Krista Capps, a research assistant professor in the University of Maine Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, is leading a project that aims to provide the foundation for greater understanding of urban rivers in developing countries.
The project, “Mexican Urban Stream Ecology Collaboration (MUSE),” received a $60,690 grant from the National Science Foundation for initial data gathering in Mexico.
Much of what scientists know about the influence of urbanization on stream ecology comes from studying rivers and streams in countries such as the United States and Australia, according to the researchers. However, urban rivers in developing economies may be used by humans for sources of untreated drinking water, direct conduits for sewage and freshwater fisheries.
Understanding how biological communities and processes are affected by increasing urbanization is essential to correctly manage urban watersheds in developing regions, the researchers say.
MUSE will bring together stream ecologists and fish biologists from the United States and Mexico to begin to understand the links among urbanization, stream ecology, and freshwater fisheries in southern Mexico.
The researchers say they hope the project initiates a new collaboration that will generate knowledge and resources for scientists and natural resource managers.