Special Issue "Disruption of Natural River Flow Regimes: An Opportunity for Non-Indigenous Species and the Need for New Management Practices"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pedro Morais
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Interests: estuarine ecology; biological invasions; ecosystem functioning; fish migration; otolith chemistry
Prof. Dr. Alexandra Teodósio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ecology and Restoration of Riverine, Estuarine and Coastal Habitats (EcoReach), Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve (UAlg), 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: zooplankton ecology; conservation of aquatic habitats; fish larvae physiology and behavior; impacts of global change on marine biodiversity: ocean acidification; jellification; microplastics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The disruption of natural river flow regimes affects biological communities along hundreds of kilometers across a spectrum of habitats, both aquatic and terrestrial, and even including adjacent coastal areas. Dams, water diversion, water extraction, and climate change are the factors most known for altering natural river flow regimes. The impacts caused by these factors on established ecological dynamics create the opportunities for non-indigenous species to establish or to become invasive. Therefore, it is necessary to implement new management strategies to at least prevent the establishment of non-indigenous species or minimize the putative impacts caused by invasive species. In this sense, new management strategies could be carried out by adapting the timing and quantity of water released from dams to inflict detrimental impacts on the survival of non-indigenous species, while trying to mimic natural river flow regimes.

This Special Issue aims binding contributions i) describing the relationship between altered river flow regimes and the introduction of non-indigenous species or species invasiveness, ii) quantifying the alterations in ecosystem functioning prompted by species invasiveness after river flow disruption, and iii) describing case studies, or conceptual approaches, on how river flow management can prevent the introduction of non-indigenous species or the invasiveness of established populations. The range of habitats considered includes aquatic ecosystems (i.e., anywhere along the continuum stream-river-estuary-adjacent coastal area) and terrestrial ecosystems (i.e., floodplains, fringing terrestrial habitats).

Dr. Pedro Morais
Dr. Alexandra Teodósio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Diversity 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 1800 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.


  • Biological invasions
  • Non-indigenous species
  • Invasive species
  • River flow
  • Dams
  • Climate change
  • Water diversion
  • Water abstraction
  • Management

Published Papers (1 paper)

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How Does an Invasive Cyprinid Benefit from the Hydrological Disturbance of Mediterranean Temporary Streams?
Diversity 2018, 10(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10020047 - 13 Jun 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1593
The Iberian Peninsula has been subjected to numerous fish introductions and the colonization of new areas by non-native species is constantly reported. However, there is a lack of knowledge about many aspects of the bio-ecology of these species and their invasive success within [...] Read more.
The Iberian Peninsula has been subjected to numerous fish introductions and the colonization of new areas by non-native species is constantly reported. However, there is a lack of knowledge about many aspects of the bio-ecology of these species and their invasive success within the environmental context of Mediterranean temporary rivers. This study aimed to address the following questions: (i) what are the main regional and local environmental drivers influencing fish assemblages and differentiating native from non-native species, particularly A. alburnus?; (ii) what are the environmental and anthropogenic disturbance factors responsible for the occurrence and abundance of A. alburnus?; (iii) is there a pattern in the spatiotemporal distribution of A. alburnus size classes, along the tributaries of reservoirs where the species occurs? Data on fish species, environmental variables, and anthropogenic disturbance were collected in 77 sites of the Guadiana and Sado river basins in the south of Portugal. Additionally, a seasonal sampling was performed along an upstream-downstream gradient of several tributaries from three reservoirs in these river basins. A multivariate analysis and a multi-model approach were used in data analyses. Native and non-native fish assemblages showed different environmental drivers and responses to anthropogenic disturbance levels, though A. alburnus has revealed similarities with native species. The occurrence of A. alburnus was mainly determined by hydrological and morphological disturbances driven by anthropogenic activities. Furthermore, this species apparently performed seasonal movements along the tributaries of several reservoirs, profiting from these lentic habitats as a stepping-stone for further invasions. This study highlighted the wide ecological plasticity of A. alburnus, as it benefits from the anthropogenic hydrological disturbance (induced by reservoirs), and is also able to cope with the natural hydrological disturbance (resulting from the intermittency of these streams), to guarantee and enhance its invasive success in Mediterranean intermittent streams. It also gives a sound contribution to understand the spread of A. alburnus in these vulnerable freshwater ecosystems, and to delineate management measures, namely by identifying critical points in the river network along with prioritizing river restoration measures that benefit native species. Full article
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