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Aquatic Ecosystem Services: Biodiversity Resilience Network

The research will provide a clear and rigorous understanding of the trade-offs (or not) of different agricultural practices. This information therefore will contribute to the development of truly sustainable forms of productive agriculture.

Investigator(s)

Principal investigator: Kevin McCann

What challenge does "Aquatic Ecosystem Services: Biodiversity Resilience Network" address?

Kevin McCann’s research addresses how new approaches to precision agriculture influence ecosystems, including impacts on aquatic biodiversity and function in surrounding watersheds and landscapes.

Sample measurement at recording at Backus Heritage Conservation Area.

Sample measurement and recording by MSc student Emily and PhD student Christine at Backus Heritage Conservation Area.

How will this research address the challenge?

The research has two approaches: Quantitative research using existing data, and natural experiments across a gradient in agricultural approaches. Individual species will also be monitored during the experiments to see how the ecosystem responds to different agricultural types.

This team, comprised of PhD, MSc and summer students, is one of several that spend the summer collecting samples for ecosystem services research.

This team, comprised of PhD, MSc and summer students, is one of several that spend the summer collecting samples for ecosystem services research.

What impact will the project have on agriculture?

The research will look for environmental sweet spots where novel precision agriculture practices also yield high biodiversity and ecosystem functions, promoting sustainability. The project will also provide management practices that maintain the resilience of adjacent ecosystems.

Other information

Partners: ALUS Canada, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, DFO, ROM, numerous Conservation Authorities in the Lake Erie watershed.

Collaborators and students: Drs. Nick Bernier (IB), Fred Laberge (IB), Neil Rooney (SES), Robert Hanner (Bio), Ryan Prosser (SES), Jeremy deWaard (Bio), Dirk Steinke (Bio), Merritt Turetsky (IB).

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