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Special Issue "Wetland Ecology, Conservation and Sustainability: Applications of Geospatial Techniques"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lalit Kumar

School of Environmental & Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental modeling; spatial ecology; climate change impacts on species distributions; hyperspectral remote sensing
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Onisimo Mutanga

School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, P. Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hyperspectral and multispectral remote sensing; vegetation pattern analysis and monitoring (quality and quantity, species distribution); spatial modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wetlands are one of the most productive environments on the planet, having very high biological diversity and productivity, and providing numerous ecosystem services. They improve water quality by trapping sediments and filtering nutrients; support various agricultural activities by providing an almost continuous source of water for irrigation, as well as for livestock consumption; support recreation and ecotourism activities; act as carbon sinks and mitigate against flooding; provide habitat to many organisms, including a wide variety of birds; and support the livelihood of millions of people, especially in developing countries. However, the state of many important wetlands around the world is of great concern. Many studies show that both the area and quality of wetlands continues to decline, compromising the ecosystem services they deliver. In a rapidly changing climate, it is important to be able to continuously and frequently monitor the health and condition of wetlands, the biodiversity (both flora and fauna) it supports, as well as changing ecosystem services. Wetlands need to be utilized in a sustainable manner such that it does not adversely affect their on-going quality for current and future generations.

Earth observation technologies, including remote sensing and geographic information systems, have contributed immensely to rapidly map and monitor wetlands. New satellite data, at both improved spatial and temporal scales, is becoming available on a yearly basis. A lot of the data, such as that available from Landsat and the Sentinel series, are available free of cost, thus increasing the use of satellite data for ecological research.

In this Special Issue, we invite original contributions on any aspect of the use of modern technologies, such as Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), to wetland ecology, conservation, sustainability, mapping and monitoring. The contributions are not limited to just wetlands, but include the biodiversity inherent in wetlands or dependent on wetlands. Climate change impacts on wetlands and their biodiversity, forage availability for grazing animals and underground water are also encouraged. There is scope for a limited number of review papers, so if you are planning to submit a review paper then please consult us first so that we can avoid duplicates.

Prof. Lalit Kumar
Prof. Onisimo Mutanga
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • wetlands
  • wetland biodiversity
  • wetland ecosystem services
  • forage availability
  • climate change
  • wetland mapping and monitoring
  • wetland ecology
  • remote sensing
  • GIS

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Rewetting Decreases Carbon Emissions from the Zoige Alpine Peatland on the Tibetan Plateau
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 948; doi:10.3390/su9060948
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
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Abstract
Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle and potentially have a significant impact on regional climate change. Restoring and rewetting the degraded peatlands is an urgent task. However, effects of rewetting on the carbon emissions of peatlands remain poorly understood.
[...] Read more.
Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle and potentially have a significant impact on regional climate change. Restoring and rewetting the degraded peatlands is an urgent task. However, effects of rewetting on the carbon emissions of peatlands remain poorly understood. In this study, the process of rewetting a piece of the degraded Zoige alpine peatland was experimentally simulated and the derived results were compared with those of natural rewetting by monitoring CO2 and CH4 fluxes and other environmental factors before and after rewetting. The natural rewetting results showed that rewetting decreased ecosystem respiration (ER) by about 60%. Furthermore, rewetting increased CH4 emissions by 127%, decreased total carbon emissions (TCE) from 270 to 157 mg CO2 m−2 h−1, and decreased TCE from the entire ecosystem by 42%. The results of the controlled experiment showed that ER decreased gradually as the degree of rewetting was increased, and CH4 fluxes and changes in water level were significantly and positively correlated: CH4 fluxes increased from 0.3 (water level −20 cm) to 2.17 mg CH4 m−2 h−1 (water level 20 cm). After rewetting, the TCE of the whole ecosystem were significantly decreased. Regional observations showed that CO2 fluxes were significantly and negatively correlated to the water level; and the corresponding CO2 equivalent was significantly and positively correlated to the water level, while TCE were significantly and negatively correlated to the water level. Our findings indicate that rewetting can decrease carbon emissions and thus contribute in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change in alpine peatland. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Constructed Wetland under the Impact of Aquatic Organisms Overloading
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 863; doi:10.3390/su9050863
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Environmental impacts, such as earthquakes, chemical pollution and anthropogenic factors can affect the stability and sustainability of an ecosystem. In this study, a long-term (3.7 years) investigation experiment was conducted to estimate the sustainability of a constructed wetland (CW) under the impact of
[...] Read more.
Environmental impacts, such as earthquakes, chemical pollution and anthropogenic factors can affect the stability and sustainability of an ecosystem. In this study, a long-term (3.7 years) investigation experiment was conducted to estimate the sustainability of a constructed wetland (CW) under the impact of aquatic organisms overloading. The situation of aquatic organisms overloading in this study meant that around 27,000 kg of fishes had to be moved and accommodated in a 4 ha water area of wetland for six months. Experimental results indicated that the pH value of CW water was slightly acidic and the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) level decreased under the impact. On the other hand, the levels of Electrical Conductivity (EC), Suspended Solids (SS), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) of CW water were increased under the impact. The pathogen analysis revealed that total coliforms, Salmonella spp., Enterococcus spp., and Escherichia coli, in the wetland water increased under the impact. The analyzed factors of water quality and amount of pathogens were all returned to their original statuses soon after the impact ended. Eventually, the results of microbial community structure analysis showed that overloading of aquatic organisms slightly increased the specific richness (R) of wetland bacteria, whereas higher structural biodiversity (H) of CW could stabilize the whole microbial community and prevent the pathogens or other bacteria from increasing to become the dominant strains. These results were novel and could be possible to conclude that a CW environment could not only stabilize the water quality and amount of pathogens resulting from the impact of aquatic organisms overloading, but also they could stabilize the microbial community structures, allowing the biogeochemical cycles of the CW to function. They could provide the useful information for wetland sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Climate Variability and Mangrove Cover Dynamics at Species Level in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 805; doi:10.3390/su9050805
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Abstract
Mangrove ecosystems are complex in nature. For monitoring the impact of climate variability in this ecosystem, a multidisciplinary approach is a prerequisite. Changes in temperature and rainfall pattern have been suggested as an influential factor responsible for the change in mangrove species composition
[...] Read more.
Mangrove ecosystems are complex in nature. For monitoring the impact of climate variability in this ecosystem, a multidisciplinary approach is a prerequisite. Changes in temperature and rainfall pattern have been suggested as an influential factor responsible for the change in mangrove species composition and spatial distribution. The main aim of this study was to assess the relationship between temperature, rainfall pattern and dynamics of mangrove species in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, over a 38 year time period from 1977 to 2015. To assess the relationship, a three stage analytical process was employed. Primarily, the trend of temperature and rainfall over the study period were identified using a linear trend model; then, the supervised maximum likelihood classifier technique was employed to classify images recorded by Landsat series and post-classification comparison techniques were used to detect changes at species level. The rate of change of different mangrove species was also estimated in the second stage. Finally, the relationship between temperature, rainfall and the dynamics of mangroves at species level was determined using a simple linear regression model. The results show a significant statistical relationship between temperature, rainfall and the dynamics of mangrove species. The trends of change for Heritiera fomes and Sonneratia apelatala show a strong relationship with temperature and rainfall, while Ceriops decandra shows a weak relationship. In contrast, Excoecaria agallocha and Xylocarpus mekongensis do not show any significant relationship with temperature and rainfall. On the basis of our results, it can be concluded that temperature and rainfall are important climatic factors influencing the dynamics of three major mangrove species viz. H. fomes, S. apelatala and C. decandra in the Sundarbans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Invasive Eichhornia crassipes Affects the Capacity of Submerged Macrophytes to Utilize Nutrients
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 565; doi:10.3390/su9040565
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
Invasion by free-floating species, such as Eichhornia crassipes, is one of the most critical threats to the biodiversity and sustainability of wetland ecosystems, where all plants experience spatial heterogeneity in substrate nutrients. However, few studies have focused on the effects of free-floating
[...] Read more.
Invasion by free-floating species, such as Eichhornia crassipes, is one of the most critical threats to the biodiversity and sustainability of wetland ecosystems, where all plants experience spatial heterogeneity in substrate nutrients. However, few studies have focused on the effects of free-floating invaders on the capacity of submerged plants to utilize substrate nutrients. A 10-week greenhouse experiment was conducted to test the effects of free-floating invasive E. crassipes (presence or absence) on the growth of Ceratophyllum demersum and Myriophyllum spicatum, and their capacity to use heterogeneous and homogeneous substrate nutrients. We found that the invasion of E. crassipes could significantly decrease the growth of both submerged C. demersum and M. spicatum and that substrate nutrient heterogeneity increased the growth of C. demersum (approximately 30% in total biomass and 40% in the number of nodes) but not of M. spicatum. The two submerged species have different strategies to address invasion by E. crassipes. These results indicate that E. crassipes can prevent the growth of submerged plants even if the submerged plants can effectively use heterogeneous nutrients. For the effective conservation of submerged macrophytes in wetlands, measures should be taken to restrict the spread of invasive free-floating species. Full article
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