Riverine Biogeomorphology

Janine Castro, Ph.D., R.G.

Education: BS Geology and BA Geography, 1991, CSU Chico; MS Interdisciplinary Studies, Environmental Geomorphology, 1993, CSU Chico; PhD Geosciences, 1997, Oregon State University, Corvallis

Janine Castro is the Project Leader for the Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (CRFWCO) in Vancouver, Washington. It is the mission of the CRFWCO to assist in determining the status of imperiled natural fish stocks, to evaluate management measures for recovery and assist in the recovery of these stocks, and to prevent future ESA listings. As the Project Leader, Janine provides leadership to a highly diverse technical staff that address a wide variety of fisheries issues, including: (1) fish passage and aquatic habitat restoration, (2) bull trout recovery and lamprey and mussel conservation, (3) marking and tagging of nearly 40 million hatchery fish annually to support tribal, recreational, and commercial mark-selective fisheries, (4) mark-recapture studies of wild fish to determine occupancy, distribution, abundance, trends, and population growth rates, and (5) providing analytical support to project design, evaluation, and information management. Janine provides national and international training on stream restoration, river science, geomorphology, and public speaking for scientists. She has worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service for 22 years and spent the preceding 10 years working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Janine is one of the five founding members of River Restoration Northwest, is the Technical Director for Portland State University’s River Restoration Professional Certificate Program, and is a member of the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program’s Expert Regional Technical Group, which reviews ecosystem restoration actions in the floodplain of the lower Columbia River and estuary. 

Abstract: Rivers without Biology: Using the Stream Evolution Triangle to incorporate ecology into channel evolution

This talk will provide an overview of, and underpinning science for, the Stream Evolution Triangle (SET) -- a relatively new approach to understanding stream evolution. Having introduced the SET, evidence from completed projects will be used as case studies for its application in innovative stream restoration. The SET derives from the Stream Evolution Model (SEM), which was itself an updated version of earlier Channel Evolution Models (CEMs). The SEM represents an advance over the CEMs in that it considers the impacts of disturbance and recovery on habitat and ecosystem benefits, but it does not explicitly account for the influence of biological processes on morphological adjustments in the fluvial system. Omission of biological influences on stream morphology can be traced back to Lane’s balance which, since the 1950s, has been used in various forms to explain a stream’s tendency to aggrade or incise in terms of only physical processes. The SET combines geology, hydrology, and biology in the form of a ternary diagram similar to those used in many other fields of natural science.  The triangle treats geology, hydrology and biology as co-determinants of stream morphology and drivers of morphological evolution, while recognizing that, in a given watercourse, form and adjustment may be dominated by any of these three controlling factors, depending upon the landscape setting, catchment context, and biome.

Dr. Annegret Larsen, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University and Research, Droevendaalsteeg 3, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

Short bio: Annegret Larsen is assistant professor in the Soil Geography and Landscape Group at Wageningen University & Research (WUR, the Netherlands). She has also been a lecturer at the University of Manchester (Great Britain), research scientist at the Université de Lausanne (Switzerland), the University of Brisbane (Australia), and the University of Kiel (Germany). She holds a PhD in Physical Geography and Geoarchaeology from the University of Kiel, and a degree in education from Bavaria (Germany).  Annegret’s research focusses on human-landscape interaction, abiotic-biotic environmental feedbacks, rewilding, and ecosystem services. Her research has implications for conservation, land-use planning, and nature-based solutions. She pays particular attention to better understanding the processes within sustainably managed and resilient landscapes, and how to create and manage them. This is where all of her research lines (human-landscape interaction, abiotic-biotic interactions, rewilding) and many spatiotemporal scales (millennial to minute, landscape to plot) come together, as a successful restoration/regeneration of a landscape is only possible when past human modifications, and their effects on the environment can be matched with an understanding of the present environmental processes initiated e.g. by conservation techniques like rewilding. Annegret is an integrative scientist, and has a keen interest in involving practitioners and the general public in her research. She is running several citizen science projects, and lead conferences dedicated to practitioners and managers in the field of catchment management and conservation with the goal of translating the results of her research into practice. She is part of science for policy groups to bridge the science-policy divide in the field of river biodiversity on an European level. Annegret is also actively promoting the field of Biogeomorphology, by leading special issues in the field, running conference sessions and workshops in this new, and exciting field of research.

Abstract: The role of animal ecosystem engineering in river science

Biota has long been shown to influence surface processes, described already by e.g. Darwin (1899), and Rudemann and Schoonmaker (1938), but it has not been since recently that geoscience has taken a serious interest in understanding abiotic-biotic feedbacks. This is especially true for the influence of animals, also because humans have modified and limited animal distribution and density since thousands of years. Recent decades have seen an effort to re-introduce animals long-lost to ecosystems, with sometimes unforeseen consequences, an approach that is gaining fast traction within the context of ‘rewilding’. In this presentation, I take a closer look at animal ecosystem engineering, and make a case how we can use their ecosystem engineering capabilities to improve the apparent negative effects of our own (human) engineering legacy. I zoom into research on Beavers, which are one of the most influential mammalian ecosystem engineer, heavily modifying river corridor hydrology, geomorphology, nutrient cycling, and ecosystems, mainly through the construction of dams, which impounds flow and increases the extent of open water, from which most other ecosystem feedbacks follow. Other examples of river ecosystem engineering presented in this talk are net spinning Caddisflies, spawning Salmons, Crayfishes, and the Hippopotamus. I also introduce the influence apex predators can have on river-floodplain dynamics, with examples from the US (Wolf) and new research from Nepal (Tiger).

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