Connectivity and stress in freshwater habitats - NERC funding success for ECRC

Professor Neil Rose, Dr Viv Jones, Dr Helen Bennion and Dr Carl Sayer have been successful with a NERC Highlight Topic proposal, as part of a consortium led by Dr Nigel Willby at the University of Stirling, also involving the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the Natural History Museum, amongst others.

The project, entitled “Hydroscape: Connectivity x stressor interaction in freshwater habitats”, will run for 4 years, starting on 1st December. It aims to determine how multiple stressors (e.g. pollutants, disease, invasive species) interact across a range of freshwater bodies to influence biodiversity and ecosystem function. The project is UK-wide, but focusses on three research areas, the Lake District, the Clyde region of Scotland and Norfolk.

The key questions centre around whether freshwater bodies are more resilient to stressors if they aremore connected to each other, recovering more quickly, or whether this connectivity results in a greater impact by increasing the extent of those stressors. At UCL, Ambroise Baker and Simon Turner will also be working on the project.