Special Issue "Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Nikolai Friberg
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo, Norway
Interests: biodiversity; ecology; freshwater ecology; ecological indicators; river restoration; riparian areas

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rivers and their riparian zones are intimately linked and characterized by an interchange of resources across the land/water ecotone. The gradient environment of riparian zones makes them hotspots for biodiversity, and they contribute significantly to overall diversity at local to global scales. Riparian habitats moderate nutrient inputs, base flows, air/water temperatures, and erosion, as well as inputs of terrestrial litter into stream food webs. Rivers flood riparian zones, delivering sediment and nutrients, making them distinctively different in terms of soils and vegetation to the surrounding terrestrial landscape. Furthermore, aquatic stream insects emerge from the river and move into riparian habitats, where they support a multitude of riparian organisms, such as birds and ground-dwelling invertebrates. Rivers and their riparian habitats provide a range of ecosystem services by, e.g., buffering impacts of hydrological extremes and offering the setting for recreational activities. Rivers and riparian zones are under significant anthropogenic pressure, and the interaction across this ecotone has been lost in many systems. Due to the multifunctionality of riparian zones, conserving and restoring them could have significant implication in improving biodiversity, water quality, and benefits to humans. This Special Issue focuses on functioning of rivers and riparian zones, from understanding the underlying mechanisms and processes to management options, including restoration strategies.

Dr. Nikolai Friberg
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • nutrients
  • food webs
  • terrestrial subsidies
  • ecotones
  • biodiversity
  • flooding
  • restoration
  • ecosystem services

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Anthropogenic Transformations in the Mouth Area of Tributaries as Factors of Negative Impact on Lake Baikal
Water 2021, 13(9), 1295; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091295 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
The paper presents the results of complex geoecological, hydrochemical and water-ecological studies of the mouth area of tributaries and shores of Lake Baikal at model sites. The mouth area of tributaries is in dynamic interaction with the receiving water body; chemical and biological [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of complex geoecological, hydrochemical and water-ecological studies of the mouth area of tributaries and shores of Lake Baikal at model sites. The mouth area of tributaries is in dynamic interaction with the receiving water body; chemical and biological accumulative and exchange processes directly affect the state of the Lake Baikal’s water resources. The study assessed the transformation and determined potential resilience of the main components of landscapes to anthropogenic loads within the mouth area. Revealed are the basic parameters of soil and surface water pollution and factors of anthropogenic influence of residential and recreational zones on the natural complexes of the model territories. The research results showed that the pollutant accumulation on the geochemical barriers of soils and alluvial deposits, purification of surface waters in floodplain meadow and wetlands are quite active and generally support the ecological state of the mouth area. However, the low degree of resilience to anthropogenic loads and the current level of degradation of the landscape components of mouth complexes indicate the need to reduce the adverse impact on these territories and on the lake ecosystem as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
Open AccessArticle
Forested Riparian Buffers Change the Taxonomic and Functional Composition of Stream Invertebrate Communities in Agricultural Catchments
Water 2021, 13(8), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081028 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Riparian zones form the interface between stream and terrestrial ecosystems and play a key role through their vegetation structure in determining stream biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and regulating human impacts, such as warming, nutrient enrichment and sedimentation. We assessed how differing riparian vegetation types [...] Read more.
Riparian zones form the interface between stream and terrestrial ecosystems and play a key role through their vegetation structure in determining stream biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and regulating human impacts, such as warming, nutrient enrichment and sedimentation. We assessed how differing riparian vegetation types influence the structural and functional composition (based on species traits) of stream invertebrate communities in agricultural catchments. We characterized riparian and stream habitat conditions and sampled stream invertebrate communities in 10 independent site pairs, each comprising one “unbuffered” reach lacking woody riparian vegetation and a second downstream reach with a woody riparian buffer. Forested riparian buffers were associated with greater shading, increased gravel content in stream substrates and faster flow velocities. We detected changes in invertebrate taxonomic composition in response to buffer presence, with an increase in sensitive Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) taxa and increases in key invertebrate species traits, including species with preference for gravel substrates and aerial active dispersal as adults. Riparian vegetation independently explained most variation in taxa composition, whereas riparian and instream habitat together explained most variation in functional composition. Our results highlight how changes in stream invertebrate trait distributions may indirectly reflect differences in riparian habitat, with implications for stream health and cross-ecosystem connectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Characteristics of a Beaver Dam Analogues Equipped Spring-Fed Creek in the Canadian Rockies
Water 2021, 13(7), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070990 - 03 Apr 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Beaver dam analogues (BDAs) are becoming an increasingly popular stream restoration technique. One ecological function BDAs might help restore is suitable habitat conditions for fish in streams where loss of beaver dams and channel incision has led to their decline. A critical physical [...] Read more.
Beaver dam analogues (BDAs) are becoming an increasingly popular stream restoration technique. One ecological function BDAs might help restore is suitable habitat conditions for fish in streams where loss of beaver dams and channel incision has led to their decline. A critical physical characteristic for fish is stream temperature. We examined the thermal regime of a spring-fed Canadian Rocky Mountain stream in relation to different numbers of BDAs installed in series over three study periods (April–October; 2017–2019). While all BDA configurations significantly influenced stream and pond temperatures, single- and double-configuration BDAs incrementally increased stream temperatures. Single and double configuration BDAs warmed the downstream waters of mean maxima of 9.9, 9.3 °C by respective mean maxima of 0.9 and 1.0 °C. Higher pond and stream temperatures occurred when ponding and discharge decreased, and vice versa. In 2019, variation in stream temperature below double-configuration BDAs was lower than the single-configuration BDA. The triple-configuration BDA, in contrast, cooled the stream, although the mean maximum stream temperature was the highest below these structures. Ponding upstream of BDAs increased discharge and resulted in cooling of the stream. Rainfall events sharply and transiently reduced stream temperatures, leading to a three-way interaction between BDA configuration, rainfall and stream discharge as factors co-influencing the stream temperature regime. Our results have implications for optimal growth of regionally important and threatened bull and cutthroat trout fish species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Forested Riparian Zones Provide Important Habitat for Fish in Urban Streams
Water 2021, 13(6), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060877 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Riparian zones form a boundary between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with disproportionate influences on food web dynamics and ecosystem functioning in both habitats. However, riparian boundaries are frequently degraded by human activities, including urbanization, leading to direct impacts on terrestrial communities and indirect [...] Read more.
Riparian zones form a boundary between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with disproportionate influences on food web dynamics and ecosystem functioning in both habitats. However, riparian boundaries are frequently degraded by human activities, including urbanization, leading to direct impacts on terrestrial communities and indirect changes that are mediated through altered connectivity with adjacent aquatic ecosystems. We investigated how riparian habitat influences fish communities in an urban context. We electrofished nine urban site pairs with and without forested riparian buffers, alongside an additional 12 sites that were located throughout the river networks in the Oslo Fjord basin, Norway. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) were the dominant fish species. Riparian buffers had weak positive effects on fish densities at low to moderate levels of catchment urbanization, whereas fish were absent from highly polluted streams. Subtle shifts in fish size distributions suggested that riparian buffers play an important role in metapopulation dynamics. Stable isotopes in fish from buffered reaches indicated dietary shifts, pointing to the potential for a greater reliance on terrestrial-sourced carbon. Combining these results, we postulate that spatially-mediated ontogenetic diet shifts may be important for the persistence of brown trout in urban streams. Our results show that using a food web perspective is essential in understanding how riparian buffers can offset impacts in urban catchments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Riparian Vegetation Structure Influences Terrestrial Invertebrate Communities in an Agricultural Landscape
Water 2021, 13(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020188 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 630
Abstract
Stream and terrestrial ecosystems are intimately connected by riparian zones that support high biodiversity but are also vulnerable to human impacts. Landscape disturbances, overgrazing, and diffuse pollution of agrochemicals threaten riparian biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. We assessed [...] Read more.
Stream and terrestrial ecosystems are intimately connected by riparian zones that support high biodiversity but are also vulnerable to human impacts. Landscape disturbances, overgrazing, and diffuse pollution of agrochemicals threaten riparian biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. We assessed how terrestrial invertebrate communities respond to changes in riparian vegetation in Romanian agricultural catchments, with a focus on the role of forested riparian buffers. Riparian invertebrates were sampled in 10 paired sites, with each pair consisting of an unbuffered upstream reach and a downstream reach buffered with woody riparian vegetation. Our results revealed distinct invertebrate community structures in the two site types. Out of 33 invertebrate families, 13 were unique to either forested (6) or unbuffered (7) sites. Thomisidae, Clubionidae, Tetragnathidae, Curculionidae, Culicidae, and Cicadidae were associated with forested buffers, while Lycosidae, Chrysomelidae, Staphylinidae, Coccinellidae, Tettigoniidae, Formicidae, and Eutichuridae were more abundant in unbuffered sites. Despite statistically equivocal results, invertebrate diversity was generally higher in forested riparian buffers. Local riparian attributes significantly influenced patterns in invertebrate community composition. Our findings highlight the importance of local woody riparian buffers in maintaining terrestrial invertebrate diversity and their potential contribution as a multifunctional management tool in agricultural landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Recent Vertebrate and Invertebrate Burrows in Lowland and Mountain Fluvial Environments (SE Poland)
Water 2020, 12(12), 3413; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123413 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Over geological time, fauna inhabiting alluvial environment developed numerous traces of life, called bioturbation structures. However, present literature rarely offers comprehensive and comparative analyses of recent bioturbation structures between different types of environments. In this paper, the distribution of recent animal life traces [...] Read more.
Over geological time, fauna inhabiting alluvial environment developed numerous traces of life, called bioturbation structures. However, present literature rarely offers comprehensive and comparative analyses of recent bioturbation structures between different types of environments. In this paper, the distribution of recent animal life traces in two different fluvial environments (lowland and mountain watercourse) was examined. An analysis of a set of vertical cross-sections of river bank enabled to determine physical and environmental features of the burrows, as well as degree of bioturbation in individual sections. Most of the burrows were assigned to their tracemakers and compared between two studied reaches in relation to the geomorphic zones of a stream channel. A mesocosm was conducted using glass terraria filled with river bank sediment and specimens of Lumbricus terrestris. The experiment confirmed field observations on the ability of earthworms to migrate into deep sediment layers along plant roots. The impact of floods on fauna survival was assessed on the basis of observations of large floods in 2016, 2018 and 2019. The abundance, distribution and activity of fauna in the sediment are mainly controlled by the occurrence of high and low flows (droughts and floods), which was particularly visible in lowland river reach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Small Patches of Riparian Woody Vegetation Enhance Biodiversity of Invertebrates
Water 2020, 12(11), 3070; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113070 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Patches of riparian woody vegetation potentially help mitigate environmental impacts of agriculture and safeguard biodiversity. We investigated the effects of riparian forest on invertebrate diversity in coupled stream-riparian networks using a case study in the Zwalm river basin (Flanders, Belgium). Agriculture is one [...] Read more.
Patches of riparian woody vegetation potentially help mitigate environmental impacts of agriculture and safeguard biodiversity. We investigated the effects of riparian forest on invertebrate diversity in coupled stream-riparian networks using a case study in the Zwalm river basin (Flanders, Belgium). Agriculture is one of the main pressures in the basin and riparian forest is limited to a number of isolated patches. Our 32 study sites comprised nine unshaded “unbuffered” sites which were paired with nine shaded “buffered” sites on the same stream reach, along with five ‘least-disturbed’ sites and nine downstream sites. We sampled water chemistry, habitat characteristics and stream and riparian invertebrates (carabid beetles and spiders) at each site. Three methods were used to quantify riparian attributes at different spatial scales: a visually-assessed qualitative index, quantitative estimates of habitat categories in six rectangular plots (10 × 5 m) and geographic information system (GIS)-derived land cover data. We investigated relationships between invertebrates and riparian attributes at different scales with linear regression and redundancy analyses. Spiders and carabids were most associated with local riparian attributes. In contrast, aquatic macroinvertebrates were strongly influenced by the extent of riparian vegetation in a riparian band upstream (100–300 m). These findings demonstrate the value of quantifying GIS-based metrics of riparian cover over larger spatial scales into assessments of the efficacy of riparian management as a complement to more detailed local scale riparian assessments in situ. Our findings highlight the value of even small patches of riparian vegetation in an otherwise extensively disturbed landscape in supporting biodiversity of both terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates and emphasize the need to consider multiple spatial scales in riparian management strategies which aim to mitigate human impacts on biodiversity in stream-riparian networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
The Structure of Riparian Vegetation in Agricultural Landscapes Influences Spider Communities and Aquatic-Terrestrial Linkages
Water 2020, 12(10), 2855; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102855 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
Riparian habitats are important ecotones connecting aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, but are often highly degraded by human activities. Riparian buffers might help support impacted riparian communities, and improve trophic connectivity. We sampled spider communities from riparian habitats in an agricultural catchment, and analyzed [...] Read more.
Riparian habitats are important ecotones connecting aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, but are often highly degraded by human activities. Riparian buffers might help support impacted riparian communities, and improve trophic connectivity. We sampled spider communities from riparian habitats in an agricultural catchment, and analyzed their polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content to quantify trophic connectivity. Specific PUFAs are exclusively produced by stream algae, and thus are used to track uptake of aquatic resources by terrestrial consumers. Riparian spiders were collected from 10 site pairs situated along agricultural streams, and from five forest sites (25 sites total). Each agricultural site pair comprised an unshaded site with predominantly herbaceous vegetation cover, and a second with a woody riparian buffer. Spider communities differed between site types, with web-building spiders dominating woody buffered sites and free-living spiders associated with more open habitats. PUFA concentrations were greatest overall in free-living spiders, but there was also evidence for increased PUFA uptake by some spider groups when a woody riparian buffer was present. Our results reveal the different roles of open and wooded riparian habitats in supporting terrestrial consumers and aquatic-terrestrial connectivity, and highlight the value of incorporating patches of woody vegetation within riparian networks in highly modified landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Benthic Diatom Communities in Urban Streams and the Role of Riparian Buffers
Water 2020, 12(10), 2799; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102799 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
Urbanization impacts stream ecosystems globally through degraded water quality, altered hydrology, and landscape disturbances at the catchment and riparian scales, causing biodiversity losses and altered system functioning. Addressing the “urban stream syndrome” requires multiple mitigation tools, and rehabilitation of riparian vegetation may help [...] Read more.
Urbanization impacts stream ecosystems globally through degraded water quality, altered hydrology, and landscape disturbances at the catchment and riparian scales, causing biodiversity losses and altered system functioning. Addressing the “urban stream syndrome” requires multiple mitigation tools, and rehabilitation of riparian vegetation may help improve stream ecological status and provide key ecosystem services. However, the extent to which forested riparian buffers can help support stream biodiversity in the face of numerous environmental contingencies remains uncertain. We assessed how a key indicator of stream ecological status, benthic diatoms, respond to riparian habitat conditions using 10 urban site pairs (each comprising of one unbuffered and one buffered reach), and additional urban downstream and forest reference upstream sites in the Oslo Fjord basin. Diatom communities were structured by multiple drivers including spatial location, land use, water quality, and instream habitat. Among these, riparian habitat condition independently explained 16% of variation in community composition among site pairs. Changes in community structure and indicator taxa, along with a reduction in pollution-tolerant diatoms, suggested tangible benefits of forested riparian buffers for stream biodiversity in urban environments. Managing urban impacts requires multiple solutions, with forested riparian zones providing a potential tool to help improve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Interactions of Physical, Chemical and Biological Variables of an Urban River Using Network Analysis
Water 2020, 12(9), 2578; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092578 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Network analysis was used as a method to investigate the relationship between benthic macroinvertebrates in an urban river watershed and physicochemical variables. The measured physicochemical variables were the dissolved oxygen, temperature, nutrients, conductivity, pH, total organic matter, biochemical oxygen demand and river discharge. [...] Read more.
Network analysis was used as a method to investigate the relationship between benthic macroinvertebrates in an urban river watershed and physicochemical variables. The measured physicochemical variables were the dissolved oxygen, temperature, nutrients, conductivity, pH, total organic matter, biochemical oxygen demand and river discharge. The metrics applied in the study were the degree of connections between nodes, the number of edges identified for each study location and the functional feeding groups. The river sampling took place over 14 months and sampling took place at five sites, two of which were upstream of a major wastewater treatment works and three sites were downstream of the works. A biological and environmental (BIOENV) analysis was included as part of the overall analysis to compare the variables that influenced the river ecosystem. This study shows that the relationships between benthic macroinvertebrates were stronger at the upstream locations of the watershed, while the downstream locations were controlled by the physicochemical relationships. From this analysis, the river quality and biodiversity were mainly controlled by the discharge, conductivity and availability of relevant organic matter suitable for organisms. Through the network, the degree of connections between the variables revealed the status of the urban river and provided insight into the possible management of vegetation cover across the urban watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Benefits of Forested Riparian Zones: A Qualitative Index of Riparian Integrity Is Positively Associated with Ecological Status in European Streams
Water 2020, 12(4), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041178 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
Developing a general, predictive understanding of ecological systems requires knowing how much structural and functional relationships can cross scales and contexts. Here, we introduce the CROSSLINK project that investigates the role of forested riparian buffers in modified European landscapes by measuring a wide [...] Read more.
Developing a general, predictive understanding of ecological systems requires knowing how much structural and functional relationships can cross scales and contexts. Here, we introduce the CROSSLINK project that investigates the role of forested riparian buffers in modified European landscapes by measuring a wide range of ecosystem attributes in stream-riparian networks. CROSSLINK involves replicated field measurements in four case-study basins with varying levels of human development: Norway (Oslo Fjord), Sweden (Lake Mälaren), Belgium (Zwalm River), and Romania (Argeş River). Nested within these case-study basins include multiple, independent stream-site pairs with a forested riparian buffer and unbuffered section located upstream, as well as headwater and downstream sites to show cumulative land-use impacts. CROSSLINK applies existing and bespoke methods to describe habitat conditions, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Here, we summarize the approaches used, detail protocols in supplementary materials, and explain how data is applied in an optimization framework to better manage tradeoffs in multifunctional landscapes. We then present results demonstrating the range of riparian conditions present in our case-study basins and how these environmental states influence stream ecological integrity with the commonly used macroinvertebrate Average Score Per Taxon (ASPT) index. We demonstrate that a qualitative index of riparian integrity can be positively associated with stream ecological status. This introduction to the CROSSLINK project shows the potential for our replicated study with its panoply of ecosystem attributes to help guide management decisions regarding the use of forested riparian buffers in human-impacted landscapes. This knowledge is highly relevant in a time of rapid environmental change where freshwater biodiversity is increasingly under pressure from a range of human impacts that include habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Complex Undisturbed Riparian Zones Are Resistant to Colonisation by Invasive Alien Plant Species
Water 2020, 12(2), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020345 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
We investigated the presence and abundance of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in the riparian zones of rivers in relation to different environmental parameters. We surveyed the spatial and human-influenced characteristics of the riparian zones, river channels, and land use along seven Slovenian [...] Read more.
We investigated the presence and abundance of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in the riparian zones of rivers in relation to different environmental parameters. We surveyed the spatial and human-influenced characteristics of the riparian zones, river channels, and land use along seven Slovenian rivers. We further monitored the presence and abundance of IAS with different natural properties and different human impacts to define the characteristics of non-infected and heavily infected reaches. Special attention was given to different life forms of IAS. The presence and abundance of IAS positively correlated with distance from river source, current velocity, and water depth, and negatively correlated with altitude, naturalness of the land use, width and completeness of the riparian zone, height and structure of its vegetation, and condition of the riverbed and banks. Annuals prevailed among IAS at 48%, with 37% herbaceous perennials and 15% woody species. The vine Echinocystis lobata was the most abundant IAS, which was found in 179 out of the 414 river reaches analysed, followed by the annual Impatiens glandulifera and the herbaceous perennial Solidago gigantea. E. lobata was spread over the native riparian vegetation and was affected by the natural gradients of the rivers in terms of altitude and distance from the river’s source. Reaches without IAS significantly differed from reaches colonised with IAS in the width of riparian zone, vegetation height and structure, land-use next to the river, and distance from the source. As IAS in riparian zones affect riparian and aquatic communities, there is the need for management practices to maintain and establish complex riparian zones that are resistant to IAS colonisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Invasive Alien Vines Affect Leaf Traits of Riparian Woody Vegetation
Water 2019, 11(11), 2395; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112395 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 799
Abstract
The vines Echinocystis lobata and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are spreading over the natural vegetation in riparian zones, which may significantly affect riparian vegetation properties and the quality of litter for aquatic organisms. We examined leaf morphological, biochemical and optical traits of these invasive alien [...] Read more.
The vines Echinocystis lobata and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are spreading over the natural vegetation in riparian zones, which may significantly affect riparian vegetation properties and the quality of litter for aquatic organisms. We examined leaf morphological, biochemical and optical traits of these invasive alien species, each paired with its host, the willows Salix caprea and S. fragilis, respectively. The vines altered the host radiation environment and the amount of photosynthetic pigments. Both vines had significantly higher specific leaf area and lower leaf tissue density compared to the willows, even though the leaves of P. quinquefolia were significantly thicker. Leaf optical properties varied significantly between vines and willows in some spectral regions. Compared to the willows, the vines reflected less light as UV, and more as green, and transmitted more light as green, yellow and red. The overgrowth of the willows with vines affected the reflectance of the willow leaves. Redundancy analysis of the relationships between leaf biochemical traits and reflectance spectra showed that chlorophyll a, anthocyanins, and UVB- and UVA-absorbing substances explained 45% of the reflectance spectra variability, while analysis with morphological traits revealed that specific leaf area, leaf thickness and upper cuticle thickness explained 43%. For leaf transmittance, UVB- and UVA-absorbing substances, carotenoids and anthocyanins explained 53% of the transmittance spectra variability, while analysis with morphological traits revealed that specific leaf area explained 51%. These data show that invasive alien vines can be discerned from each other and their hosts by their spectral signatures. In addition, the differences in the leaf functional traits between the vines and their hosts indicate significant differences in the quality of the plant litter entering the river. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Anthropogenic Modifications and River Ecosystem Services: A Landscape Perspective
Water 2020, 12(10), 2706; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102706 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 777
Abstract
The process of development has led to the modification of river landscapes. This has created imbalances between ecological, economic, and socio-cultural uses of ecosystem services (ESs), threatening the biotic and social integrity of rivers. Anthropogenic modifications influence river landscapes on multiple scales, which [...] Read more.
The process of development has led to the modification of river landscapes. This has created imbalances between ecological, economic, and socio-cultural uses of ecosystem services (ESs), threatening the biotic and social integrity of rivers. Anthropogenic modifications influence river landscapes on multiple scales, which impact river-flow regimes and thus the production of river ESs. Despite progress in developing approaches for the valuation ecosystem goods and services, the ecosystem service research fails to acknowledge the biophysical structure of river landscape where ecosystem services are generated. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to synthesize the literature to develop the understanding of the biocomplexity of river landscapes and its importance in ecosystem service research. The review is limited to anthropogenic modifications from catchment to reach scale which includes inter-basin water transfer, change in land-use pattern, sub-surface modifications, groundwater abstractions, stream channelization, dams, and sand mining. Using 86 studies, the paper demonstrates that river ESs largely depend on the effective functioning of biophysical processes, which are linked with the geomorphological, ecological, and hydrological characteristics of river landscapes. Further, the ESs are linked with the economic, ecological, and socio-cultural aspect. The papers show that almost all anthropogenic modifications have positive impact on economic value of ESs. The ecological and socio-cultural values are negatively impacted by anthropogenic modifications such as dams, inter-basin water transfer, change in land-use pattern, and sand mining. The socio-cultural impact of ground-water abstraction and sub-surface modifications are not found in the literature examined here. Further, the ecological and socio-cultural aspects of ecosystem services from stakeholders’ perspective are discussed. We advocate for linking ecosystem service assessment with landscape signatures considering the socio-ecological interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
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