Special Issue "Understanding Watershed Connectivity in a Changing Planet"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 6251

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Zeyuan Qiu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Interests: watershed and water resource management; precision conservation; landscape planning; stormwater management; natural resources and environmental economics
Dr. Subhasis Giri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Interests: watershed hydrology; water quality; water sustainability; ecohydrology; climate change
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Watershed connectivity can be defined as the flow and exchange of organisms, energy and materials throughout numerous pathways within a watershed ecosystem. Watershed connectivity supports the functions of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and governs the interactions between the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in watersheds that provide ecosystem services that are vital to the well-being of people and communities at different scales on the planet. However, human disturbance and climate change have been significantly altering watershed connectivity, damaging watershed functions and threatening the provision of those vital ecosystem services. The examples of human disturbances may include urban development, agriculture, dams and river channelization among others. The negative impacts of human disturbances on watershed connectivity have been further compounded by climate change.

This Special Issue of Land, “Understanding Watershed Connectivity on a Changing Planet,” invites researchers and practitioners across all relevant disciplines to submit their theoretical and empirical work, literature reviews and case studies on watershed connectivity from multiple realms - hydrological, ecological, and even social, economic and political. We invite manuscripts that discuss current knowledge on watershed connectivity and identify the challenges, pitfalls, and knowledge gaps toward restoring and protecting watershed ecosystems to cope with uncertainties in the future of the changing planet. The Special Issue aims to develop a sound understanding of watershed connectivity and develop science-based watershed and resource management practices that restore watershed functions and services and help achieve several important sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations directly related to land, water and societal wellbeing.

The examples of contribution may include, but are not limited to:

  • Current state of knowledge on watershed connectivity
  • Concepts, metrics and case studies that assess landscape connectivity such as the impacts of impervious surfaces and fragmented habitats.
  • Concepts, metrics and case studies that assess aquatic connectivity such as impacts of dam removal and retrofitting of road-stream crossings
  • Concepts, metrics and case studies that assess the interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems including the estuary ecosystems
  • Development and applications of innovative connectivity-based watershed planning and management that improve watershed health such as precision conservation
  • Ecosystem service assessment and valuation related to the changes in watershed connectivity
  • Perceptions and social, economic and political considerations related to the changes in watershed connectivity, watershed functions and ecosystem services.

Prof. Dr. Zeyuan Qiu
Dr. Subhasis Giri
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Land 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 2000 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

  • connectivity
  • fragmentation
  • climate change
  • hydrology
  • ecology
  • dam removal
  • watershed

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Connectivity Index-Based Identification of Priority Area of River Protected Areas in Sichuan Province, Southwest China
Land 2022, 11(4), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040490 - 28 Mar 2022
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Identification of the priority area is of great significance for the rational layout of river protected areas (RPAs), and it also poses new challenges for protected areas’ (PAs) construction. This study started with the characteristics of RPAs and chose China’s Sichuan Province as [...] Read more.
Identification of the priority area is of great significance for the rational layout of river protected areas (RPAs), and it also poses new challenges for protected areas’ (PAs) construction. This study started with the characteristics of RPAs and chose China’s Sichuan Province as the case for the present study, based on its characteristics of biodiversity conservation value and other characteristic elements. The study selected the river dendritic connectivity index and the other four indicators adding them according to different weights to calculate the comprehensive protected value (CPV) area. Finally, the existing PA distributions within the CPV were compared, and the priority conservation area was identified. The main conclusions are as follows: the total area of high-value areas is about 175,068 km2, accounting for 36.02% of the province and concentrated in the high mountain plateaus of the northwest and the southwest mountain region; the existing PAs are 131,687 km2 in sized, covering only 25.08% of the high-value areas of CPV. In other words, 74.92% of the high-value areas still have not been effectively protected, and the construction of RPAs is relatively lagging in these areas; the total area of priority conservation areas (PCAs) is 131,162 km2, accounting for about 26.99% of the province. The total length of the reach in the PCAs is about 9190.72 km, which is approximately 26.84% of the length of the province’s alternative reaches. The research can provide a scientific basis for the optimization and integration of nature protected areas and land space planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Watershed Connectivity in a Changing Planet)
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Article
Sub-Watershed Parameter Transplantation Method for Non-Point Source Pollution Estimation in Complex Underlying Surface Environment
Land 2021, 10(12), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121387 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1261
Abstract
The prevention and control of non-point source pollution is an important link in managing basin water quality and is an important factor governing the environmental protection of watershed water in China over the next few decades. The control of non-point source pollution relies [...] Read more.
The prevention and control of non-point source pollution is an important link in managing basin water quality and is an important factor governing the environmental protection of watershed water in China over the next few decades. The control of non-point source pollution relies on the recognition of the amount, location, and influencing factors. The watershed nonpoint source pollution mechanism model is an effective method to address the issue. However, due to the complexity and randomness of non-point source pollution, both the development and application of the watershed water environment model have always focused on the accuracy and rationality of model parameters. In this pursuit, the present study envisaged the temporal and spatial heterogeneity of non-point source pollution caused by the complex underlying surface conditions of the watershed, and the insufficient coverage of hydrological and water quality monitoring stations. A refined watershed non-point source pollution simulation method, combining the Monte Carlo analytic hierarchy process (MCAHP) and the sub-watershed parameter transplantation method (SWPT), was established on the basis of the migration and transformation theory of the non-point source pollution, considering the index selection, watershed division, sub-watershed simulation, and parameter migration. Taking the Erhai Lake, a typical plateau lake in China, as the representative research object, the MCAHP method effectively reduced the uncertainty of the weights of the watershed division indexes compared to the traditional AHP method. Furthermore, compared to the traditional all watershed parameter simulation (AWPS) approach, the simulation accuracy was improved by 40% using the SWPT method, which is important for the prevention and control of non-point source pollution in large-scale watersheds with significant differences in climatic and topographic conditions. Based on the simulation results, the key factors affecting the load of the non-point source pollution in the Erhai watershed were identified. The results showed that the agricultural land in Erhai Lake contributed a majority of the load for several reasons, including the application of nitro phosphor complex fertilizer. Among the different soil types, paddy soil was responsible for the largest pollution load of total nitrogen and total phosphorus discharge into the lake. The zones with slopes of 0–18° were found to be the appropriate area for farming. Our study presents technical methods for the assessment, prevention, and control of non-point source pollution load in complex watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Watershed Connectivity in a Changing Planet)
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Article
Land Cover Effects on Selected Nutrient Compounds in Small Lowland Agricultural Catchments
Land 2021, 10(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020182 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2876
Abstract
The influence of landscape on nutrient dynamics in rivers constitutes an important research issue because of its significance with regard to water and land management. In the current study spatial and temporal variability of N-NO3 and P-PO4 concentrations and their landscape [...] Read more.
The influence of landscape on nutrient dynamics in rivers constitutes an important research issue because of its significance with regard to water and land management. In the current study spatial and temporal variability of N-NO3 and P-PO4 concentrations and their landscape dependence was documented in the Świder River catchment in central Poland. From April 2019 to March 2020, water samples were collected from fourteen streams in the monthly timescale and the concentrations of N-NO3 and P-PO4 were correlated with land cover metrics based on the Corine Land Cover 2018 and Sentinel 2 Global Land Cover datasets. It was documented that agricultural lands and forests have a clear seasonal impact on N-NO3 concentrations, whereas the effect of meadows was weak and its direction was dependent on the dataset. The application of buffer zones metrics increased the correlation performance, whereas Euclidean distance scaling improved correlation mainly for forest datasets. The concentration of P-PO4 was not significantly related with land cover metrics, as their dynamics were driven mainly by hydrological conditions. The obtained results provided a new insight into landscape–water quality relationships in lowland agricultural landscape, with a special focus on evaluating the predictive performance of different land cover metrics and datasets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Watershed Connectivity in a Changing Planet)
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