AgreenSkills session, year: 1st session, 2015
Receiving laboratory: ECOBIOP Behaviourial Ecology and Fish Population Biology, Bordeaux, Aquitaine
Country of origin : Spain
Flood effects on the value of ecosystem services and the role of fish as key species on those services
It is predicted that climate change will affect the natural flow regime and increase the frequency and intensity of flood events that will affect freshwater communities, aquatic ecosystem functioning, and associated ecosystem services. Altered flow regimes might affect ecosystem functioning through changes in key species such as fish predators, which may cascade down to basal consumers and primary producers. My project will answer the following questions: 1) how the alteration of the frequency and magnitude of floods may affect stream ecosystem functioning; 2) what is the role played by fish on these effects; and 3) how changes in stream functioning will affect the provisioning of ecosystem services. This will be a multidisciplinary project that will combine field and mesocosm studies. On the one hand ecosystem processes will be measured every two months in 3 streams upstream and downstream flood control dams to investigate the effect of the different intensity of floods. In the other hand we will measure the same ecosystem processes in a mesocosm study where flow regimen and fish presence will be manipulated to test the interactions between floods and presence of key species. Ecosystem processes directly linked to ecosystem services will be measured, paying special attention to services related to water purification (nutrient retention), opportunities for recreation (angling, fish abundance), and food provisioning (fish secondary production). An important aspect of this project is that we will try to link ecosystem process rates with ecosystem service values.
I coursed my degree in Biology between 2003 and 2008 at the University of the Basque Country (Spain). In 2010 I obtained my Master’s degree on Ecosystems biodiversity, functioning and management at the same university. I obtained my PhD degree in May of 2014. During my Masters and PhD degree my research was mainly focused on applied ecology testing the effects of dead wood restoration on the dynamics of organic matter and on macroinvertebrate communities in streams. I did two short stays during my PhD studies, one at the University of Minho (Portugal) and the other at Roehampton University (London, UK) under the supervision of Dr Claudia Pascoal and Dr Julia Reiss respectively. After I obtained a short postdoctoral grant from the University of the Basque Country for 9 months (june 2014 to march 2015). During the 6 years that I was part of the Stream Ecology lab of the University of the Basque country (during my PhD thesis and short post doc) I was involved in 3 research projects: COMPLEXTREAM (to test the effects of wood restoration on streams), SCARCE (effects of water scarcity on freshwater systems) and Abstract (to test the effects of water abstraction on the functioning of stream ecosystems). I am especially interested on the relation between aquatic diversity and freshwater ecosystem function, and how anthropic impacts can alter the interaction between species. I think that better understanding freshwater ecological processes is crucial for ecosystem conservation and to preserve the benefits that the society can obtain.
Pereda O., Arroita M., Aristi I, Flores L., Larrañaga A., Elosegi A. (Accepted) Effects of aeration, sediment grain size and burial on stream litter breakdown and consumer performance: a microcosm study. Marine and Freshwater Research.
*Flores L., Bailey R. A., Elosegi A., Larrañaga A., Reiss J. (2016) Habitat complexity in aquatic microcosms affects processes driven by detritivores. PlosOne, 11(11).
Arroita M., Flores L., Larrañaga A., Martínez A., Martínez-Santos M., Pereda O. Ruiz-Romera E., Solagaistua L. & Elosegi A. (2016). Water abstraction impacts stream ecosystem functioning via wetted channel contraction. Freshwater biology.
Elosegi A, Díez J.R., Flores L. & Molinero J. (2016) Pools, channel form, and sediment storage in wood-restored streams: Potential effects on downstream reservoirs. Geomorphology.
Elosegi A, Elorriaga C, Flores L, Martí E. & Díez J.R. (2016) Restoration of wood loading enhances water, nutrient and leaf retention in Basque mountain streams. Freshwater Sciences
*Flores L., Banjac Z., Farré M., Larrañaga A, Mas-Martí E., Muñoz I., Barceló D. and Elosegi A. (2014) Effects of a fungicide (imazalil) and an insecticide (diazinon) on stream fungi and invertebrates associated with litter breakdown. Science of the Total Environment, 476-477: 532-541.
*Flores L., Larrañaga A. and Elosegi A. (2014) Compensatory feeding of a stream detritivore alleviates the effects of poor food quality when enough food is supplied. Freshwater Sciences. 33(1): 134-141.
Flores L., Díez J.R., Larrañaga A., Pascoal C. and Elosegi A. (2013) Effects of retention site on breakdown of organic matter in a mountain stream. Freshwater Biology 58: 1267-1278.
Acuña V., Díez J.R., Flores L., Meleason M. and Elosegi A. (2013) Does it make economic sense to restore rivers for their ecosystem services? Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 988-997.
Arroita M., Aristi I., Flores L., Larrañaga A., Díez J.R., Mora J., Romaní A.M. and Elosegi A. (2012) The use of wooden sticks to assess stream ecosystem functioning: Comparison with leaf breakdown rates. Science of the Total Environment 440: 115-122.
*Flores L., Larrañaga A., Díez J.R. and Elosegi A. (2011) Experimental wood addition in streams: effects on organic matter storage and breakdown. Freshwater Biology 56: 2156–2167.
Elosegi A., Flores L. and Díez J.R. (2011) Importance of local processes in formation and conservation of river habitats. Limnetica 30(2): 183-196.