Symposium Summary: Fisheries Research and Conservation in the “Scapes”: Needs, Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities

Aquatic ecologists, fisheries biologists, and resource managers recognize that many ecological patterns and conservation problems require broad and synthetic approaches. The “scape” perspective is a point-of-view that combines a broader scale, an integrative context, and specific types of analyses. To investigate this perspective, Sean Hitchman, Martha Mather, and Jordan Hofmeier organized a symposium entitled “Fisheries Research and Conservation in the ‘Scapes’: Needs, Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities.” The symposium started with five overview talks. Kim With reviewed landscape tools and techniques. Jason Knouft identified the need for scape-scale hydrology databases. Martha Mather illustrated how mobile species provide opportunities to understand scape patterns and drivers. Eric Johnson and Jason Luginbill showed that state and federal agencies need scape data for effective conservation. Dave Herzog used a scape approach to illuminate large river fish patterns. Nine examples of scape approaches to fisheries problems across multiple ecosystems were presented by Sean Hitchman, Amy Gebhard, Adam Herdrich, Britney Mosey, Jeff Schaeffer, Stephen Riley, Anthony Overton, Ross Boucek, and Janet Hsiao.  Joe Smith closed with suggestions for how to operationalize the scape approach. The symposium illustrated a variety of ways that aquatic ecosystems can be viewed as interrelated components. Future syntheses are planned as a result of the symposium. Read the abstracts here.

—Sean Hitchman, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Kansas State University