Smith Rachel S.

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Rachel S.

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  • Article
    Preparing aquatic research for an extreme future: call for improved definitions and responsive, multidisciplinary approaches
    (Oxford University Press, 2022-05-04) Aoki, Lillian R. ; Mars Brisbin, Margaret ; Hounshell, Alexandria G. ; Kincaid, Dustin W. ; Larson, Erin I. ; Sansom, Brandon J. ; Shogren, Arial J. ; Smith, Rachel S. ; Sullivan-Stack, Jenna
    Extreme events have increased in frequency globally, with a simultaneous surge in scientific interest about their ecological responses, particularly in sensitive freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems. We synthesized observational studies of extreme events in these aquatic ecosystems, finding that many studies do not use consistent definitions of extreme events. Furthermore, many studies do not capture ecological responses across the full spatial scale of the events. In contrast, sampling often extends across longer temporal scales than the event itself, highlighting the usefulness of long-term monitoring. Many ecological studies of extreme events measure biological responses but exclude chemical and physical responses, underscoring the need for integrative and multidisciplinary approaches. To advance extreme event research, we suggest prioritizing pre- and postevent data collection, including leveraging long-term monitoring; making intersite and cross-scale comparisons; adopting novel empirical and statistical approaches; and developing funding streams to support flexible and responsive data collection.