Krabbenhoft Lab Research

Environmental Context for Aquatic Community Composition

Understanding the environmental context necessary for a community to maintain its structure and function can provide insight for monitoring, can help improve modeling efforts to determine the causes and consequences of species loss, and can provide insight for conservation and management. Merging wide varieties of data from subfields within biology, my research program aims to understand existing ecosystems, how they function, how they came to be, and how they will respond to future stressors. I am interested in harnessing traditional ecological data (e.g., water quality, habitat availability, assemblage diversity) from field, laboratory, and museum studies of freshwater biota to identify the ecological and environmental context relevant to aquatic community composition and function. Using a variety of modeling techniques I seek to describe the interaction of anthropogenic and natural factors that influence native species distributions, the regulation of their recruitment, and the spread of invasive species. I am interested in questions about whether aquatic communities are constrained by anthropogenic activities and how to mitigate negative environmental impacts to benefit conservation and management goals. My addresses current challenges in community ecology by (1) addressing the ecological role of species at multiple life history stages, (2) investigating the nature of biotic interactions and how they shape community structure (e.g., through stable isotope studies), and (3) developing models to forecast how species distributions will be altered in changing climates. The nature of this research allows for collaboration and engagement with agency and management professionals to actively shape conservation efforts and expands the broader impact of our work.

2023   Krabbenhoft C.A., S.A. Ludsin, E.A. Marschall, R.R. Budnik, L.Z. Almeida, C.L. Cahill, H.S. Embke, Z.S. Feiner, P.J. Schmalz, M.J. Thorstensen, M.J. Weber, M.R. Wuellner, and G.J.A. Hansen. Synthesizing professional opinion and published science to build a conceptual model of walleye recruitmentFisheries, doi: 10.1002/fsh.10884.

2022   Krabbenhoft C.A., and D.R. Kashian. Invasion success of a freshwater fish corresponds to low dissolved oxygen and diminished riparian integrityBiological Invasions, doi: 10.1007/s10530-022-02827-1.

2017    Krabbenhoft C.A., A.S. Burdett, and T.F. Turner. Direct and indirect effects of predatory young-of-year fishes in a dryland river food webFreshwater Biology, 62: 1410-1421.

2015    Turner T.F., T.J. Krabbenhoft, M.L. Collyer, C.A. Krabbenhoft, M.S. Edwards, and Z.D. Sharp. Retrospective stable isotope analysis reveals ecosystem responses to river regulation over the last centuryEcology, 96: 3213-3226.

Flow Regime as a Driver of Ecosystem Function

Understanding the form and function of aquatic ecosystems is a critical component of designing effective management and conservation actions into the future. However, not all aquatic ecosystems have received equal attention in a research context. Non-perennial waters (e.g., intermittent and ephemeral streams) make up greater than 50% of global stream length, yet research on these unique aquatic environments has lagged in favor of perennial rivers. While this approach provides important baseline information from water-limited ecosystems, intermittent and ephemeral habitats can also play an important role in mesic watershed dynamics. Particularly as non-perennial systems are projected to become more prominent under climate change scenarios, it is a critical time to investigate ecosystem function in these under-studied aquatic habitats to best inform climate change response strategies. While streams that periodically run dry are an under-studied component of watersheds in my region, their low-order and often isolated nature means they are often threatened due to logging, recreational activities, hydrologic alteration, and invasive species. My research program addresses this unique aspect of aquatic ecosystems by investigating patterns in biodiversity and ecosystem function through a comparative lens across multiple flow regime types.

2022    Krabbenhoft C.A., G.H. Allen, P. Lin, S.E. Godsey, D.C. Allen, R.M. Burrows, A.G. DelVecchia, K.M. Fritz, M. Shanafield, A.J. Burgin, M.A. Zimmer, T. Datry, W.K. Dodds, C.N. Jones, M.C. Mims, C. Franklin, J.C. Hammond, S.C. Zipper, A.S. Ward, K.H. Costigan, H.E. Beck, and J.D. Olden. Assessing placement bias of the global gauge networkNature Sustainability, doi: 10.1038/s41893-022-00873-0.

2022    DelVecchia A.G., M. Shanafield, M. Zimmer, M.H. Busch, C.A. Krabbenhoft, R. Stubbington, K. Kaiser, R.M. Burrows, J. Hosen, T. Datry, S. Kampf, S.C. Zipper, K. Fritz, K. Costigan, and D.C. Allen. Reconceptualizing the hyporheic zone of non-perennial rivers and streamsFreshwater Science, doi: 10.1086/720071.

2020    Zimmer, M., K. Kaiser, J. Blaszczak, S.C. Zipper, J. Hammond, K.M. Fritz, K.H. Costigan, J. Hosen, S. Godsey, G.H. Allen, S. Kampf, R.M. Burrows, C.A. Krabbenhoft, W. Dodds, R. Hale, J.D. Olden, M. Shanafield, A.G. DelVecchia, A. Ward, M.C. Mims, T. Datry, M.T. Bogan, K.S. Boersma, M.H. Busch, C.N. Jones, A. Burgin, and D.C. Allen. Zero or not? Causes and consequences of zero-flow stream gage readings. WIREs Water, e1436.

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