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Special Issue "Environmental Flows, Ecological Quality and Ecosystem Services"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Carles Ibáñez

IRTA, Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology, Program of Marine & Continental Waters
Website | E-Mail
Interests: aquatic ecology; integrated management of water resources; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Establishing proper environmental flows (e-flows) across river basins is one of the keystones to implement an integrated management of water resources. This is even more critical in water scarce river basins due to increasing water uses (i.e., irrigation) and climate change. Functions and values of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., water quality, sediment dynamics, productivity, biodiversity, ecosystem services, etc.) are influenced by river flow regime alterations. However, scientists and managers often find very difficult to quantitatively link the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems and their services to specific e-flow regimes. This Special Issue welcomes papers investigating the links among river flows, the status of aquatic ecosystems and the benefits they provide to our society, either from the science or management perspectives.  

Dr. Carles Ibáñez
Guest Editor

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. Water 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

  • river flow
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • water quality
  • biological indicators
  • water uses
  • water scarcity
  • natural capital

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Flow Regime on Ecological Quality, Bird Diversity, and Shellfish Fisheries in a Lowland Mediterranean River and Its Coastal Area
Water 2019, 11(5), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050918
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
PDF Full-text (1217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Designing environmental flows in lowland river sections and estuaries is a challenge for researchers and managers, given their complexity and their importance, both for nature conservation and economy. The Ebro River and its delta belong to a Mediterranean area with marked anthropogenic pressures. [...] Read more.
Designing environmental flows in lowland river sections and estuaries is a challenge for researchers and managers, given their complexity and their importance, both for nature conservation and economy. The Ebro River and its delta belong to a Mediterranean area with marked anthropogenic pressures. This study presents an assessment of the relationships between mean flows (discharges) computed at different time scales and (i) ecological quality based on fish populations in the lower Ebro, (ii) bird populations, and (iii) two shellfish fishery species of socioeconomic importance (prawn, or Penaeus kerathurus, and mantis shrimp, or Squilla mantis). Daily discharge data from 2000 to 2015 were used for analyses. Mean annual discharge was able to explain the variation in fish-based ecological quality, and model performance increased when aquatic vegetation was incorporated. Our results indicate that a good ecological status cannot be reached only through changes on discharge, and that habitat characteristics, such as the coverage of macrophytes, must be taken into account. In addition, among the different bird groups identified in our study area, predators were related to river discharge. This was likely due to its influence on available resources. Finally, prawn and mantis shrimp productivity were influenced up to a certain degree by discharge and physicochemical variables, as inputs from rivers constitute major sources of nutrients in oligotrophic environments such as the Mediterranean Sea. Such outcomes allowed revisiting the environmental flow regimes designed for the study area, which provides information for water management in this or in other similar Mediterranean zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Flows, Ecological Quality and Ecosystem Services)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Flow Regime and Nutrient-Loading Trends from the Largest South European Watersheds: Implications for the Productivity of Mediterranean and Black Sea’s Coastal Areas
Water 2019, 11(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010001
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last century, large watersheds in Southern Europe have been impacted by a combination of anthropogenic and climatic pressures, which have rapidly evolved to change the ecological status of freshwater and coastal systems. A comparative analysis was performed for Ebro, Rhône, Po [...] Read more.
In the last century, large watersheds in Southern Europe have been impacted by a combination of anthropogenic and climatic pressures, which have rapidly evolved to change the ecological status of freshwater and coastal systems. A comparative analysis was performed for Ebro, Rhône, Po and Danube rivers, to investigate if they exhibited differential dynamics in hydrology and water quality that can be linked to specific human and natural forces acting at sub-continental scales. Flow regime series were analyzed from daily to multi-decadal scales, considering frequency distributions, trends (Mann–Kendall and Sen tests) and discontinuities (SRSD Method). River loads of suspended matter, nutrients and organic matter and the eutrophication potential of river nutrients were estimated to assess the impact of river loads on adjacent coastal areas. The decline of freshwater resources largely impacted the Ebro watershed on annual (−0.139 km3 yr−1) and seasonal (−0.4% yr−1) scales. In the other rivers, only spring–summer showed significant decreases of the runoff coupled to an exacerbated flow variability (0.1–0.3% yr−1), which suggested the presence of an enhanced regional climatic instability. Discontinuities in annual runoff series (every 20–30 years) indicated a similar long-term evolution of Rhône and Po rivers, differently from Ebro and Danube. Higher nutrient concentrations in the Ebro and Po (+50%) compared to Rhône and Danube and distinct stoichiometric nutrient ratios may exert specific impacts on the growth of plankton biomass in coastal areas. The overall decline of inorganic phosphorus in the Rhône and Po (since the 1980s) and the Ebro and Danube (since the 1990s) mitigated the eutrophication in coastal ecosystems inducing, however, a phase in which the role of organic phosphorus loads (Po > Danube > Rhône > Ebro) on coastal productivity could be more relevant. Overall, the study showed that the largest South European watersheds are differently impacted by anthropogenic and climatic forces and that this will influence their vulnerability to future changes of flow regime and water quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Flows, Ecological Quality and Ecosystem Services)
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