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Title: Analyzing key ecological functions for transboundary subbasin assessments.

Author: Marcot, B.G; O'Neil, T.A.; Nyberg, J.B.; MacKinnon, A.; Paquet, P.J.; Johnson, D.H.;

Date: 2007

Source: In: Slaughter, C.W.; Berg, N., eds. Watersheds across boundaries: science, sustainability, security. Proceedings of the ninth biennial watershed management council conference. Water Resources Center Report 107. Riverside, CA: University of California: 37-50

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: We present an evaluation of the ecological roles ("key ecological functions" or KEFs) of 618 wildlife species as one facet of subbasin assessment in the Columbia River basin (CRB) of the United States and Canada. Using a wildlife-habitat relationships database (IBIS) and geographic information system, we have mapped KEFs as levels of functional redundancy (numbers of species with particular KEF categories) that may occur within subbasins and subwatersheds historically and at present. Natural levels of functional redundancy are presumed to be desirable for contributing to resilient ecosystems. Our "functional analyses" complement analyses of habitats and species, and serve to inform on the degree to which wildlife communities are "fully functional" and how that functionality can be influenced by changes in habitats. The focus of the paper is on the use of KEFs but we also have provided, for the first time, the analysis in a transboundary CRB context by merging data on the United States and Canada. The analysis depicts historical, current, and changes in functional redundancy for selected KEF categories; total functional richness (number of KEF categories performed by all wildlife species in an area); and functional diversity (functional richness weighted by functional redundancy). The maps denote parts of the subbasin that are strong or deficient in specific ecological functions. Land managers could use the maps to guide restoration or conservation priorities for ecological functions of fish and wildlife.

Keywords: Key ecological functions, functional redundancy, Columbia River basin, subbasin assessment

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Marcot, B.G; O''Neil, T.A.; Nyberg, J.B.; MacKinnon, A.; Paquet, P.J.; Johnson, D.H. 2007. Analyzing key ecological functions for transboundary subbasin assessments. In: Slaughter, C.W.; Berg, N., eds. Watersheds across boundaries: science, sustainability, security. Proceedings of the ninth biennial watershed management council conference. Water Resources Center Report 107. Riverside, CA: University of California: 37-50

 


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