The following special sessions will be included in the technical programme and are among the themes available for authors to submit their papers to.
All papers submitted to a special session will be reviewed through the same review process as the regular papers of the conference to ensure that contributions are of high quality.
If a special session has more papers accepted than the schedule can accommodate, some of the papers might be moved to other relevant sessions.
1. Making Room For Rivers
Convenor: Kyle Christensen, NZ Rivers Group
The philosophy of making room for rivers is gaining widespread international support as a way of reducing flood and erosion risks and allowing rivers to exhibit their more natural morphological behaviour. The purpose of this session will be explore the issues that could arise from making room for rivers.
2. Fish Passage Management
Convenor: Sjaan Bowie, Department of Conservation
This special session will cover designing and management of structures/culverts for upstream and downstream fish passage, including good practice and tools for management, remediation tools, fish swimming speeds and other important design aspects for passage, effects of water allocation on passage requirements, and pump station design. Fish passage provides connectivity between all habitats necessary to complete freshwater fish and other instream organisms' life cycles, for example aquatic invertebrates and shrimp.
3. Insights from Long-term Temporal and Large-scale Spatial Datasets
Convenor: Andrew Casper, Illinois Natural History Survey
Fundamental concepts and theories are the framework for our expanding understanding of river systems. However, the significance of shorter-term research projects or events such as floods, disturbance or droughts is difficult to understand without some historical context. Studies with either long-term or spatially extensive data sets can provide context for testing and exploring concepts and theories. This session is meant to present an overview of insights gained into the mechanisms, patterns, and expectations concerning many current projects around the globe.
4. Spatial Patterns and Processes of Biota in River Networks
Convenors: Johannes Radinger, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, & Daniel Teschlade, University of Duisburg-Essen
The spatial organization of rivers as branching networks makes rivers unique ecosystems and fundamentally different from other aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The network perspective provides an essential spatial template that affects many ecological patterns and processes of rivers at large scales . This session aims to highlight current approaches in analyzing, modelling, simulating and assessing spatial patterns and processes of biota in river networks ranging from aquatic macroinvertebrates to river fish.
5. Balancing Human and Ecological Objectives in River Restoration Across a Range of Settings and Catchment Scales
Convenor: Gardner Johnston, Inter-Fluve Inc.
The session objective is to present riverine restoration and management programs that integrate human utility with ecological services, from highly urbanized at one extreme and wilderness rivers at the other. Talks will highlight how practitioners achieved the balance between human and ecological objectives and how the balance point changes depending on the setting.
6. Scale, Society and Services: Aligning Theory and Practice to Achieve Stream Restoration
Convenor: Catherine Febria, University of Canterbury
Overcoming restoration hysteresis in stream and river systems requires a combination of approaches to address challenges in ecosystem scaling, align societal values and influence restoration practice. This session seeks to bring together a broad range of talks focused on the application of restoration theory in overcoming stream and river degradation. Talks will span a range of restoration actions (e.g., active and passive restoration actions), stream and river ecosystems across different landscapes (e.g., forested, urban, agriculture), and restoration efforts that have aligned social and cultural perspectives with ecosystem science.
7. Land-use Effects on In-stream Cycling and Retention of Nitrogen and Phosphorus
Convenor: Bill Richardson, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center
As the earth surface is transformed by anthropogenic forces, lotic systems draining these landscapes are altered in potentially irreversible ways that likely change the retention and cycling of nutrients. The causal mechanisms and outcomes of these changes along with the ability of mitigating management practices to protect or reverse altered biogeochemistry may be key to better land-use management and improved water quality. The goal of this special session is to explore how land-use alters the cycling and retention of nitrogen and phosphorus in lotic systems.
8. Integrative Methods for Environmental Design of Hydropower
Convenors: Ana Adeva Bustos, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Roser Casas Mulet, University of Melbourne & Martin Wilkes, Coventry University
In the context of growing global power demand, there is an opportunity for hydropower to expand given its role as a flexible generator and potential for storage of energy. However, developing hydropower in a socially equitable and environmentally acceptable manner is one of the current greatest challenges. This session will focus on international examples of sustainable approaches to hydropower management.
9. Balancing Environmental Flow Objectives: Designing and Implementing Flow Regimes that Achieve Instream Functions while Supporting Water Resource Needs.
Convenor: Paul Franklin, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, Angus Webb, University of Melbourne, and Sarah Yarnell , Centre for Watershed Sciences
Environmental flow design and management in rivers with high resource demands remains challenging; however, recent examples show that with creative thought, ecological and other instream needs can be met while accommodating water resource demands. This special session invites presentations that address methods for balancing multiple flow objectives, provide examples of flow regimes negotiated by stakeholders to achieve multiple flow objectives, and discuss ideas for integrating instream flow needs with human demands.
10. Estuaries – Environments in Transition
Coordinator – Eleanor Gee, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research
Estuaries are some of the most valued and most impacted parts of rivers, and they are some of the most challenging freshwater-influenced environments to understand and manage. This session will highlight new research into estuarine processes and ecology, with a particular focus on managing freshwater inputs into estuaries to support the ecological and human-use values of these environments.