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Characteristics, Main Impacts, and Stewardship of Natural and Artificial Freshwater Environments: Consequences for Biodiversity Conservation

MUSE—Museo delle Scienze, Limnology and Phycology Section, Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, 38123 Trento, Italy
Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), 21027 Ispra, Italy
Odum School of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2602, USA
Museum of Northern Arizona Springs Stewardship Institute, 3101 N Ft Valley Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment, 10 Valentine Ave, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia
Palaeontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives Research Centre (PANGEA), School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences UNSW, Kensington 2052, Australia
Finnish Environment Institute, Freshwater Centre, Paavo Havaksen Tie 3, FI-90570 Oulu, Finland
Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
INRAE, UR RiverLy, centre de Lyon-Villeurbanne, 5 rue de la Doua CS70077, 69626 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
Czech Academy of Sciences, Biology Centre, Institute of Hydrobiology, Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137 Brno, Czech Republic
Coastal Marine Field Station, University of Waikato, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Institute of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje 1000, North Macedonia
Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Palermo, 90123 Palermo, Italy
Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Abbassia Square, 11566 Cairo, Egypt
Phycology Section, Research and Collections Division, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, ON K1P6P4, Canada
Servizio Geologico, Sismico e dei Suoli, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Viale della Fiera 8, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 260;
Received: 26 November 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
In this overview (introductory article to a special issue including 14 papers), we consider all main types of natural and artificial inland freshwater habitas (fwh). For each type, we identify the main biodiversity patterns and ecological features, human impacts on the system and environmental issues, and discuss ways to use this information to improve stewardship. Examples of selected key biodiversity/ecological features (habitat type): narrow endemics, sensitive (groundwater and GDEs); crenobionts, LIHRes (springs); unidirectional flow, nutrient spiraling (streams); naturally turbid, floodplains, large-bodied species (large rivers); depth-variation in benthic communities (lakes); endemism and diversity (ancient lakes); threatened, sensitive species (oxbow lakes, SWE); diverse, reduced littoral (reservoirs); cold-adapted species (Boreal and Arctic fwh); endemism, depauperate (Antarctic fwh); flood pulse, intermittent wetlands, biggest river basins (tropical fwh); variable hydrologic regime—periods of drying, flash floods (arid-climate fwh). Selected impacts: eutrophication and other pollution, hydrologic modifications, overexploitation, habitat destruction, invasive species, salinization. Climate change is a threat multiplier, and it is important to quantify resistance, resilience, and recovery to assess the strategic role of the different types of freshwater ecosystems and their value for biodiversity conservation. Effective conservation solutions are dependent on an understanding of connectivity between different freshwater ecosystems (including related terrestrial, coastal and marine systems). View Full-Text
Keywords: freshwater; habitat; biodiversity; ecosystem; impact; conservation; stewardship; foundation species; least-impaired habitat relicts freshwater; habitat; biodiversity; ecosystem; impact; conservation; stewardship; foundation species; least-impaired habitat relicts
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Cantonati, M.; Poikane, S.; Pringle, C.M.; Stevens, L.E.; Turak, E.; Heino, J.; Richardson, J.S.; Bolpagni, R.; Borrini, A.; Cid, N.; Čtvrtlíková, M.; Galassi, D.M.P.; Hájek, M.; Hawes, I.; Levkov, Z.; Naselli-Flores, L.; Saber, A.A.; Cicco, M.D.; Fiasca, B.; Hamilton, P.B.; Kubečka, J.; Segadelli, S.; Znachor, P. Characteristics, Main Impacts, and Stewardship of Natural and Artificial Freshwater Environments: Consequences for Biodiversity Conservation. Water 2020, 12, 260.

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