Special Issue "Theoretical and Practical Approaches in Watershed Management across Different Environmental Contexts"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Demetrio Antonio Zema
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Science (AGRARIA), Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, 89127 Reggio Calabria, Italy
Interests: hydrological modelling; watershed management; soil conservation; flooding risk assessment; river restoration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agroforestry Technology and Science & Genetics, School of Advanced Agricultural & Forestry Engineering, Castilla La Mancha University, Campus Universitario s/n, C.P. 02071 Albacete, Spain
Interests: natural regeneration; soil erosion; forest hydrology; nutrient cycling; soil microbiology; forest management; forest fires
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last century, several techniques have been used for watershed management, ranging from engineering works (as check dams) in channels to soil conservation measures (as terraces, reforestation, etc.) on hillslopes. In all environmental contexts, these actions have noticeably modified the local morphology, hydrology, and ecology and their effects have influenced all the ecosystem resources on a watershed scale. Moreover, the theorethical and practical approaches for watershed management have been often adopted without considering the physical and ecological processes of each specific context. Until now, since watershed dynamics are still not well understood, sustainable river management remains very complex.

This Special Issue aims to attract contributions from scientists working in different climatic, geomorphological, and  ecological contexts, in order to (i) analyse the availability of tools providing a better comprehension of watershed physical and biological processes (hydrological models, techniques for processing geographical information, laboratory experiments, design methods, etc.) and (ii) propose new strategies for the sustainable management of watershed resources (soil, water, vegetation, etc.). Papers focusing on the state-of-the-art of specific issues (such as reviews and discussions), as well as research and applied projects (as, for instance, successful/unsuccessful case studies) about the rehabilitation and restoration of natural resources in degraded watersheds, are welcome. We also encourage studies targeted at setting up new guidelines and design criteria for watershed management, especially regarding land planning and hydrogeological/ecological risk management.

Prof. Dr. Demetrio Antonio Zema
Prof. Dr. Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja
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 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. Resources 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 1600 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

  • watershed hydrology
  • river ecology
  • soil conservation
  • engineering control works
  • flooding risk assessment
  • ecosystem restoration
  • degraded enviroment rehabilitation
  • forest management
  • erosion modelling
  • geographical analysis

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Poaching of Encephalartos transvenosus, in the Limpopo Province, South Africa
Resources 2021, 10(12), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10120119 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
There is an established link between deforestation and negative hydrological effects which may affect watersheds. The number of the cycads Encephalartos transvenosus Stapf & Burtt Davy in South Africa is drastically reducing, and they are nearly extinct. Additionally, poaching and reduction in the [...] Read more.
There is an established link between deforestation and negative hydrological effects which may affect watersheds. The number of the cycads Encephalartos transvenosus Stapf & Burtt Davy in South Africa is drastically reducing, and they are nearly extinct. Additionally, poaching and reduction in the population of cycads in reserves may impact negatively on watersheds in protected and buffer areas since the regeneration of this plant occurs over a long period. This research aimed to study the distributions of poached cycads, evaluate the factors responsible for poaching activity and suggest possible solutions towards conservation of E. transvenosus Stapf & Burtt Davy in some of the nature reserves in Limpopo province. Field observation was used to ascertain and collect locations of poached cycads. Data was obtained through the use of a questionnaire. Questionnaires were administered to rangers for the collection of data on causes of poaching, parts poached, measures taken and challenges of rangers in the nature reserves. Processing of the collected data was done by simple statistical analysis. The total population of rangers available in the reserves was used for the determination of the sample size of rangers by Slovin’s formula. Unemployment (46%) is the leading cause for poaching in Mphaphuli Nature Reserve, while trade is a leading factor in Modjadji and Lekgalameetse (37% and 60%) respectively. Debarked cycads amount to 14 (54%) while 12 of the total (26 poached cycads) were completely removed (46%). The most effective way of stopping the poaching of cycads as perceived by the rangers is by patrolling the nature reserves. The observed poaching of Encephalartos transvenosus is alarming since this plant has a low population size which is currently confined to the Limpopo Province in South Africa only. If poaching continues in the nature reserves, all cycads have the tendency of being removed. Therefore, there is a need to continually develop strategies for the conservation of cycads. The peculiar nature and challenges of each reserve have been established and unique solutions for these nature reserves in Limpopo Province have been proposed. Better conservation of cycad species can positively impact the hydrological process of the concerned area and better help the watersheds. Full article
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Article
The Assessment of the Usefulness of Miscanthus x giganteus to Water and Soil Protection against Erosive Degradation
Resources 2021, 10(7), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10070066 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 606
Abstract
Water erosion is one of the major factors of soil degradation in the world. Various methods have been developed to prevent soil erosion. One of them is the use of anti-erosion belts on slopes, but it has both positive and negative effects. In [...] Read more.
Water erosion is one of the major factors of soil degradation in the world. Various methods have been developed to prevent soil erosion. One of them is the use of anti-erosion belts on slopes, but it has both positive and negative effects. In order to minimize the negative effects, this study proposes the use of perennial grass in place of the most commonly used trees and shrubs. The paper presents studies on the erosion control effectiveness of a strip planted with Miscanthus x giganteus, established on a loess slope. Surface runoff of water and its constituents and erosion damage was studied on the experimental plot with a separate anti-erosion belt and the control plot. Obtained results indicate the anti-erosion efficiency of the established strip in the context of soil protection from water erosion and surface water protection from pollution, although, in the first years of vegetation, miscanthus has not yet reached the stage of full development. The average surface water runoff relating to precipitation causing the erosive event was 17.1% higher in the control plot than in the experimental plot. The volume of erosion damage in the form of rill erosion was 89.3% higher in the control plot. On the other hand, the volume of erosion damages in surface erosion and patches of deposited silts was lower by 14.7% and 21.6%, respectively. Soil losses from the control plot were 29% higher than those from the experimental plot. Dissolved plant nutrient runoff was also higher from the control plot by: 33.4% N-Ntot, 31.3% N-NH4, 42.7% N-NO3, 21.6% N-NO2, 22.9% P-Ptot, 24.1% K. Full article
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Article
Feeding the Future with the Past: Incorporating Local Ecological Knowledge in River Restoration
Resources 2020, 9(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9040047 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2287
Abstract
Despite many years of experience in the river restoration field, which has become one of the most promising areas of water resources management, significant challenges and problems remain. These include the scope and scale of restoration measures, developing the reference model, assessment of [...] Read more.
Despite many years of experience in the river restoration field, which has become one of the most promising areas of water resources management, significant challenges and problems remain. These include the scope and scale of restoration measures, developing the reference model, assessment of restoration success, and the engagement of local stakeholders. Progress in addressing these challenges to river restoration could be achieved by changes in current approaches through the appreciation and integration of local communities and their local ecological knowledge (LEK). The results of discussion on ecological restoration indicate that ecological knowledge, which combines the interests of local communities and the environment, could be used in restoration projects. However, in the case of river restoration, this type of knowledge is systematically overlooked. In our paper, we discuss common river restoration problems and supportive elements that may be found in LEK. We conclude that the local stakeholders’ involvement and strong establishment of their position in the river restoration processes should be reconsidered. We believe that the application of LEK has large potential for improving water resources management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and remains a key factor in a successful future of river restoration. Full article
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