A conceptual framework for ecological responses to groundwater regime alteration (FERGRA)

Kath, Jarrod and Boulton, Andrew J. and Harrison, Evan T. and Dyer, Fiona J. (2018) A conceptual framework for ecological responses to groundwater regime alteration (FERGRA). Ecohydrology, 11 (7 - Article e2010). ISSN 1936-0584

Abstract

Globally, the provision of groundwater‐supported ecosystem services is threatened by climate change, water extraction, and other activities that alter groundwater regimes (defined as temporal dynamics in groundwater pressures, storage, and levels). Research on how altered groundwater regimes affect the ecology and ecosystem services of diverse groundwater‐dependent ecosystems (GDEs) is currently fragmented with little integration across different GDEs, hampering our ability to understand and manage ecological responses to anthropogenic changes to groundwater regimes. To address this, we present a framework for assessing ecological responses to groundwater regime alteration (FERGRA). FERGRA is a logical approach to investigating how alterations to groundwater regimes change the timing, variability, duration, frequency, and magnitude of groundwater connections to different GDEs, in turn affecting their ecological processes and ecosystem service provision. Using FERGRA, multiple GDEs can be assessed concurrently, optimizing their integrated management. Unifying the concepts of ecological responses to altered groundwater regimes and groundwater connections of different GDEs across the landscape, FERGRA provides a framework for (a) organizing the currently fragmented research on GDEs to better identify commonalities and knowledge gaps, (b) formulating and testing hypotheses for quantifying ecological responses to groundwater regime
alteration in GDEs to derive general principles to guide research and management, and (c) facilitating assessments of the trade‐offs between the benefits of groundwater extraction (e.g., to support mining and agriculture) versus conservation of GDEs to protect other ecosystem services.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 03:22
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2019 05:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: aquifers, fish, groundwater depletion, groundwater‐dependent ecosystems, macroinvertebrates, phreatophytes, streams, stygofauna
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/eco.2010
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34899

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