Alexander Fremier

Alexander Fremier
Washington State University | WSU · School of the Environment

Ph.D.

About

93
Publications
35,720
Reads
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3,180
Citations
Citations since 2017
27 Research Items
2552 Citations
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Introduction
My research is motivated by a desire to understand feedback mechanisms in the coupled abiotic and biotic environment. Although, I am a classically trained ecologist I have always paired the biological and physical sciences, in particular, coupling ecological and geomorphic processes to better understand ecosystem transformation.
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - present
Washington State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2013 - March 2015
Washington State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
November 2008 - August 2013
University of Idaho
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Full-text available
Environmental legislation in the US (i.e. NEPA) requires defining baseline conditions on current rather than historical ecosystem conditions. For ecosystems with long histories of multiple environmental impacts, this baseline method can subsequently lead to a significantly altered environment; this has been termed a 'sliding baseline'. In river sys...
Chapter
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Agriculture is the largest single source of environmental degradation, responsible for over 30% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 70% of freshwater use and 80% of land conversion: it is the single largest driver of biodiversity loss (Foley JA, Science 309:570–574, 2005, Nature 478:337–342, 2011; IPBES. Global assessment report on biodiversi...
Article
Full-text available
An integral part of population monitoring within fisheries is ground‐based surveys of fish redds. Remotely piloted vehicles or drones (RPVs) could provide a complementary method but need verification due to a host of methodological differences. To compare methods, we counted summer Chinook redds (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) (~6 m2 in size) using RPVs...
Preprint
Full-text available
Defining a safe and just space for the biosphere requires global-scale synthetic measures of functional integrity in relation to Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP). We estimated, based on a systematic review of the literature, the minimum level of functional integrity needed to secure multiple critical ecosystem services, including pollination,...
Article
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Ecosystem management and governance of cross-scale dependent systems require integrating knowledge about ecological connectivity in its multiple forms and scales. Although scientists, managers, and policymakers are increasingly recognizing the importance of connectivity, governmental organizations may not be currently equipped to manage ecosystems...
Preprint
In the humid tropics, forest conversion and climate change threaten the hydrological function and stationarity of watersheds, particularly in steep terrain. As climate change intensifies, shifting precipitation patterns and expanding agricultural and pastoral land use may effectively reduce the resilience of headwater catchments. Compounding this p...
Article
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Timely, policy-relevant monitoring data are essential for evaluating the effectiveness of environmental policies and conservation measures. Satellite and aerial imagery can fill data gaps at low cost but are often underutilized for ongoing environmental monitoring. Barriers include lack of expertise or computational resources and the lag time betwe...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The crucial roles of biodiversity in agriculture - a necessary understanding if agirculture is to become more sustainable.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The linkages between agriculture and biodiversity - an imperative for understanding sustainable food production
Preprint
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Setting clear biodiversity targets is a pervasive challenge1 due to the context-dependent nature of biodiversity that has evaded concise science-based objectives such as the 1.5°C for climate2. Considering the major risk of continued inaction, and further biodiversity loss, it is imperative that the biodiversity community identify similarly operati...
Article
Invasive species present one of the largest threats to the recruitment and persistence of native plant communities. Land managers generally apply two approaches to help control invasive species and restore native plant communities: (1) improve ecosystem processes that preferentially support native species (e.g. reintroduce disturbance regimes) or (...
Article
Full-text available
In the management of natural resources, scale mismatch occurs when resources are not managed at the spatial or temporal scale at which they are provisioned. Issues of scale mismatch abound in social–ecological systems and can hinder efforts to effectively manage resources, threaten the resilience of the larger ecosystem, and affect societal well-be...
Article
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Wildlife corridors aim to promote species’ persistence by connecting habitat patches across fragmented landscapes. Their implementation is limited by patterns of land ownership and complicated by differences in the jurisdictional and regulatory authorities under which lands are managed. Terrestrial corridor conservation requires coordination across...
Article
The DNA of aquatic organisms can be identified in water sampled from freshwater ecosystems to detect species presence. Because these DNA-based methods (termed environmental DNA) confirm species presence by proxy of DNA in water, the processes influencing eDNA transport and removal from water are critical to the method's efficacy and interpretation...
Article
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Quantifying the spatial and temporal dynamics of stream metabolism across stream networks is key to understanding carbon cycling and stream food web ecology. To better understand intra-annual temporal patterns of gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) and their variability across space, we continuously measured dissolved oxyg...
Chapter
The Columbia River is a complex water basin shared by 2 countries, 15 Native American Tribes, 15 First Nations, 7 US states, and 1 Canadian province. Dam construction during the twentieth century has engendered a basin economy that is dependent on low-cost electricity and irrigated agriculture. Yet, these dams are a major factor in the decline of p...
Article
Full-text available
Whether or not reservoirs contain water throughout the dry season is critical to avoiding late season crop failure in seasonally-arid agricultural landscapes. Locations, volumes, and temporal dynamics, particularly of small ( < 1 Mm³) reservoirs are poorly documented globally, thus making it difficult to identify geographic and intra-annual gaps in...
Article
Achieving well-being for all, while protecting the environment, is one of the most pressing global challenges of our time, and a central idea in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We believe that integrating ecosystem services, the benefits nature provides to people, into strategies for meeting the SDGs can help achieve this. Many develop...
Article
Full-text available
The production and respiration of organic carbon in streams (stream metabolism) is a fundamental ecosystem process. The extent to which the magnitude of stream metabolism changes with forest conversion to agriculture in humid tropical headwaters is poorly understood. We measured whole-stream metabolism in headwaters draining forest-agricultural bou...
Article
A key component of resilience is to understand feedbacks among components of biophysical systems, such as physical drivers, ecological responses and the subsequent feedbacks onto physical process. While physically based explanations of biological speciation are common (e.g., mountains separating a species can lead to speciation), less common is the...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive governance must work “on the ground,” that is, it must operate through structures and procedures that the people it governs perceive to be legitimate and fair, as well as incorporating processes and substantive goals that are effective in allowing social-ecological systems (SESs) to adapt to climate change and other impacts. To address the...
Article
Full-text available
Temperate ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi show segregation whereby some species dominate in organic layers and others favor mineral soils. Weak layering in tropical soils is hypothesized to decrease niche space and therefore reduce the diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The Neotropical ECM tree Dicymbe corymbosa forms monodominant stands and has a dis...
Article
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In this article we summarize histories of nonlinear, complex interactions among societal, legal, and ecosystem dynamics in six North American water basins, as they respond to changing climate. These case studies were chosen to explore the conditions for emergence of adaptive governance in heavily regulated and developed social-ecological systems ne...
Article
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Ecosystem service-support tools are commonly used to guide natural resource management. Often, empirically based models are preferred due to low data requirements, simplicity and clarity. Yet, uncertainty produced by local context or parameter estimation remains poorly quantified and documented. We assessed model uncertainty of the Revised Universa...
Article
Sustainable Development Goals offer an opportunity to improve human well-being while conserving natural resources. Ecosystem services highlight human well-being benefits ecosystems, including agricultural ecosystems, provides. Whereas agricultural systems produce the majority of our food, they drive significant environmental degradation. This tensi...
Article
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Materials, energy, and organisms from groundwater serve as resource subsidies to lotic systems. These subsidies influence food production and post-emergent fish growth and condition through nutrient inputs and water temperature changes. To test whether post-emergent fish grew faster in gaining sites, we grew hatchery post-emergent salmon in enclosu...
Article
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Ecosystem service-based management requires an accurate understanding of how human modification influences ecosystem processes and these relationships are most accurate when based on functional traits. Although trait variation is typically sampled at local scales, remote sensing methods can facilitate scaling up trait variation to regional scales n...
Article
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Species detection using environmental DNA (eDNA) has tremendous potential for contributing to the understanding of the ecology and conservation of aquatic species. Detecting species using eDNA methods, rather than directly sampling the organisms, can reduce impacts on sensitive species and increase the power of field surveys for rare and elusive sp...
Conference Paper
Landscape evolution models rely on bed load transport equations, which often employ hiding functions to quantify the relative mobility of different grain sizes. Such hiding functions are assumed to be controlled by hiding effects; the relative mobility of small grains is reduced because they project less into the flow and have larger friction angle...
Article
Full-text available
Academic institutions often claim to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research. Prescriptions for successfully engaging in interdisciplinary efforts, however, are usually directed at the individuals doing the work rather than the institutions evaluating them for the purpose of tenure and promotion. Where institutional recommendations do exist...
Article
Where female salmon build nests (“redds”), streambed material is mixed, fine sediment is winnowed, and bed material is moved into a tailspill mound resembling the shape of a dune. Completed redd surfaces are coarser and better sorted than unspawned beds, which is thought to increase redd stability because larger grains are heavier and harder to mov...
Article
Full-text available
Salmon that spawn in streams deliver marine-derived nutrients (MDN) that catalyze trophic productivity and support rearing juvenile salmon. Salmon spawning also affects hyporheic exchange and movement of dissolved MDN through the stream bed by creating redd topography that induces pumping exchange and by winnowing fine sediment and loosening the be...
Conference Paper
Female salmon build nests (“redds”) in streambeds to protect their eggs from predation and damage by bed scour. During spawning, streambed material is mixed, fine sediment is winnowed downstream, and sediment is moved into a tailspill mound resembling the shape of a dune. Redd surfaces are coarser and better sorted than unspawned beds, which is tho...
Article
We report measurements of critical shear stress for packed and unpacked grains on water worked, mixed-grain surfaces and make the first estimates of packing resistance for non-cohesive sediment. Critical conditions were measured for in situ grains with packing using a load cell on half of each bed before the undisturbed halves were glued and pocket...
Conference Paper
Environmental DNA is a promising new tool that has successfully been applied to detecting aquatic species, but we have much to learn about how to optimally incorporate it into monitoring programs. As with any sampling tool, the reliability of occupancy estimates based on eDNA is dependent on understanding the factors that affect detection probabili...
Article
Full-text available
In stream ecosystems, Pacific salmon deliver subsidies of marine-derived nutrients and disturb the stream bed during spawning. The net effect of this nutrient subsidy and physical disturbance on biological communities can be hard to predict and is likely to be mediated by environmental conditions. For periphyton, empirical studies have revealed tha...
Article
Full-text available
Land conversion in the tropics from primary forest to agricultural land has altered soil hydrologic processes. Woody vegetation is known to increase infiltration rates and saturated hydraulic conductivity (K-S) in primary forests compared with agricultural land, but it is less clear if this relationship holds for a gradient of woody vegetation. In...
Article
Review of the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada presents an opportunity to consider how governance might be made more adaptive in the face of climate change while maintaining an appropriate level of stability. Climate change scenarios applied to the Columbia River Basin predict an increasing water deficit due primarily to c...
Article
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Recent advances in using naturally occurring isotopes to reconstruct movement patterns have revolutionized the study of migration and spatial patterns across taxa. Isoscape approaches utilize isotopic variation in the underlying geology to quantify migration pathways. Spatial patterns in the geology can be used to predict isotopic variation, such a...
Data
Full-text available
Provision of Environmental Services for Food Security vs Financial Benefits of Teak Plantations - What are the Trade-offs? FAO estimated Costa Rica’s deforestation rate between 1976 and 1980 to be 3.2% annually, which was the fifth highest rate globally. In response, the Costa Rican government established the National Fund for Forest Financing as...
Conference Paper
Effective conservation programs require monitoring techniques that are both accurate and efficient. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect aquatic species has the potential to greatly increase our ability to detect endangered and invasive species and can be highly cost-effective compared with standard field survey methods. We are working acr...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem-service production is strongly influenced by the landscape configuration of natural and human systems. Ecosystem services are not only produced and consumed locally but can be transferred within and among ecosystems. The time and distance between the producer and the consumer of ecosystem services can be considered lags in ecosystem-servi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Salmonid spawning occurs in many high to mid-order streams in North America and Europe, but the detailed mechanics of this disturbance on stream bed mobility is not well studied. We calculated and measured spawning effects on incipient bed mobility and sediment transport in a laboratory flume and found that the tailspill portion of simulated spawni...
Article
Full-text available
Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) plants and fungi can be diverse and abundant in certain tropical ecosystems. For example, the primarily paleotropical ECM plant family Dipterocarpaceae is one of the most speciose and ecologically important tree families in Southeast Asia. Pakaraimaea dipterocarpacea is one of two species of dipterocarp known from the Neotropi...
Article
Planning riparian restoration to resemble historic reference conditions requires an understanding of both local and regional patterns of plant species diversity. Thus, understanding species distributions at multiple spatial scales is essential to improve restoration planting success, to enhance long-term ecosystem functioning, and to match restorat...
Article
Full-text available
Appropriate application of complex models to estimate system behavior requires understanding the influence of model structure and parameter estimates on model output. To date, most researchers perform local sensitivity analyses, rather than global, because of computational time and quantity of data produced. Local sensitivity analyses are limited i...
Article
Geochemical fingerprinting methods using isotopic or trace elemental signatures have enabled more detailed understanding of migratory behavior across animal taxa. These methods are limited by geographic variation in geochemical signatures and by the resolution of baseline sampling within study systems. In particular, isotopes of strontium have been...
Presentation
Expansion of agricultural land in the Pacific Lowlands of Nicaragua coupled with intense seasonal rains increases vulnerabilities to the adverse effects of altered surface and vadose zone hydrologic processes seen in flooding, increased soil loss, as well as pollution of rivers and lakes. A primary hydrologic vadose zone process that is altered wit...
Conference Paper
Future climate scenarios project spatially heterogeneous changes in both temperature and precipitation over the next 100 years. Potentially one of the greatest climate change impacts to freshwater systems is changes in watershed hydrology, namely stream discharge. Because of anticipated hydrologic alteration, water managers in much of the arid to s...
Article
Full-text available
• The ectomycorrhizal (ECM) symbiosis was historically considered restricted to the temperate zones, but recent studies have shown the importance of this symbiosis across the tropics. We examined ECM fungal diversity, host plant phylogeny and ECM host preferences in a rainforest dominated by the leguminous host plants Dicymbe corymbosa, Dicymbe alt...
Article
Full-text available
In disturbance-prone ecosystems, organisms often persist in spatial refugia during stressful periods. A clear example is the colonization of abandoned river channels by pioneer riparian trees. Here, we examine the prominence of this establishment pathway for a foundation tree species (Fremont cottonwood, Populus fremontii) within the riparian corri...
Article
Full-text available
Mechanism-based ecological models are a valuable tool for understanding the drivers of complex ecological systems and for making informed resource-management decisions. However, inaccurate conclusions can be drawn from models with a large degree of uncertainty around multiple parameter estimates if uncertainty is ignored. This is especially true in...
Article
In disturbance-prone ecosystems, organisms often persist in spatial refugia during stressful periods. A clear example is the colonization of abandoned river channels by pioneer riparian trees. Here, we examine the prominence of this establishment pathway for a foundation tree species (Fremont cottonwood, Populus fremontii) within the riparian corri...
Article
Floodplains partially develop from successive flooding events, depositing and eroding sediment on pre-existing surfaces. By analyzing how constantly evolving legacy floodplains affect floodplain development has helped us build a more dynamic understanding of contemporary geomorphic and ecological processes. In this contribution we have analyzed lin...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Ecological models offer a valuable tool for understanding complex ecological systems. However, inaccurate conclusions can be drawn from models with a large degree of uncertainty around multiple parameter estimates if uncertainty is ignored. We addressed this issue for a mechanism-based model of Populus fremontii (Fremo...
Article
Quantifying the influence of the landscape on the genetic structure of natural populations remains an important empirical challenge, particularly for poorly studied, ecologically cryptic species. We conducted an extensive microsatellite analysis to examine the population genetics of the southern long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum sigilla...
Article
Large wood maintains in-channel and floodplain habitats by influencing the biophysical character of the river corridor. Large wood dynamics in a river corridor are a product of watershed wide processes and also of local recruitment, transport, and storage. This complexity of scales added to the logistical constraints in taking measurements limits o...
Article
Feedbacks between vegetation, sediment transport and flow conditions impact river morphology, floodplain deposition patterns and rates, and subsequent controls on species diversity. In particular, vegetation on point bars may alter bar formation and growth, which will affect channel migration rates and floodplain development. To better understand t...
Article
Future climate change scenarios predict spatially heterogeneous changes in both temperature and precipitation regime over the next 100 years. Potentially one of the greatest impacts to freshwater delivery planning and natural communities is the potential changes in watershed hydrology, namely stream discharge. For example, water managers are notabl...