers, site databases etc. C. Query results are used as inputs for regional models ofrelevant processes as illustrated here for soluble phosphate load. All segments are processed simultaneously in a matrixmodeling environment. Once modeling is completed predicted results are mapped back into the GIS using the VSECspatial framework. Coupled to changing input data sources on landcoverdistributions, this process can generate bothforecasts and hind-casts of ecological status.

slide20

50

40

30

20

10

0

past

present

future

Soluble P per day at high flow (g/d)

River classification based assessment and modeling techniques retain high spatial resolution across large regional assessments, and are being used by The Nature Conservancy to map the entire Great Lakes Basin for conservation planning; by the USGS Aquatic GAP Program for the Great Lakes Basin; also in a new Three-State Regional Assessment Project; and in Muskegon River Basin Initiative.

slide21

The same modeling approaches can be used to organize and interpret biological resource inventories

and to identify future risks to river biodiversity

slide23

Why are we here?

  • To learn about research and management activities in the Gangan Basin
  • To explore possibilities of collaborative research on River ecosystem management
slide24

Generalized Methodology

Inventory and Data compilation

Landscape analysis leading to regional modeling

Ecological Classification

Modeling of reference condition

Status Assessment

Risk Assessment

slide25

An illustration, from the current Muskegon River study, of our method for linking valley scale ecologicalclassification (VSEC) units to landscape sensitive models. A..Sample sites are used to represent the entire VSEC unit theyoccur in, based on the mapping objective of ecological homogeneity. B.VSEC unit ID # is used to geo-reference andquery the associated catchment, buffers, site databases etc. C. Query results are used as inputs for regional models ofrelevant processes as illustrated here for soluble phosphate load. All segments are processed simultaneously in a matrixmodeling environment. Once modeling is completed predicted results are mapped back into the GIS using the VSECspatial framework. Coupled to changing input data sources on landcoverdistributions, this process can generate bothforecasts and hind-casts of ecological status.