Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions

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 (20 October 2023) | Viewed by 8629

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Hydrobiology and Ecosystem Protection, University of Life Sciences, Lublin, Poland
Interests: phytoplankton; phycology; limnology; invasive species; humic lakes; lake restoration; Natura 2000 freshwater habitats

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecology is one of the most important biological sciences, aimed not only at satisfying our cognitive curiosity about life on Earth but, since the second half of the 20th century, at providing scientific knowledge which can be used in dealing with great environmental challenges. Aquatic ecology is focused on understanding the basic components of aquatic ecosystems and the interactions among living organisms, as well as between organisms and their environment. Thus, the knowledge provided by aquatic ecologists is necessary for the better management of our water resources, on which humans, societies and economies rely. The negative effects of human impact on freshwaters include eutrophication and toxic algal blooms, the loss of biodiversity, water pollution, and changes in hydrological systems and landscapes; since the 21st century, all of these have been modified, enhanced, and complicated by climate change. The observed rise in temperature influences all mentioned processes, in addition to changes in the natural geographical ranges of aquatic species. Biological invasions have led not only to disturbance in the species composition of natural systems, but have also caused quantifiable economic losses, for example, in the case of fisheries or other forms of aquaculture. 

This Special Issue invites both fundamental and applied studies focused on interactions among aquatic organisms (including plankton, benthos, macrophytes and fish), as well as on relationships between aquatic biota and hydrological, chemical and physical factors. Studies on biological invasions in aquatic systems are of interest as well. Papers paying special attention to the impact of climate change on the above topics will be of high interest.

Dr. Wojciech Pęczuła
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • aquatic ecology
  • freshwater ecosystems
  • biotic interactions
  • climate change
  • invasive species
  • biodiversity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 10414 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Morphometric Analysis of Morphologically Similar Species of Fragilaria (Fragilariaceae, Bacillariophyta) Allows Detection of Non-Indigenous Taxa: A Case Study from Lake Ladoga (North of European Russia)
by Alexander G. Rusanov, Maria A. Gololobova, Mikhail Y. Kolobov, Mónika Duleba, Anton A. Georgiev, István Grigorszky, Keve T. Kiss, Éva Ács and Imre Somlyai
Water 2023, 15(22), 3994; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223994 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
In Lake Ladoga (northwestern Russia), we found a diatom, putatively Fragilaria sublanceolata-baikali, an endemic species from Lake Baikal (southeastern Siberia, Russia). To determine whether this population matches a previously recognized species from Lake Baikal and assess how it differs from other similar [...] Read more.
In Lake Ladoga (northwestern Russia), we found a diatom, putatively Fragilaria sublanceolata-baikali, an endemic species from Lake Baikal (southeastern Siberia, Russia). To determine whether this population matches a previously recognized species from Lake Baikal and assess how it differs from other similar Fragilaria taxa, we studied the valve morphology of three morphologically similar Fragilaria populations (the putative F. sublanceolata-baikali, F. pectinalis and F. perminuta) sampled in Lake Ladoga, along with a population of F. sublanceolata-baikali sampled in Lake Baikal. We used light and scanning electron microscopy with a combination of traditional and geometric morphometric methods. To analyze covariation between the valve shape and size (i.e., allometry), we examined differences in the ontogenetic–allometric trajectories at both the interspecific and intraspecific levels. In addition, the effect of size correction of the valve shape on species differentiation was tested. Traditional morphometrics revealed that F. sublanceolata-baikali is distinguished from F. pectinalis and F. perminuta by valve length, while F. pectinalis and F. perminuta are distinguished by striae density. All three species of Fragilaria showed separate and parallel allometric trajectories. In contrast, the two populations of F. sublanceolata-baikali were on a common allometric trajectory, indicating the conspecificity between these populations. Prior to allometric correction, geometric morphometrics was not able fully discriminate between the three Fragilaria species. After allometric correction, the three Fragilaria species were clearly separated in a size-corrected morphospace, whereas the two populations of F. sublanceolata-baikali formed a tightly overlapping group. Thus, we conclude that geometric morphometrics can reliably distinguish between these morphologically similar species of Fragilaria, but only after accounting for allometric shape variation. Our study confirmed morphological similarity between the two geographically distant populations of F. sublanceolata-baikali, which indicates that this taxon can be considered as invasive in Lake Ladoga. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions)
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16 pages, 3860 KiB  
Article
Investigating Freshwater Mullet Fisheries in Tunisian Reservoirs: Future Development Prospects
by Sami Mili, Rym Ennouri, Manel Fatnassi, Siwar Agrebi, Ibtissem Louiz, Yassir Khattab, Amor Hedfi, Manel Ben Ali and Houcine Laouar
Water 2023, 15(14), 2554; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15142554 - 12 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Mullet is the most heavily fished species in Tunisia, accounting for one-third of the freshwater fish harvest. To ensure the continuity and development of fisheries in the country, Tunisian reservoirs have been stocked with Mugilidae fry collected from coastal and estuarine areas. The [...] Read more.
Mullet is the most heavily fished species in Tunisia, accounting for one-third of the freshwater fish harvest. To ensure the continuity and development of fisheries in the country, Tunisian reservoirs have been stocked with Mugilidae fry collected from coastal and estuarine areas. The quantities of fry introduced and mullet landings were correlated. To determine the spatial distribution and abundance of mullets in these fisheries, a multi-mesh gillnet was used in 10 reservoirs. The results showed a weak global correlation between the fry introduced and mullet landings, while the correlation of these variables in each reservoir separately revealed a high correlation in all the reservoirs, except for Ghezala reservoir. The fishing survey revealed that the numerical yield varied significantly from one reservoir to another. Sidi Saad reservoir recorded the highest yield of mullet (196.52 fish/1000 m2 of nets), while a lower yield was recorded in Lahjar, Seliana, Mellegue, Laabid, Ghezala, Bezirekh, Bouheurtma, Sidi Salem, and Sidi Barrak reservoirs. The harvested mullets’ sizes ranged from 14 to 65 cm, indicating good growth conditions in the Tunisian reservoirs. Our findings demonstrate a high potential for mullet production in the country; therefore, we recommend the sustainable development of this sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions)
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26 pages, 12078 KiB  
Article
Meteorological and Limnological Precursors to Cyanobacterial Blooms in Seneca and Owasco Lakes, New York, USA
by John D. Halfman, JoAnna Shaw, Ileana Dumitriu and Lisa B. Cleckner
Water 2023, 15(13), 2363; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132363 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Meteorological and water quality data were collected in offshore and nearshore settings over 4 years in the oligotrophic–mesotrophic Owasco and Seneca Lakes in order to assess cyanobacteria bloom (CyanoHABs) spatial and temporal variability and precursor meteorological and water quality conditions. CyanoHABs were detected [...] Read more.
Meteorological and water quality data were collected in offshore and nearshore settings over 4 years in the oligotrophic–mesotrophic Owasco and Seneca Lakes in order to assess cyanobacteria bloom (CyanoHABs) spatial and temporal variability and precursor meteorological and water quality conditions. CyanoHABs were detected from August through mid-October in both lakes. Blooms were temporally and spatially isolated, i.e., rarely concurrently detected at 3 (4.2%) or more of the 12 sites, and blooms (75.6%) were more frequently detected at only 1 of the 12 sites in the 10 min interval photologs. Both lakes lacked consistent meteorological and water quality precursor conditions. CyanoHABs were detected during the expected calm (<1 kph), sunny (600–900 W/m2), and warm water (>23 °C) episodes. However, more CyanoHABs were detected during overcast/shady (<250 W/m2) and windier (1 to 20 kph) and/or in cooler water (16 to 21 °C). More importantly, the majority of the sunny, calm, and/or warm water episodes did not experience a bloom. This suggests that nutrient availability was essential to trigger blooms in these two lakes, and we speculate that the nutrients originate from the decomposition of nearshore organic matter and runoff from the largest precipitation events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions)
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17 pages, 4510 KiB  
Article
Macrophyte- and Macrozoobenthic-Based Assessment in Rivers: Specificity of the Response to Combined Physico-Chemical Stressors
by Emilia Varadinova, Gana Gecheva, Violeta Tyufekchieva and Tanya Milkova
Water 2023, 15(12), 2282; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15122282 - 18 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1440
Abstract
The importance of adequate biological assessments of rivers based on aquatic assemblages is essential to establish recovery measures. Macrophyte and macroinvertebrate communities react differently in time and in response strength to diverse stressors. Our hypothesis was that each group response is a result [...] Read more.
The importance of adequate biological assessments of rivers based on aquatic assemblages is essential to establish recovery measures. Macrophyte and macroinvertebrate communities react differently in time and in response strength to diverse stressors. Our hypothesis was that each group response is a result of specific and combined abiotic factors and each stressor’s impact. To address the above, both biological quality elements (BQEs) and values of the ecological quality ratio (EQR) were studied in relation to four abiotic parameters and five physico-chemical stressors. Discrepancies of more than one degree between the ecological status assessments of Bulgarian river sites determined using macrophytes and macrozoobenthos were discussed. The RDA analysis showed that altitude had a determining role in shaping the abundance of macrophyte and macrozoobenthos communities. Aquatic flora richness positively correlated with nitrogen enrichment and macroinvertebrate fauna—with altitude and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Nutrients and shading were most significant for the ecological status evaluation defined with both macrophytes and macrozoobenthos. Macrophyte-based EQR was related to oxygen concentration and shading, while macroinvertebrate-based EQR was better at sites with coarser substrates. Among tested stressors, mainly total nitrogen and BOD explained the lower macrophyte-based assessment at half of the studied sites. In conditions of increased nitrogen and BOD, but remaining in the range of good status, macrophytes as primary producers gave a faster and stronger response. Despite the differences in the assessment, both BQEs have higher values in conditions of lower BOD and total phosphorus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions)
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11 pages, 3420 KiB  
Article
Changes in Climate Factors and Catches of Fisheries in the Republic of Korea over the Three Decades
by Jong-Gyu Kim and Jeong-Gyoo Kim
Water 2023, 15(10), 1952; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101952 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1447
Abstract
We investigated the changes of main climate factors and their relationships with the catches of offshore fisheries of the Republic of Korea over the past 30 years (1981 to 2010), using a trend analysis and Pearson’s correlation analysis. This study focused on seven [...] Read more.
We investigated the changes of main climate factors and their relationships with the catches of offshore fisheries of the Republic of Korea over the past 30 years (1981 to 2010), using a trend analysis and Pearson’s correlation analysis. This study focused on seven fish species that have been preferred in Korean cuisine for centuries. Not only the air temperature, but also the sea surface temperature (SST) on the coast of Korea has risen (p < 0.05) in the period. The rise in SST over 30 years is significantly correlated with the rise in temperature (p < 0.01), but not with precipitation. Over the past 30 years, catches of anchovies and squid have increased significantly, while Alaska/walleye pollock has become almost extinct (p < 0.01). The analysis of this study indicates that cold water fish species have decreased or disappeared in Korean fisheries and have been replaced by warm water fish species. Our findings suggest that the fish species caught in Korean offshore fisheries have changed due to climate change, especially global warming. These results also suggest that there may be a threat to the food security of Koreans, so it is necessary to take measures to protect this food resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions)
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17 pages, 2814 KiB  
Article
Effects of Extracts Containing Metabolites of Different Cyanobacteria from an Ambient Spring (Central Europe) on Zooplankters Daphnia magna and Duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza
by Magdalena Toporowska, Beata Ferencz and Jarosław Dawidek
Water 2022, 14(24), 4107; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244107 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a well-known problem in eutrophic water bodies, but cyanobacterial toxicity in ambient springs is unexplored. Therefore, we studied the toxin content and effects of two extracts obtained from epilithic and benthic microbial mats containing different algae and filamentous cyanobacteria, [...] Read more.
Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a well-known problem in eutrophic water bodies, but cyanobacterial toxicity in ambient springs is unexplored. Therefore, we studied the toxin content and effects of two extracts obtained from epilithic and benthic microbial mats containing different algae and filamentous cyanobacteria, Phormidium breve and Oscillatoria limosa, respectively, on fresh biomass, number of roots, and pigment content in duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza and on survivorship of Daphnia magna (Cladocera). Mat samples, used to prepare extracts for bioassays, were collected in the anthropogenically transformed limnocrenic Górecko spring, located (50°31′08″ N and 22°57′10″ E) in the Roztocze region (Eastern Poland). It drains an abundant aquifer built with Cretaceous sediments. Neither anatoxin-a (ANTX) nor microcystins (MCs) were detected in the extracts using HPLC techniques; however, negative effects of the extracts on tested organisms were observed. The Phormidium extract contained concentrations of cyanobacterial metabolites a few times higher than the Oscillatoria extract. In general, both extracts affected plants in a dose-dependent manner; however, the Oscillatoria extract influenced pigment production without a clear trend. The highest concentrations of Phormidium extract (p < 0.05) significantly decreased the number of roots and the content of chlorophylls and carotenoids in S. polyrhiza. The Oscillatoria extract caused a statistically significant (p < 0.05) decrease in biomass and number of roots; however, it generally positively influenced the production of pigments. The extract containing O. limosa metabolites was more toxic to D. magna than the extract containing higher amounts of metabolites of P. breve. Cyanobacteria inhabiting temperate springs may negatively affect hydrobionts by producing secondary metabolites other than ANTX and MCs; however, the contribution of algae cannot be excluded. Extensive research on cyanobacteria in springs, their metabolites, and their effects on living organisms should be conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecology and Biological Invasions)
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