Special Issue "Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation, Aquatic Natural Resources and Management"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Thilina Surasinghe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA 02325, USA
Interests: tropical biodiversity conservation; landscape-scale conservation planning; herpetology; stream and wetland ecology; freshwater ecology; GIS in conservation and ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Life on Earth depends on water, and water is the foundation for the origin of life. Seventy percent of our planet’s surface is covered with water; over 95% of Earth’s water is in the ocean. Freshwater is intrinsically limited in availability and is a globally important, indispensable resource for the persistence of all life forms. The ecological importance of oceans is immense, which includes, but is not limited to, carbon sequestration, climate moderation, nutrient cycling, and provision of habitats millions of life forms. Although coastal biodiversity is well-explored, deep-ocean biodiversity is heavily understudied. The values of aquatic resources to the society and environment have been well-recognized; aquatic ecosystems have received an increasing attention in terms of research, management, education and awareness across the globe. However, aquatic habitats and aquatic biota around the world have been critically imperiled, mostly due to anthropogenic forces, such as overexploitation, environmental pollution, urbanization, and industrialization. The demand on freshwater and for other aquatic resources for human consumption is dramatically increasing along with the growing global human population. The challenges to stem the losses in global freshwater, brackish, and marine biodiversity remain extensive and the resolution of this crisis is an imminent need in the face of global environmental change.

Persistence of aquatic biodiversity in the face of environmental changes (climate change, pollution, unsustainable land-uses, such as intensive agriculture and urbanization, overexploitation, biological invasions, diseases and parasitic infections and a myriad of other factors) is a critical issue confronted by many governments, resource managers, researchers, and conservation authorizes worldwide. Rapid degradation of freshwater habitats accentuates the gravity of global water crisis. In addition, the richness of aquatic biological diversity may be largely unknown to science in less-explored biomes, particularly in the tropical realm. Therefore, it is crucial to explore the global freshwater diversity in-depth to broaden our understanding of the biosphere. It is the prime responsibility of researchers and conservation biologists to device action plans to effectively and efficiently manage and conserve global aquatic biodiversity; to develop the science-based knowledge on freshwater biodiversity; and promote wise use of aquatic resources to achieve sustainable development for the mankind.

Suitable topics:

The scholarly articles that focus on different aspects of global aquatic biodiversity will be considered for this special issue. Following are some suitable topics we are looking for. Other ideas, if deemed suitable, will be considered by the editorial committee. 

  • Conservation and management of global aquatic ecosystems (freshwater, marine, coastal, brackish, and intertidal), habitats and species
  • Imperiled (locally, regionally, nationally, or globally) aquatic freshwater habitats and species
  • National and transboundary action plans targeting and/or emphasis on conservation of marine, coastal and freshwater biodiversity
  • Threats to aquatic biodiversity: pollution, overuse, invasions, diseases, etc.
  • Ecology, evolution, behavior, natural and life histories of aquatic and semiaquatic species
  • Experimental aquatic ecology
  • Cutting-edge technology on aquatic biodiversity: GIS, remote sensing, radiotelemetry and animal tracking
  • Distribution studies and diversity inventories from less-explored habitats and regions, including species descriptions: tropics, polar ecology, winter ecology
  • Sustainable management of fisheries and other aquatic biota
  • Theoretical studies in ecology and conservation of aquatic systems
  • Restoration of aquatic habitats: theory and practice
  • Environmental law and policies with an aquatic perspective
  • Perspectives and efforts on public awareness and formal education on aquatic biodiversity
  • Global climate change and aquatic resources
  • Functions and processes of aquatic ecosystems and land-water connections
  • Impacts of aquatic biodiversity on human well-being
  • Formal Education on aquatic biodiversity conservation and aquatic resources (ms on pedagogy)
  • Public outreach on aquatic biodiversity conservation and aquatic resources

If you work in the field of aquatic ecology and resource management, and your specific topic of research is not listed, please feel free to contact the Guest Editor regarding your potential manuscript.

Dr. Thilina Surasinghe
Guest Editor

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. 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.

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Does Stream Size Really Explain Biodiversity Patterns in Lotic Systems? A Call for Mechanistic Explanations
Diversity 2017, 9(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/d9030026 - 08 Jul 2017
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3237
Abstract
Understanding drivers of biodiversity is a long-standing goal of basic and applied ecological research. In riverine systems, there remains a critical need to identify these drivers as efforts to manage and protect rivers grow increasingly desperate in the face of global change. We [...] Read more.
Understanding drivers of biodiversity is a long-standing goal of basic and applied ecological research. In riverine systems, there remains a critical need to identify these drivers as efforts to manage and protect rivers grow increasingly desperate in the face of global change. We explored one commonly cited potential driver of riverine biodiversity, stream size (e.g., stream order, watershed area, width), using a systematic literature review paired with an analysis of broad-scale macroinvertebrate and fish communities. Of the 165 papers reviewed, we found mostly positive, but no universal, relationship between biodiversity and stream size despite inconsistent use of over 30 measures of stream size. One-third of studies failed to report explanatory mechanisms driving biodiversity–stream size relationships. Across over 4000 macroinvertebrate and fish samples from 1st–8th order streams in the contiguous USA, our analysis showed biodiversity (Shannon diversity, functional diversity, beta diversity) generally increased with measures of stream size. However, because of inconsistent and generally weak relationships between biodiversity and stream size across organismal groups, we emphasize the need to look beyond simple physical stream size measures to understand and predict riverine biodiversity, and strongly suggest that studies search for more mechanistic explanations of biodiversity patterns in lotic systems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Tracking the Recovery of Freshwater Mussel Diversity in Ontario Rivers: Evaluation of a Quadrat-Based Monitoring Protocol
Diversity 2017, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/d9010005 - 13 Jan 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2309
Abstract
Watershed inventories and population monitoring are essential components of efforts to conserve and recover freshwater mussel diversity in Canada. We used two datasets to assess the efficacy of a quadrat-based sampling protocol for: (1) detecting mussel species at risk; (2) characterizing species composition; [...] Read more.
Watershed inventories and population monitoring are essential components of efforts to conserve and recover freshwater mussel diversity in Canada. We used two datasets to assess the efficacy of a quadrat-based sampling protocol for: (1) detecting mussel species at risk; (2) characterizing species composition; (3) providing accurate estimates of abundance; and (4) detecting changes in density. The protocol is based on a systematic design (with random starts) that samples 20% of monitoring sites with visual-tactile surface searches and excavation of 1 m2 quadrats. The first dataset included 40 sampling sites in five Ontario rivers, and the second dataset consisted of complete census sampling at two 375 m2 sites that represented contrasting mussel assemblages. Our results show that the protocol can be expected to detect the majority of species present at a site and provide accurate and precise estimates of total mussel density. Excavation was essential for detection of small individuals and to accurately estimate abundance. However, the protocol was of limited usefulness for reliable detection of most species at risk. Furthermore, imprecise density estimates precluded detection of all but the most extreme changes in density of most individual species. Meeting monitoring objectives will require either substantially greater sampling effort under the current protocol, or a fundamental revision of the sampling approach. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Ecology of the River Darter in Canadian Waters: Distribution, Relative Abundance, Life-History Traits, Diet, and Habitat Characteristics
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/d8040022 - 25 Oct 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2361
Abstract
The River Darter (Percina shumardi) is a native, rarely sampled fish that has been detected in relatively small numbers since the 1930s. It has a wide North American distribution, but little is known about the species biology and distribution across the [...] Read more.
The River Darter (Percina shumardi) is a native, rarely sampled fish that has been detected in relatively small numbers since the 1930s. It has a wide North American distribution, but little is known about the species biology and distribution across the Canadian portion of its range. We revisited many historic sampling locations and sampled additional areas to (i) confirm and update the distribution of River Darters in Canadian waters; (ii) assess relative abundance; (iii) update life history characteristics; (iv) collect diet information; and (v) identify characteristics of River Darter habitat. Since 1990, a total of 1032 River Darters were recorded from 29 waterbodies across three ecoregions. River Darters were observed in relatively high abundances in both the Saskatchewan-Nelson River and Southern Hudson Bay-James Bay ecoregions. While still extant in the Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence ecoregion, River Darters persist at low abundance. Life history analyses indicate similar maximum age (age 4) and growth (10 mm/year) to conspecific populations in the United States, while sex ratios are generally skewed towards female dominance. River Darter populations had high flexibility in habitat use and diet, using a range of flows and depths and a variety of seasonally available prey types. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop