Aquatic Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Conservation

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2024 | Viewed by 3972

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Instituto de Biociências (IBB), Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Campus de Botucatu, São Paulo, Brasil
Interests: plankton interactions; fish ecology; river ecology; estuarine ecology; hydropower reservoirs ecology; bioinvasion processes; microplastics contamination

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Guest Editor
Department of Biology and Environmental Science and Research Scientist, National Center for Water Quality Research, Heidelberg University, Tiffin, OH, USA
Interests: water quality; invasive species; aquatic community and ecosystem ecology; invertebrates

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The structure and functioning of marine and inland water ecosystems are highly dependent on living organisms. Biodiversity of any particular habitat emerges from the complex relationships among the organisms themselves and their interaction with physico-chemical factors. Biodiversity also reflects changes over long time periods. Estimates on the real amount of living species on Earth is controversial, but it is agreed that much life and many ecological interactions are yet to be discovered. Biodiversity assessment can inform different scientific approaches, such as conservation strategies and ecosystem management. Therefore, this Special Issue aims to collate papers that address the distinct spatial and temporal scales, from local to global, encompassing past and present processes of geological events, which affect aquatic ecosystems.

Dr. Marcos Gomes Nogueira
Dr. Douglas Kane
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • aquatic ecosystem structure
  • aquatic ecosystem functioning
  • biodiversity assessment
  • taxonomic diversity
  • functional diversity
  • conservation strategies

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 9766 KiB  
Article
Macrobenthic Community Structure and Water Quality Evaluation in Ulungu River Basin (Northwest China)
by Yong Song, Qiang Huo, Fangze Zi, Jianmin Ge, Xuelian Qiu, Long Yun, Gulden Serekbol, Liting Yang, Baoqiang Wang and Sheng’ao Chen
Water 2024, 16(7), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16070918 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 609
Abstract
In this study, the composition and structure of the macrobenthic community in the Ulungu River Basin was investigated and the water quality status of the basin was evaluated. In May and August 2022, and October 2023, the macrobenthic and water environmental factors at [...] Read more.
In this study, the composition and structure of the macrobenthic community in the Ulungu River Basin was investigated and the water quality status of the basin was evaluated. In May and August 2022, and October 2023, the macrobenthic and water environmental factors at 11 sample sites in the basin were investigated, and the water quality of the basin was evaluated by the Shannon–Wiener index, FBI, and BMWP index. A total of 6101 macrobenthic organisms were collected; these organisms belonged to 3 phyla, 7 classes, 14 orders, 57 families, and 117 genera. Arthropod species accounted for the largest number of species (87.9%). A total of nine dominant species were found: Micronecta sp., Eukiefferiella sp., Baetis sp., Polypedilum sp., Saetheria sp., Ephemerella sp., Limnodrilus sp., Ephemera sp., and Hydropsyche sp. At the temporal level, the average density and biomass of macrobenthos were in the order of August > October > May; at the spatial level, the average density was greater in the tributaries than in the main stream, and the average biomass was greater in the main stream than in the tributaries. The mean values of the Shannon—Wiener index and Margalef richness index were as follows: August > October > May at the temporal level; the mean values of the Pielou evenness index were as follows: May > October > August at the temporal level. At the spatial level, the overall mean value of each diversity index indicated that the tributaries had larger diversity indices than the main stream. The water quality evaluation results revealed that the overall water quality level of the Ulungu River Basin ranges from light pollution to poor quality. Human interference activities greatly impact the water quality of the basin. To restore the ecology of the basin, it is necessary to strengthen the management and control of pollution sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Conservation)
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14 pages, 2990 KiB  
Article
Analyses of Morphological Differences between Geographically Distinct Populations of Gymnodiptychus dybowskii
by Linghui Hu, Na Yao, Chengxin Wang, Liting Yang, Gulden Serekbol, Bin Huo, Xuelian Qiu, Fangze Zi, Yong Song and Shengao Chen
Water 2024, 16(5), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16050755 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
To study the morphological differences between and the evolutionary mechanisms driving the differentiation of geographically distinct populations of Gymnodiptychus dybowskii, 158 fish were collected from the Turks River and the Manas River in Xinjiang from 2020 to 2021 with the approval of [...] Read more.
To study the morphological differences between and the evolutionary mechanisms driving the differentiation of geographically distinct populations of Gymnodiptychus dybowskii, 158 fish were collected from the Turks River and the Manas River in Xinjiang from 2020 to 2021 with the approval of the Academic Ethics Committee. The morphological characteristics of the fish were assessed using classical fish ecology methods such as traditional morphometric measurements and the framework approach. The results showed that the morphological characteristics of the populations in the Turks River and Manas River were significantly different; a one-way ANOVA revealed 22 highly significant differences (p < 0.01) and 1 significant difference (p < 0.05) among the 33 morphological traits of the observed populations, and a principal component analysis revealed that there was no overlap between the two populations of G. dybowskii. The main characteristics associated with principle component 1 were the terminus of the dorsal fin to the ventral origin of the caudal fin (D—F), the dorsal origin of the caudal fin to the origin of the anal fin (E—H), and the insertion of the pectoral fin to the terminus of the pectoral fin (J—K); the main factors associated with principal component 2 were the body height (BD), the terminus of the dorsal fin to the insertion of the pelvic fin (D—I), the caudal peduncle height (CPH), and the tip of the snout to the last end of the frontal maxilla (A—B); and the main traits associated with principle component 3 were the terminus of the anal fin to the origin of the anal fin (G—H), the body width (BW), the insertion of the pelvic fin to the terminus of the pelvic (I—L), the insertion of the pectoral fin to the terminus of the pectoral fin (J—K), and the insertion of the pelvic fin to the insertion of the pectoral fin (I—J). An OPLS-DA revealed that the two populations could be wholly separated and that the intergroup growth traits of the Manas River population were different and significantly greater than those of the Turks River population. The discriminant functions of the Turks River and Manas River populations of G. dybowskii were as follows: YT = −432.033 + 1787.748X1 + 826.517X2 + 249.002X3 + 1183.050X4 + 554.934X5 + 999.296X6 + 627.428X7; YM = −569.819 + 2041.044X1 + 344.942X2 + 333.737X3 + 940.512X4 + 348.222X5 + 1167.770X6 + 1015.904X7. According to a coefficient of variation analysis, a total of nine traits, namely, EI/BL, C-D/BL, E-F/BL, F-H/BL, H-I/BL, C-J/BL, D-I/BL, D-H/BL, and D-F/BL, had a CD > 1.28, indicating that the differences in these nine traits had reached the subspecies level. The results showed that G. dybowskii significantly differed between the two geographically distinct populations in the Turks River and the Manas River and have differentiated to the subspecies level. This study provides a basis for a better investigation of the population structure of highland endemic fishes and the mechanisms by which they diverged and lays a foundation for developing and utilizing germplasm resources from endemic fishes in Xinjiang. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Conservation)
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12 pages, 5159 KiB  
Article
Use of Hydroacoustic Methods to Assess Ecological Status Based on Fish: A Case Study of Lake Dejguny (Poland)
by Andrzej Hutorowicz
Water 2024, 16(2), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16020282 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 682
Abstract
The idea of the article was to verify the thesis that acoustic studies of ichthyofauna in lakes provide sufficient information to determine the necessity (or lack thereof) of carrying out a full procedure for assessing the ecological status based on fish. The manuscript [...] Read more.
The idea of the article was to verify the thesis that acoustic studies of ichthyofauna in lakes provide sufficient information to determine the necessity (or lack thereof) of carrying out a full procedure for assessing the ecological status based on fish. The manuscript compares acoustic data collected in 2008 and 2021 in Lake Dejguny (Poland) as a result of acquisition carried out with the same EY-500 echosounder, on the same routes (transects), and the echogram analyses were carried out using software dedicated to this echosounder. Target strength (TS) distribution was determined in the lake and in individual water layers with a thickness of 2 m, as well as, using the mapping method, changes in the distribution of fish in selected water layers. Large changes in TS distribution in the vertical profile were demonstrated between both years of the study, as well as a clear reduction in the space available for fish in waters below 24 m in 2021, which was associated with a reduction in the concentration of dissolved oxygen below this depth to a value lower than 2.5 mg L−1. It was suggested that it could be possible to develop a simple index enabling the assessment of changes in fish structure, based, similarly to the Large Fish Index, on the ratio of the number of large fish to small fish. The obtained results confirmed that the proposed methods of acoustic data analysis can be the basis for the decision on the necessity (or lack thereof) of conducting an assessment using the Polish national LFI-EN method based on the results of one-off fishing with Nordic multimesh gillnets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Conservation)
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17 pages, 2723 KiB  
Article
Hydrology as a Determinant of Riparian Habitat Structure in Lowland River Floodplains
by Paweł Burandt, Mirosław Grzybowski, Katarzyna Glińska-Lewczuk, Wojciech Gotkiewicz, Monika Szymańska-Walkiewicz and Krystian Obolewski
Water 2024, 16(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010164 - 31 Dec 2023
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Abstract
The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between the structure of phytocenoses in riparian wetland ecosystems and the hydrologic regime in a lowland river floodplain. The hydrobotanical study was conducted over three years—2017, 2018, and 2019—which differed in hydrological conditions [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between the structure of phytocenoses in riparian wetland ecosystems and the hydrologic regime in a lowland river floodplain. The hydrobotanical study was conducted over three years—2017, 2018, and 2019—which differed in hydrological conditions (wet, average, and dry) in a middle section of the Supraśl floodplain (NE Poland) as a case study. The results showed that the structure and pattern of phytocenoses in the floodplain are primarily controlled by the hydrological regime of the river and the geomorphological features of the area. The reach and duration of the flood contributed to a specific pattern of riparian vegetation. Based on the plant community structure and riparian habitat indicators such as soil moisture, fertility, reaction pH, soil granulometry, and organic matter content, four habitat types were identified and supported by linear discriminant analysis (LDA): wet, semi-wet, semi-dry, and dry zones. The indicator species analysis (ISA) revealed species characteristic of the zones with the dominance of reed rush, reed canary grass, anthropogenic or partially natural herbaceous communities along watercourses or riparian meadows, respectively. Natural inundation of the river water is an important driver of site-specific vegetation elements and habitat types and determines habitat availability, biodiversity, and ecosystem functions of wetlands. This knowledge can serve as the basis for conservation efforts, sustainable management practices, and decision-making processes aimed at maintaining the biodiversity and ecological integrity of riparian ecosystems in similar regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Conservation)
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