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Special Issue "Hydrological and Ecological Systems within the Terrestrial Land Surface"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Toby Richard Marthews

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate change; terrestrial ecology; ecosystem dynamics; water cycle fluxes (including runoff, evapotranspiration, river flow); carbon budgeting; tree community assembly; land surface modelling; biosphere–atmosphere interactions; wetlands
Guest Editor
Dr. Alberto Martínez-de la Torre

1. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK
2. Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate change; runoff generation; river flow; evapotranspiration; land surface modelling; biosphere–atmosphere interactions; wetlands; groundwater; model benchmarking

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this special issue of Water, we are seeking to assemble a world-class set of studies that focus on land surface and/or hydrological issues of the terrestrial biosphere. Climate is an essential driver and determiner of the structure of ecosystems, but in order to approach a complete understanding of systems within the terrestrial biosphere, we also need to have a much better understanding of the movement of water below and across the landscape (rivers, wetlands, arid areas, saturated and unsaturated zones of the soil, plant-mediated dynamics) and the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that originate and maintain biological communities at particular locations of the land surface (including all terra firme and dominantly freshwater ecosystems). We welcome submissions on both observational and modelling studies, as well as studies from both a hydrological and an ecological perspective, but studies that cut across or integrate more than one of these categories will be given priority. Review papers are also welcome if they are contemporary enough and contribute to a wider understanding of the focus topic.

Dr. Toby Richard Marthews
Dr. Alberto Martínez-de la Torre
Guest Editors

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

  • Climate change
  • Water cycle
  • Biogeochemical cycling
  • Land–atmosphere interactions
  • Biosphere–atmosphere fluxes
  • Coupled model applications

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Numerical Modelling as a Support Tool for River Habitat Studies: An Italian Case Study
Water 2019, 11(3), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030482
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
Numerical modelling is becoming a major tool for supporting environmental studies at different scales, thanks to the ability of up-to-date codes to reproduce the complex mechanisms of the natural environment in quite a reliable manner. In evaluating the habitat diversity of anthropized rivers, [...] Read more.
Numerical modelling is becoming a major tool for supporting environmental studies at different scales, thanks to the ability of up-to-date codes to reproduce the complex mechanisms of the natural environment in quite a reliable manner. In evaluating the habitat diversity of anthropized rivers, however, many issues are rising because of the intrinsic complexity of the physical processes involved and the limitations associated with numerical models. Using a reach of the Po River in Italy as a case study, the present works aims to provide a qualitative description of the changes of the Eco-Environmental Diversity index as a response to different constant flow discharges typically observed along this reach. The goals are achieved by means of two solvers of the freeware iRIC suite, applied in cascade to first simulate the 2D fluvial hydrodynamics and subsequently provide a qualitative estimate of the habitat conditions. Despite the several simplifications intrinsically present in the modelling cascade and the ones introduced for practical purposes, the results show that an extremely strong and long-lasting reduction of the flow discharge, like the one very recently observed, can ultimately threaten the overall biological status of the river. Because of the modelling uncertainties, these preliminary outcomes are only qualitative and show the need for more research, both in terms of data acquisition and numerical schematization, to adequately and quantitatively evaluate the effects of transient hydrology on the river ecosystems. Moreover, additional field surveys are necessary to calibrate and validate the used biological parameters, aiming to obtain sufficiently reliable estimates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Drydown Processes in Global Land Surface and Hydrological Models Using Flux Tower Evapotranspiration
Water 2019, 11(2), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020356
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
A key aspect of the land surface response to the atmosphere is how quickly it dries after a rainfall event. It is key because it will determine the intensity and speed of the propagation of drought and also affects the atmospheric state through [...] Read more.
A key aspect of the land surface response to the atmosphere is how quickly it dries after a rainfall event. It is key because it will determine the intensity and speed of the propagation of drought and also affects the atmospheric state through changes in the surface heat exchanges. Here, we test the theory that this response can be studied as an inherent property of the land surface that is unchanging over time unless the above- and below-ground structures change. This is important as a drydown metric can be used to evaluate a landscape and its response to atmospheric drivers in models used in coupled land–atmosphere mode when the forcing is often not commensurate with the actual atmosphere. We explore whether the speed of drying of a land unit can be quantified and how this can be used to evaluate models. We use the most direct observation of drying: the rate of change of evapotranspiration after a rainfall event using eddy-covariance observations, or commonly referred to as flux tower data. We analyse the data and find that the drydown timescale is characteristic of different land cover types, then we use that to evaluate a suite of global hydrological and land surface models. We show that, at the site level, the data suggest that evapotranspiration decay timescales are longer for trees than for grasslands. The studied model’s accuracy to capture the site drydown timescales depends on the specific model, the site, and the vegetation cover representation. A more robust metric is obtained by grouping the modeled data by vegetation type and, using this, we find that land surface models capture the characteristic timescale difference between trees and grasslands, found using flux data, better than large-scale hydrological models. We thus conclude that the drydown metric has value in understanding land–atmosphere interactions and model evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics of Dew Formation in the Semi-Arid Loess Plateau of Central Shaanxi Province, China
Water 2019, 11(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010126
Received: 25 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
Compared to rain, dew is an important supplementary source of water for the survival of certain plants and animals in drylands. However, the hydrology of dew has not yet been fully investigated due to difficulties in measuring the amount and duration of it. [...] Read more.
Compared to rain, dew is an important supplementary source of water for the survival of certain plants and animals in drylands. However, the hydrology of dew has not yet been fully investigated due to difficulties in measuring the amount and duration of it. In this study, a 3-year in-situ monitoring experiment was conducted from 2014 to 2016 in the semi-arid Sanyuan County, Shaanxi Province of China, using a leaf wetness sensor (LWS) and four associated meteorological instruments. Results showed that the average annual total dewfall was 32.8 mm with a daily maximum of 0.88 mm. The majority of daily dew occurred in the night from 18:00 to 8:00 with the maximum condensation rate occurring at around 4:00. The maximum dew residence time was about 18 h/day on the dew days in all seasons. However, the actual dew production period was about 14 h in spring (March–May), autumn (September–November), and winter (December–February), and only 11 h in summer (June–August). The maximum intensity and amount of dew always occurred in autumn (with an average amount of 12.2 mm or 37% of the annual total), followed closely by spring (11.4 mm, 35%), with much less in summer (6.6 mm, 20%) and winter (2.6 mm, 8%). The annual dew distribution by months showed a double crest variation, with two peaks in April–May and October–November, and two valleys in January–February and July. Comparatively, annual dewfall is only about 1/18th of the rainfall in this region, but the number of dew days (224 days, or 61% of year) is 2.6 times that of rain days (87 days, 24%), making dew a critical supplementary source of water for mitigating dry periods and supporting native plants and animals. Rain and dew are highly complementary as dew occurs in cloudless nights while the rain occurs in different and on much fewer occasions in the region. The dew amount was highly and positively correlated to the relative humidity of the air above the threshold of 81% (r = 0.78, p < 0.01), negatively correlated to the difference between air temperature Ta and dewpoint Td, when (TaTd) is less than 4 °C (r = −0.66, p < 0.01), and weakly correlated to wind speed (0.2 to 2 m·s−1), wind direction, surface soil moisture, and temperature. In the Sanyuan region, two general wind directions, 30°–90°and 210°–270°, were more favorable for the formation of dew. Full article
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