The historic linkage between urban centers and waterways has contributed to significant degradation of aquatic ecosystems due to factors like altered flow, loss of wetlands and floodplain connectivity, reduced channel sinuosity and habitat complexity, and increased pollution. While prior research has documented detrimental impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function, the spectrum of impacts is typically nuanced and varies by taxa and region. Urban aquatic systems provide important cultural value, ecosystem services, and biological corridors despite their degraded conditions. To improve such services, restoration efforts in urban aquatic ecosystems are increasingly common. Yet our understanding of mechanisms and time scales necessary to observe ecosystem change and achieve desired outcomes in these complex and highly altered systems lags behind. In this session, we broadly seek to understand how the unique characteristics, processes, and challenges of urban aquatic ecosystems influence fish, fisheries, and other aquatic organisms and highlight current research and approaches.


  • Michael Booth, University of Cincinnati
  • Susan Colvin, Arkansas Tech University – Department of Biological Sciences, [email protected]