There is a need to understand how alteration of physical processes on the Rio Grande River have impacted aquatic biota and their habitats, and a need to predict potential future effects of climate change on biotic resources in order to prescribe research and management activities that will enhance conservation of aquatic species. We propose a project with the goal of developing monitoring recommendations and identifying research needs for aquatic ecological resources in the Big Bend region of the Rio Grande. This goal will be targeted by synthesizing and analyzing available data and literature for aquatic species in the project region. In particular, we will work to develop time series of abundance and population trends of aquatic species in order to gauge the current status of species and identify how altered physical processes and other environmental changes have impacted aquatic biota over time. In addition, we will summarize habitat requirements and life history of target species to better predict future response of these organisms to further hydrologic and geomorphic changes and to inform potential management activities. We will synthesize available data on abundance trends, habitat requirements, and life history parameters in conceptual models and through this process identify data gaps and research needs. This project will thus result in recommendations for future monitoring and scientific research to improve understanding of aquatic resources and their interaction with physical processes operating in the Big Bend region.
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