Event Title

Rock, Paper, Sciss–(I Mean, Vegetation): The Vulnerability of Littoral Structure Loss Under Drought

Presenter Information

Jenna Keeton

Location

Logan Golf & Country Club, Logan, UT

Start Date

3-26-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

3-26-2019 7:00 PM

Description

Drought represents a global threat to ecological, municipal, and agricultural water needs. As water bodies dry-up, lake levels decline and littoral zones shift downslope. This results in disconnectivity between riparian and littoral zones and the potential loss of habitat structure essential for the persistence and growth of aquatic biota. In this study, we quantify the vulnerability of littoral structure (rock, wood, and aquatic vegetation) loss across the conterminous United States under drought conditions. We use the EPA’s National Lakes Assessment to analyze the physical habitat characteristics of 763 lakes and reservoirs sampled in 2012, when ~75% of the nation experienced drought. To quantify vulnerability of littoral structure, we calculated the probability of loss (fractional areal cover) for rock, wood, and aquatic vegetation as a function of lake level decline under drought conditions using a logistic mixed-effect modeling framework. Preliminary results suggest wood is particularly vulnerable to loss regardless of the magnitude of lake level decline, while rocky structure is largely unaffected. Additionally, the vulnerability of aquatic vegetation loss increases as lake levels decline. Our results will inform perspectives on regional littoral structure vulnerability and target conservation efforts during drought conditions.

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Mar 26th, 5:00 PM Mar 26th, 7:00 PM

Rock, Paper, Sciss–(I Mean, Vegetation): The Vulnerability of Littoral Structure Loss Under Drought

Logan Golf & Country Club, Logan, UT

Drought represents a global threat to ecological, municipal, and agricultural water needs. As water bodies dry-up, lake levels decline and littoral zones shift downslope. This results in disconnectivity between riparian and littoral zones and the potential loss of habitat structure essential for the persistence and growth of aquatic biota. In this study, we quantify the vulnerability of littoral structure (rock, wood, and aquatic vegetation) loss across the conterminous United States under drought conditions. We use the EPA’s National Lakes Assessment to analyze the physical habitat characteristics of 763 lakes and reservoirs sampled in 2012, when ~75% of the nation experienced drought. To quantify vulnerability of littoral structure, we calculated the probability of loss (fractional areal cover) for rock, wood, and aquatic vegetation as a function of lake level decline under drought conditions using a logistic mixed-effect modeling framework. Preliminary results suggest wood is particularly vulnerable to loss regardless of the magnitude of lake level decline, while rocky structure is largely unaffected. Additionally, the vulnerability of aquatic vegetation loss increases as lake levels decline. Our results will inform perspectives on regional littoral structure vulnerability and target conservation efforts during drought conditions.