Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits

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: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 13195

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Business Faculty, WSB University in Gdańsk, Al. Grunwaldzka 238 A, 80-266 Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: aquatic species; invasive alien species; crustaceans
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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Products Quality and Chemistry, Gdynia Maritime University, Gdynia, Poland
Interests: dangerous goods; shipping; sea accidents; modeling accident consequences
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aquatic ecosystem includes lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, oceans, seas, estuaries, etc. These ecosystems are both valuable and vulnerable. The benefits of aquatic ecosystems are countless as they are the habitat for water-dependent living organisms, attenuate floods, recharge ground water, recycle nutrients, purify water.

Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems are affected by the contamination of industrial and municipal wastes that have become a serious problem worldwide, resulting in effects on humans and the environment. Human activities are causing different modifications of aquatic environments, which also have an effect on changes in biota composition and introduction of alien species.

Nevertheless, aquatic ecosystems provide goods and services that are beneficial to humans. They are a source of raw materials, food, and drinking water. They also provide transportation and recreational opportunities. However, aquatic ecosystems are very vulnerable to activities that significantly lower their quality and therefore require enhanced security.

This Special Issue of Water, entitled “Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits”, explores but is not limited to these main topics:

  • Aquatic biodiversity as an indicator of anthropopressure;
  • Aquatic alien, invasive alien species: introduction, spread, expansion, invasion, potential use;
  • Commercial species, consumption of aquatic species, utilization of wastes, circular economy, blue economy;
  • Eutrophication, acidification, climate change, pollution, wastewater, hypoxia, anoxia;
  • Biodegradation in aquatic ecosystems;
  • Modeling and simulation of pollution processes;
  • Ocean and coastal engineering;
  • Water supply systems;
  • Operation and maintenance of water management systems;
  • Protection of aquatic ecosystems and mitigation of anthropogenic activities on the environment.

Both original research and comprehensive review papers are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Aldona Dobrzycka-Krahel
Prof. Dr. Magdalena Bogalecka
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. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2600 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

  • anthropogenic impact
  • aquatic biodiversity and functionality
  • aquatic ecosystem pollution
  • contamination
  • hazard identification
  • monitoring
  • modeling
  • nutrient
  • offshore facilities
  • optimization
  • reliability
  • risk analysis
  • safety
  • seafood
  • shipping
  • transport
  • water quality
  • water management system
  • water resources

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2506 KiB  
Article
Recovery of a Population of Slimy Sculpin (Uranidea cognata) after an Autumn Fish Kill in the Headwaters of a Minnesota Trout Stream
by Neal D. Mundahl
Water 2024, 16(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16020283 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Toxic runoff from heavy rains on 26 September 2019 caused a complete fish kill on the 2 km long headwater reach of Garvin Brook, Winona County, Minnesota, USA. This project examined the recovery of the slimy sculpin (Uranidea cognata) population within [...] Read more.
Toxic runoff from heavy rains on 26 September 2019 caused a complete fish kill on the 2 km long headwater reach of Garvin Brook, Winona County, Minnesota, USA. This project examined the recovery of the slimy sculpin (Uranidea cognata) population within the lower 900 m of the kill zone, comparing relative abundance estimates and size structures between the kill zone and a downstream, unimpacted reference section. Electrofishing surveys were conducted at 24 sites (12 within both kill and reference zones) at 6, 11, 18, 28, and 42 months post-kill to assess relative abundance (catch-per-effort (CPE), fish/min) and population age structures (based on total length). At six months post-kill, sculpin were present throughout the kill zone. However, adult CPE declined significantly with upstream distance, which was suggestive of the ongoing immigration of adult sculpin from downstream. Age structures were similar in kill and reference zones with all size/age groups present in both zones after six months, while CPE was twice as high in the reference (6.3 fish/min) versus the kill zone (3.0 fish/min). After 11 months, CPE did not differ between zones (14 fish/min) and remained that way for the remainder of the study. However, age structures differed dramatically between zones at both 11 and 18 months post-kill; adult sculpin were significantly more abundant in the reference zone, whereas juvenile fish dominated the kill zone. By 28 months post-kill, both sculpin abundance and age structure within the kill zone had fully recovered from the kill. Sculpin recovery was accomplished mostly through enhanced reproduction within the kill zone following initial post-kill movements of both adult and juvenile fish into the kill zone from downstream. Low predation on juvenile sculpin due to a reduced abundance of trout and adult sculpin post-kill likely allowed more rapid recovery of the sculpin population within the kill zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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19 pages, 81746 KiB  
Article
Environmental Degradation of Oxo-Biodegradable Polyethylene Bags
by Aleksandra Heimowska
Water 2023, 15(23), 4059; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15234059 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1552
Abstract
The purpose of the present study is the estimation of the environmental degradation process of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene bags. The degradation process of polyethylene samples, with the addition of a d2w prodegradant, was studied under natural weathering, freshwater (pond), and water in laboratory condition [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study is the estimation of the environmental degradation process of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene bags. The degradation process of polyethylene samples, with the addition of a d2w prodegradant, was studied under natural weathering, freshwater (pond), and water in laboratory condition for a period of 48 months. The impact of characteristic parameters of environments on the extent of degradation, monitored by weight changes, mechanical properties, and surface morphology, has been discussed. The degraded polymer samples were also analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy. It was established that the oxo-biodegradable polyethylene samples were hardly prone to degradation in natural freshwater, but more vulnerable to environmental weathering. Abiotic parameters (oxygen, temperature, solar radiation) played a more important role in the degradation process of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene than biotic parameters (microorganisms). Natural weathering led to first fragmentation of the polymeric samples after 18 months, weight loss to 81.6% after 39 months, and complete assimilation after 45 months. In the pond, 48 months incubation resulted in an increase in the weight of the samples (+19%) and a decrease in mechanical properties: tensile strength from 26.31 to 17.35 MPa and elongation at break from 304 to 31%. The biofilm formed on the polymer surface made it difficult for oxygen to reach the degraded material, so oxydegradation in the pond was slower. ATR-FTIR analysis and microscopic observations confirm the degradation taking place in natural environments. No visible degradation changes were observed in the oxo-biodegradable polyethylene after incubation under laboratory water, because of the lack of microorganisms and solar radiation. The degradation of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene in natural environments required a longer incubation time compared to the degradation time declared by the manufacturer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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24 pages, 5411 KiB  
Article
Operation and Maintenance Cost of Water Management Systems: Analysis and Optimization
by Agnieszka Blokus-Dziula, Przemysław Dziula, Bartosz Kamedulski and Piotr Michalak
Water 2023, 15(17), 3053; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15173053 - 25 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
The analysis and optimization of the operational and maintenance costs of water management systems is one of the key issues of their exploitation. This article presents a general model, supported by specially designed software, able to process the analysis of exploitation costs of [...] Read more.
The analysis and optimization of the operational and maintenance costs of water management systems is one of the key issues of their exploitation. This article presents a general model, supported by specially designed software, able to process the analysis of exploitation costs of multistate renewable systems. The proposed model allows for the consideration of costs related to preventive inspections and repairs and additional reliability associated costs, such as costs of the system in a state of deteriorated reliability and financial losses related to reduced serviceability of the system or a lack of rendering of services. By means of a multistate approach to the reliability analysis, the model allows for the determination of the level corresponding to the appropriate reliability state that, if exceeded, should result in undertaking the repair of the system. In this study, the MATLAB 9.13 (R2022b) environment was used for simulation and estimation of the costs of system maintenance and repairs according to the proposed model. The article presents the results of the optimization of exploitation and repair costs of water management systems, allowing the estimation of the optimal period between regular inspections while maintaining the safe operation of the system. The model and software proposed can be of assistance in supporting the decision process of maintenance planning for water management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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27 pages, 8693 KiB  
Article
Reconstruction of the Late Holocene Environment of Central Yakutia Based on Fossil Invertebrates and Plants from a Buried Lake at the Vilyuy River Valley
by S. A. Kuzmina, M. V. Micharevich, A. E. Basilyan, V. M. Lytkin, G. I. Shaposhnikov, A. N. Vasilyeva, M. P. Pavlova, E. Ponomarenko and A. A. Galanin
Water 2023, 15(15), 2790; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15152790 - 1 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1050
Abstract
We present the first record of Holocene fossil insect assemblages from Central Yakutia. A stratigraphic sequence in the locality within the Vilyuy River valley is a buried oxbow. The late Holocene water body inherited an impervious stratum from the late Pleistocene. The organic [...] Read more.
We present the first record of Holocene fossil insect assemblages from Central Yakutia. A stratigraphic sequence in the locality within the Vilyuy River valley is a buried oxbow. The late Holocene water body inherited an impervious stratum from the late Pleistocene. The organic layer preserved rich fossil assemblages of macrofossils including insects and other invertebrates, plants, and charcoal. The ancient flora and fauna include species that are common in Yakutia as well as those that are rare and absent in the region. The most abundant finds are leech cocoons and bogbean seeds. The macrofossils of some insects were found along with remains of their host plants. Despite the absence of intensive human land use in the area, traces of fires were recorded. The oxbow represents the environment of a floodplain wetland that developed separately from the ecosystem of the adjacent sand dunes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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24 pages, 6349 KiB  
Article
A Bibliometric Analysis of Lake Restoration with Submerged Macrophytes
by Jing Gao and Wei Hu
Water 2023, 15(13), 2411; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132411 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
Submerged macrophytes have attracted increasing attention in lake restoration due to the importance of their structuring communities and stabilizing functions in lake ecosystems. However, there is still a lack of systematic reviews on lake restoration with submerged macrophytes. Thus, we performed a systematic [...] Read more.
Submerged macrophytes have attracted increasing attention in lake restoration due to the importance of their structuring communities and stabilizing functions in lake ecosystems. However, there is still a lack of systematic reviews on lake restoration with submerged macrophytes. Thus, we performed a systematic review based on a bibliometric analysis via analyzing and visualizing 934 published works from 1996 to 2023 from the Web of Science core collection. Publication characteristics were summarized, and keyword co-occurrence networks, reference co-citation analysis, and keyword burst tests were conducted. Our results suggest that the increasing attention in this field has partly resulted from the many water treatments and scientific schemes in Europe, China, and the USA and extensive international cooperation. The development of this field was divided into three stages based on keyword bursts (e.g., early, turning, and recent stages). Alternative stable states and biomanipulation laid the foundations of this field in the early stage. Progress in the field was discussed based on four aspects, the influence of environmental factors on submerged macrophytes, theory and mechanisms, targets, and evaluation and methods. Therefore, our results provide a new and comprehensive understanding of lake restoration with submerged macrophytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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13 pages, 9000 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Dams’ Failure and Flood Wave Hazards on the Downstream Countries: A Case Study of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
by Hazem M. Eldeeb, Ali Ibrahim, Magdy H. Mowafy, Martina Zeleňáková, Hany F. Abd-Elhamid, Katarzyna Pietrucha-Urbanik and Mahmoud T. Ghonim
Water 2023, 15(8), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15081609 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2607
Abstract
Dams are built for different purposes, but failure of a dam could result in extreme disasters such as floods. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was mainly built for power generation, but concerns about its safety, location and site conditions have led the [...] Read more.
Dams are built for different purposes, but failure of a dam could result in extreme disasters such as floods. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was mainly built for power generation, but concerns about its safety, location and site conditions have led the downstream countries to investigate the GERD’s stability. This paper aims to investigate the impact of the failure of the dam on the downstream countries using the Hydrologic Engineering Center River Analysis System (HEC-RAS). Outflow hydrographs and flood inundation maps were provided through a hypothetical dam break scenario. An unsteady flow hydrodynamic routing with a 2D model was used to simulate the failure of the dam. A sensitivity analysis study of the output’s findings against breach parameters was also performed. The breach outflow discharge increases as the breach dimension increases. However, the peak discharge decreases with increasing breach formation time. Moreover, to prepare emergency action plans, it is important to predict the inundation depth, levels, arrival of flood waves, flood coverage area and water velocity. Furthermore, the results showed that Khartoum would turn into lakes within about 10 days and flood water depth would exceed 11 m at some locations in residential areas. Moreover, the flood waves overtopped the Roseires, Sennar and Merowe dams by 11, 7 and 20 m, respectively. In addition, the level of Lake Nasser would reach 188 m above sea level and the Aswan High Dam might be in great danger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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13 pages, 748 KiB  
Article
Euryhalinity and Geographical Origin Aid Global Alien Crayfish Invasions
by Aldona Dobrzycka-Krahel and Maria Leonor Fidalgo
Water 2023, 15(3), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030569 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2585
Abstract
Salinity tolerance is a determinant of a narrow or wide distribution range of organisms. Crayfishes are important key species in many aquatic environments so require a better understanding of their ability to live in different saline regimes. We identified all alien crayfish and [...] Read more.
Salinity tolerance is a determinant of a narrow or wide distribution range of organisms. Crayfishes are important key species in many aquatic environments so require a better understanding of their ability to live in different saline regimes. We identified all alien crayfish and examined their habitats (freshwater and/or saline) and origins to test whether these factors predict their dispersal. We used contingency tables populated with raw frequency data with χ2—tests and assessed statistical significance at α of 0.05. We identified 21 alien crayfishes and we found that alien crayfish species were disproportionately freshwater (71%), with significantly lower proportions of euryhaline crayfishes inhabiting freshwater to saline environments (29%). Alien crayfishes also significantly disproportionally originate from America (67% of these taxa) when compared to all ‘other’ grouped regions (33%). In total, 36% of American crayfishes represent euryhaline species inhabiting freshwater to saline habitats against only 14% of crayfishes from all “other” grouped regions. This suggests that binomial euryhalinity/origin can help understand the potential of spread. We discussed obtained results with known experimental data on salinity tolerance, osmoregulation, growth, and reproduction of American alien crayfish. The paper will help in the management of crayfish spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem: Problems and Benefits)
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