Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 6606

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Interests: ecohydrological processes; climate change; ecohydrological modelling; water resource management; water cycle; drought
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Guest Editor
1. College of Water and Architectural Engineering, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China
2. Key Laboratory of Cold and Arid Regions Eco-Hydraulic Engineering of Xinjiang Production & Construction Corps, Shihezi 832000, China
Interests: ecological hydrology in arid areas; efficient utilization of water resources in arid areas; ecological hydrological models; unconventional water resource utilization in arid areas; hydrological cycle in inland river basins in arid areas
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Under the dual driving forces of climate change and human activities, the hydrological processes and ecological patterns in arid inland river basins have undergone significant changes. The resilience of ecosystems to external disturbances has degraded. Intense human activities not only impact vegetation patterns and water cycles but also alter the interaction between vegetation growth processes and hydrological processes, which is closely tied to the stability and development of arid ecosystem systems. Recognizing the evolving patterns of hydrological and ecological processes in a changing environment, is of great significance for advancing the scientific understanding of desertification control and improving the quality and stability of ecosystems. The aim of this Special Issue of Water is to present the latest advances in ecohydrology in arid inland river basins. The potential topics include but not limited to: climate change and ecohydrological responses, ecohydrological models and prediction, evolution of ecosystem hydrological processes, ecological water conveyance, water resources assessment and management.

Prof. Dr. Lianqing Xue
Prof. Dr. Guang Yang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • climate change and water cycle
  • ecohydrological processes
  • efficient utilization of water resources
  • ecohydrological modelling
  • ecological and hydrological coupling
  • ecological pattern
  • ecological water requirement
  • arid inland river basin

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

27 pages, 1716 KiB  
Article
Water Governance in the Cambodian Mekong Delta: The Nexus of Farmer Water User Communities (FWUCs), Community Fisheries (CFis), and Community Fish Refuges (CFRs) in the Context of Climate Change
by Mak Sithirith, Sok Sao, Sanjiv de Silva, Heng Kong, Chay Kongkroy, Tim Thavrin and Hy Sarun
Water 2024, 16(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16020242 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Cambodia faces the challenge of managing excess water during the wet season and insufficient water during the dry season. This harms human life and endangers aquatic and natural resources, agricultural practices, and food security. Water governance is crucial to ensure the well-being of [...] Read more.
Cambodia faces the challenge of managing excess water during the wet season and insufficient water during the dry season. This harms human life and endangers aquatic and natural resources, agricultural practices, and food security. Water governance is crucial to ensure the well-being of both people and their food security. However, Cambodia’s water governance is hindered by various obstacles, including sectoral and centralized influences, top-down and large-scale strategies, weak coordination among relevant agencies, and limited involvement of local communities. This study examines water governance across different sectors, from centralized to community-based natural resources management, and explores the opportunities that can be done to improve water governance. This study undertakes the literature and case studies of farmer water user communities (FWUCs), community fisheries (CFis), and community fish refuges (CFRs) in three Mekong Delta provinces in Cambodia. This study concludes that water governance has been challenged by FWUCs competing for water resources to intensify rice production at the expense of increased pesticides and fertilizer uses, which undermine the fishery productivity, degrade the natural resources in rivers and water bodies, and increase water conflicts among farmers and sectors in the face of climate change. To enhance water governance in Cambodia, it is critical to integrate it at the district level. This will promote sustainable water use and management across the country and pave the way for a brighter future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins)
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18 pages, 6988 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impacts of Future Climate and Land-Use Changes on Streamflow under Multiple Scenarios: A Case Study of the Upper Reaches of the Tarim River in Northwest China
by Qiang Han, Lianqing Xue, Tiansong Qi, Yuanhong Liu, Mingjie Yang, Xinyi Chu and Saihua Liu
Water 2024, 16(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010100 - 27 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
Climate change and land use/cover change (LUCC) are two major factors that alter hydrological processes. The upper reaches of the Tarim River, situated in the northwest region of China, experience a dry and less rainy climate and are significantly influenced by human activities. [...] Read more.
Climate change and land use/cover change (LUCC) are two major factors that alter hydrological processes. The upper reaches of the Tarim River, situated in the northwest region of China, experience a dry and less rainy climate and are significantly influenced by human activities. This study comprehensively assessed the impacts of individual and combined climate changes and LUCCs on streamflow. Three general circulation models (GCMs) were utilized to predict future climate changes under three shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP119, SSP245, and SSP585). Cellular Automata–Markov (CA–Markov) was employed to predict future LUCC under three scenarios (i.e., ecological protection, historical trend, and farmland development). Streamflow for the period 2021–2050 was simulated using the calibrated MIKE SHE model with multiple scenarios. The results showed that from 2021 to 2050, increments in both average annual precipitation and average annual temperature under the three SSPs were predicted to lead to an increased streamflow. In comparison to the conditions observed in 2000, under three LUCC scenarios for 2030, the grassland area decreased by 1.04% to 1.21%, while the farmland area increased by 1.97% to 2.26%, resulting in reduced streamflow. The related changes analysis indicated that the variation in streamflow during winter is most significant, followed by spring. The study predicted that climate change would increase streamflow, while LUCC would decrease it. Due to the greater impact of LUCC, considering the combined effect of both factors, runoff would decrease. The contribution analysis indicated that climate change contributed between −7.16% and −18.66%, while LUCC contributed between 107.16% and 118.66%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins)
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19 pages, 11637 KiB  
Article
Landscape Ecological Risk Assessment of Kriya River Basin in Xinjiang and Its Multi-Scenario Simulation Analysis
by Jinbao Li, Xuemin He, Pengcheng Huang, Zizheng Wang and Ranran Wang
Water 2023, 15(24), 4256; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15244256 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 824
Abstract
To comprehend the potential impacts of both natural phenomena and human activities on ecological risk, a thorough examination of the spatial and temporal evolution characteristics of Landscape Ecological Risk (LER) in arid river basins is imperative. This investigation holds paramount importance for the [...] Read more.
To comprehend the potential impacts of both natural phenomena and human activities on ecological risk, a thorough examination of the spatial and temporal evolution characteristics of Landscape Ecological Risk (LER) in arid river basins is imperative. This investigation holds paramount importance for the proactive prevention and mitigation of LER, as well as for the preservation of ecological security within these basins. In this scholarly inquiry, the Kriya River Basin (KRB) serves as the focal point of analysis. Leveraging three historical land use and land cover (LULC) images and incorporating a diverse array of drivers, encompassing both natural and anthropogenic factors, the study employs the PLUS model to forecast the characteristics of LULC changes within the basin under three distinct scenarios projected for the year 2030. Concurrently, the research quantitatively assesses the ecological risks of the basin through the adoption of the Landscape Ecological Risk Assessment (LERA) methodology and the Spatial Character Analysis (SCA) methodology. The results showed the following: (1) The study area is primarily composed of grassland and unused land, which collectively account for over 97% of the total land. However, there has been a noticeable rise in cropland and considerable deterioration in grassland between 2000 and 2020. The key observed change in LULC involves the transformation of grassland and unused land into cropland, forest, and construction land. (2) The overall LER indices for 2000, 2010, and 2020 are 0.1721, 0.1714, and 0.16696, respectively, showing strong positive spatial correlations and increasing autocorrelations over time. (3) Over time, human activities have come to exert a greater influence on LER compared to natural factors between 2000 and 2020. (4) In the natural development scenario (NDS), cropland protection scenario (CPS), and ecological priority scenario (EPS), the LER of KRB experienced notable variations in the diverse 2030 scenarios. Notably, the CPS exhibited the highest proportion of low-risk areas, whereas Daryaboyi emerged as the focal point of maximum vulnerability. These findings offer theoretical and scientific support for sustainable development planning in the watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins)
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16 pages, 8336 KiB  
Article
Hydro-Climatic and Vegetation Dynamics Spatial-Temporal Changes in the Great Lakes Depression Region of Mongolia
by Batsuren Dorjsuren, Valerii A. Zemtsov, Nyamdavaa Batsaikhan, Denghua Yan, Hongfei Zhou and Sandelger Dorligjav
Water 2023, 15(21), 3748; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15213748 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
The Great Lakes Depression region basin is among the most sensitive regions to vegetation change due to climate change. This study estimated spatial-temporal changes and relationships in hydro-climate and vegetation dynamics in the basin. Studying the spatial-temporal variation between vegetation dynamics and hydro-climate [...] Read more.
The Great Lakes Depression region basin is among the most sensitive regions to vegetation change due to climate change. This study estimated spatial-temporal changes and relationships in hydro-climate and vegetation dynamics in the basin. Studying the spatial-temporal variation between vegetation dynamics and hydro-climate in this basin is essential for assessing climate change and sustainability. This research involved an examination of the mean yearly air temperature, overall annual rainfall, fluctuations in river discharge, vegetation cover, and alterations in vegetation types within the selected basin stations. This was accomplished through the utilization of hydro-meteorological analysis, satellite assessment, land cover determination, and statistical analysis. Over the course of the study, it was observed that the average annual air temperature increased at all stations (with a positive change of Z = +1.16). The amount of precipitation decreased (Z = −0.79), especially from 2000 to 2014, and its statistical significance decreased. During the study period, average river discharge significantly decreased (Z = −3.51). Due to these combined factors, the lake’s water level also decreased (Z = −2.03). Vegetation cover change varied in high mountains, near river and lake water surfaces, and in arid regions. Changes in air temperature and precipitation in the current year determine vegetation cover. Because of the large amount of precipitation in the summer months from 2000 to 2010 and 2020, the growth of vegetation cover during that period was relatively good. This study was conducted in arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia and demonstrates the impact of climate change on changes in vegetation cover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins)
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15 pages, 3091 KiB  
Article
Water Protection Zones—Impacts on Weed Vegetation of Arable Soil
by Jan Winkler, Tomáš Řičica, Věra Hubačíková, Eugeniusz Koda, Magdalena Daria Vaverková, Ladislav Havel and Mariusz Żółtowski
Water 2023, 15(17), 3161; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15173161 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 896
Abstract
The aim of this study is to evaluate the occurrence of weeds under conditions of limited herbicide use due to the protection zone of water resources. A total of 23 weed species were found in maize stands, 19 species were found in wheat [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the occurrence of weeds under conditions of limited herbicide use due to the protection zone of water resources. A total of 23 weed species were found in maize stands, 19 species were found in wheat stands, and 16 species were found in rapeseed stands. The redundancy analysis (RDA) results show significant differences in weed occurrence and composition due to herbicide regulation in each crop. Changes in weed composition induced by herbicide application limitations lead to a preference for more specialized weed species (specialists) at the expense of widespread species (generalists). Limiting the use of pesticides in sensitive and vulnerable areas, such as water sources, bodies, and watercourses, is justified from the perspective of protecting the aquatic environment and biodiversity. However, such measures can cause weed growth that is difficult to control, and therefore, it is important to search for new methods for weed control in field crops. Determining a balance between safeguarding water resources and addressing agricultural challenges remains crucial for sustainable land and water management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins)
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16 pages, 3317 KiB  
Article
Impact of the Construction of Water Conservation Projects on Runoff from the Weigan River
by Jingwen Su, Aihua Long, Fulong Chen, Cai Ren, Pei Zhang, Ji Zhang, Xinchen Gu and Xiaoya Deng
Water 2023, 15(13), 2431; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132431 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
In order to use water resources more efficiently, the construction of water conservation projects in dryland watersheds has changed the natural water cycle processes. This study used the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model coupled with the glacier module to simulate the [...] Read more.
In order to use water resources more efficiently, the construction of water conservation projects in dryland watersheds has changed the natural water cycle processes. This study used the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model coupled with the glacier module to simulate the hydrological processes in the upper reaches of the Weigan River estuary from 1965 to 1991, to restore and quantitatively evaluate the conditions of the estuarine runoff in the no-reservoir scenario, and to analyse the impact of the construction of water conservation projects on the estuarine runoff based on this model. The results show that the SWAT model has good applicability in the study area, with 41.45% and 58.55% of the increase in runoff due to increased precipitation and temperature, respectively, over the 52 years study period. The degree of influence of the construction of water conservation projects on runoff from the mountain in different seasons was spring > autumn > winter > summer, with 83.28% of the spring runoff being influenced by artificial regulation. The construction of water conservation projects has alleviated water shortage problems to a certain extent, and is an effective measure for achieving the efficient allocation of water resources in arid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecohydrology in Arid Inland River Basins)
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