Event Title

Marine riparian vegetation: Why we need to move beyond our understanding of freshwater riparian systems.

Presentation Abstract

Marine Riparian Vegetation (MRV) is a key ecological attribute in the early marine life history of Chinook salmon and a prominent, assessable indicator of ecosystem status and conditions. Select functions and values of marine riparian vegetation are understood from studies (and management) of freshwater, fluvial riparian systems that are distinct from the site conditions, disturbance regimes, potential natural communities, and desired future conditions for MRV along marine and estuarine landforms. Recent research has increased our understanding of the role of MRV canopy and shrub layers contributing to early marine migrant Chinook salmon, for example. We observe that until a comprehensive assessment tool for MRV is developed, our approach to conserving and improving MRV function is limited to assessment tools developed for freshwater systems. Thus we have a set of uncertainties in the assessment of MRV for establishing baseline conditions, identifying active treatment prescriptions, and guiding the effectiveness of treatments that drive avoidance, mitigation, “no net loss”, and adaptive management. A succession of inquiries and conference sessions over the last decade and earlier has examined the subject of MRV. Now, with increased efforts to recover species and, indeed, to understand manipulations of ecosystems that generate measureable biological responses in key species, our obligation to understand MRV functions and guide treatments across multiple spatial and temporal scales is essential. We provide an overview of ecological distinctions between freshwater and marine riparian vegetation with an encouragement for development of MRV assessment and management tools.

Session Title

Session S-10D: Cross-Habitat Linkages and Landscape Scale Approaches to Ecosystem Management

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

2-5-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

2-5-2014 3:00 PM

Location

Room 611-612

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 2nd, 1:30 PM May 2nd, 3:00 PM

Marine riparian vegetation: Why we need to move beyond our understanding of freshwater riparian systems.

Room 611-612

Marine Riparian Vegetation (MRV) is a key ecological attribute in the early marine life history of Chinook salmon and a prominent, assessable indicator of ecosystem status and conditions. Select functions and values of marine riparian vegetation are understood from studies (and management) of freshwater, fluvial riparian systems that are distinct from the site conditions, disturbance regimes, potential natural communities, and desired future conditions for MRV along marine and estuarine landforms. Recent research has increased our understanding of the role of MRV canopy and shrub layers contributing to early marine migrant Chinook salmon, for example. We observe that until a comprehensive assessment tool for MRV is developed, our approach to conserving and improving MRV function is limited to assessment tools developed for freshwater systems. Thus we have a set of uncertainties in the assessment of MRV for establishing baseline conditions, identifying active treatment prescriptions, and guiding the effectiveness of treatments that drive avoidance, mitigation, “no net loss”, and adaptive management. A succession of inquiries and conference sessions over the last decade and earlier has examined the subject of MRV. Now, with increased efforts to recover species and, indeed, to understand manipulations of ecosystems that generate measureable biological responses in key species, our obligation to understand MRV functions and guide treatments across multiple spatial and temporal scales is essential. We provide an overview of ecological distinctions between freshwater and marine riparian vegetation with an encouragement for development of MRV assessment and management tools.