Harmonizing Aquatic Ecosystems

Forests and freshwater ecosystems interact in complex ways, forming physical habitats and ecological pathways that structure aquatic communities (Shaw and Bible 1996). Yet the nature of these interactions is poorly understood, particularly in the tropics. A clearer understanding of the connections between forests and freshwater fish is needed to guide effective policy-making that supports sustainable use of forest resources and conserves biodiversity in agrarian landscapes. Go here: https://focusingonwildlife.com/news/harmonizing-aquatic-ecosystems-strategies-for-plant-fish-coexistence-in-aquariums/

Restoration Techniques for Degraded Aquatic Ecosystems

A review of 27 studies found that nine (33%) and 18 (67%) reported inverse associations between forest presence and fish abundance or biomass at the species and community level, respectively. Several studies identified positive responses to deforestation, such as higher freshwater shrimp species densities in forests compared to nonforest streams owing to complementary feeding niches and greater energy transfer that result from increased species diversity (Giam et al. 2015). Conversely, nonforested streams exhibited higher levels of sedimentation, which homogenizes substrate conditions and limits the diversity of microhabitats that support benthic communities and inhibit growth rates of freshwater fish species (Zeni et al. 2019).

The current ecotoxicity characterization framework is a suitable starting point for harmonizing and expanding the characterization of ecosystem impacts to include biotic effects in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA), but further guidance is required on how to incorporate the exposure- and effect-based modeling approaches used to assess metals as essentiality determinants into LCIA models, and how to explore and vette effect data on marine water and sediment organisms. This is necessary to address important gaps in our knowledge about how exposure to chemicals affects the health and function of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems.