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Open AccessArticle

A Proposal to Classify and Assess Ecological Status in Mediterranean Temporary Rivers: Research Insights to Solve Management Needs

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Agència Catalana de l’Aigua (ACA), c/Provença, 260, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
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Freshwater Ecology, Hydrology and Management (FEHM) Research Group, Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio), Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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INRAE, UR RiverLy, Centre de Lyon-Villeurbanne, 5 rue de la Doua CS70077, 69626 Villeurbanne CEDEX, France
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Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group, IDAEA, CSIC. Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
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Dirección General del Agua, Ministerio de Transición Ecológica y Reto Demográfico, Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, 28003 Madrid, Spain
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Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar, Av/Blasco Ibañez 48, 46010 Valencia, Spain
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Tecnologías y Servicios Agrarios, S.A., c/del Cronista Carreres, 11, 46003 Valencia, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria João Feio and Joao M. Neto
Water 2021, 13(6), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060767
Received: 21 February 2021 / Revised: 27 February 2021 / Accepted: 6 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ecological Assessment of Rivers and Estuaries: Present and Future)
The biomonitoring methods implemented by water authorities are mostly developed for perennial rivers, and do not apply to temporary rivers (TRs). We propose a new classification for TRs to better assess their ecological status. It arises from the LIFE+ TRivers project, which was conducted in the Catalan and the Júcar Mediterranean river basin districts (RBD). The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) provided two systems to set river types (systems A or B from Annex II), which have been officially used by water authorities across Europe to set “national river types” (NRTs). However, essential hydrological variables for TRs are largely omitted. NRTs established according to the WFD were compared with TR categories obtained by using a rainfall-runoff model, “natural flows prescribed regimes” (NFPRs), and with “aquatic phases regimes” (APRs) calculated by using TREHS software. The biological quality indices currently used in Spain, based on macroinvertebrates and diatoms (IBMWP, IMMI-T, and IPS), were compared with a “general degradation” gradient in order to analyze the two TR river classification procedures (NFPR and APR). The results showed that NRTs did not properly classify TRs, and that the APR classification identified ecologically meaningful categories, especially those related to stagnant phases. Four “management temporary river categories” based on APRs are proposed to be used for water managers to properly assess the ecological status of TRs. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-perennial rivers; intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams; temporary rivers; river basin management plans; Mediterranean; water framework directive non-perennial rivers; intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams; temporary rivers; river basin management plans; Mediterranean; water framework directive
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MDPI and ACS Style

Munné, A.; Bonada, N.; Cid, N.; Gallart, F.; Solà, C.; Bardina, M.; Rovira, A.; Sierra, C.; Soria, M.; Fortuño, P.; Llorens, P.; Latron, J.; Estrela, T.; Fidalgo, A.; Serrano, I.; Jiménez, S.; Vega, R.; Prat, N. A Proposal to Classify and Assess Ecological Status in Mediterranean Temporary Rivers: Research Insights to Solve Management Needs. Water 2021, 13, 767. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060767

AMA Style

Munné A, Bonada N, Cid N, Gallart F, Solà C, Bardina M, Rovira A, Sierra C, Soria M, Fortuño P, Llorens P, Latron J, Estrela T, Fidalgo A, Serrano I, Jiménez S, Vega R, Prat N. A Proposal to Classify and Assess Ecological Status in Mediterranean Temporary Rivers: Research Insights to Solve Management Needs. Water. 2021; 13(6):767. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060767

Chicago/Turabian Style

Munné, Antoni; Bonada, Núria; Cid, Núria; Gallart, Francesc; Solà, Carolina; Bardina, Mònica; Rovira, Albert; Sierra, Clara; Soria, Maria; Fortuño, Pau; Llorens, Pilar; Latron, Jérôme; Estrela, Teodoro; Fidalgo, Arancha; Serrano, Inmaculada; Jiménez, Sara; Vega, Rosa; Prat, Narcís. 2021. "A Proposal to Classify and Assess Ecological Status in Mediterranean Temporary Rivers: Research Insights to Solve Management Needs" Water 13, no. 6: 767. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060767

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