Author(s): Robert E. Thomas; Matthew F. Johnson; Lynne E. Frostick; Daniel R. Parsons; Olivier Eiff; Sylvie Gobert; Paul Kemp; Stuart J. Mclelland; Frederic Y. Moulin; Dag Myrhaug; Alexandra Neyts; Maike Paul; Sara Puijalon
Linked Author(s): Olivier Eiff
Keywords: Biogeomorphology; Ecohydraulics; Experimental facilities; Flow-biota interactions
Abstract: The field of ecohydraulics has grown to cover all research into the complex interactions between aquatic organisms and hydraulics. These interactions are important to the management of our rivers and coasts and to predicting the impacts of climate change on our ability to exploit these ecosystem services. Physical modelling of aquatic and marine environments is central to these predictions, yet there are still many aspects of this field that are poorly understood. This paper presents the important issues that the authors believe could undermine existing and future efforts to progress our knowledge of ecohydraulic interactions. These are: • Abiotic Factors: the detection of, reaction to, and modification of a number of environmental factors that may be dependent on or independent of the flow field by subaqueous plants and animals; • Adaptation and Behaviour: the adaptation and behavioural modifications of organisms at vastly different temporal scales; • Complexity and Feedback: complex interactions between organisms and the hydrodynamic environment and the role of feedback, whether positive or negative, in amplifying or moderating organism or environmental response, respectively; • Heterogeneity: “the natural variability among like things” (Schumm 1991); and • Scale and Scaling: is it possible to scale down biological (and biomechanical) processes operating at the large scale, are the variables measured at the large scale pertinent at the small scale and does technology permit us to measure the same variable across scales?