Restoration Methods and Planning Techniques for River Ecology

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2024 | Viewed by 2427

Special Issue Editor

School of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China
Interests: ecohydrology; river restoration; hydrodynamics; stormwater management; machine learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In March 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 as the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. Under this background, “rewilding” is gradually emerging as a new concept and approach for international nature conservation and ecological protection/restoration in response to the current environmental crises. Compared with traditional ecological restoration methods which use naturalized or engineering measures, rewilding emphasizes on natural processes to bring ecosystems to a self-sustaining state. Therefore, it is necessary to change the restoration method from the engineering path to one that  takes into account all aspects of system coordination, such as hydrological system, biological system, and energy transmission system, for the natural restitution of ecosystems.

River ecosystem is one of the important ecosystems and one of the main targets of ecological restoration in the world. However, due to the diversity, complexity and unpredictability of rivers, the current global research on river rewilding is in the early stages; thus, the practice of rewilding lacks sufficient scientific research support. Hence, there is a dire need to discuss the concept and connotations of river rewilding from a multi-disciplinary perspective, establish the evaluation criteria of river rewilding, as well as explore and innovate technical methods of river rewilding protection and restoration.

This Special Issue of Water aims to focus on all aspects related to the theory and technology of river rewilding.

Dr. Xin Zhao
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • river restoration
  • rewilding
  • ecological restoration
  • hydrological process
  • evaluation criteria
  • biological system

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 16269 KiB  
Article
Study on Multi-Measures Joint Optimization Regulation of Temperature Control and Ice Melting for Water Conveyance Projects in Cold Regions
by Deming Yang, Jijian Lian, Xin Zhao and Yunfei Chen
Water 2024, 16(7), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16071039 - 04 Apr 2024
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Abstract
In order to realize the goal of ice-free water conveyance in the winter for water conveyance projects in cold regions, the operation principle of ice-free water conveyance through channels is described based on the two ice-melting measures of a solar heating gallery and [...] Read more.
In order to realize the goal of ice-free water conveyance in the winter for water conveyance projects in cold regions, the operation principle of ice-free water conveyance through channels is described based on the two ice-melting measures of a solar heating gallery and heated storage tank. Based on the multi-year meteorological data and the theory of a product probability event, the concept of a “comprehensive satisfaction rate” was proposed, and then the joint optimal regulating model under two ice-melting measures was established, and the genetic algorithm was used to solve the problem, which solved the important limitations of the economic and efficiency optimization of different ice-melting measures. This paper applies this model to the Zhanghe control gate–Mangniuhe control gate section of the middle route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project. According to the optimization analysis of a large number of operating conditions, the operating costs of the ice-melting measures have also increased with the increase in the comprehensive satisfy rate. In the operation process, the water temperature along the lines presents a “ladder-like” shape. The average hourly flow and average hourly water temperature of the heated water storage tank have the characteristics of overall unity and local complementarity. With the increase in the water flow and downstream depth before the gate, its operating cost also increases. The increase in the flow velocity at the same time can increase the heat transfer efficiency, reducing the operating costs. In addition, the water temperature of the channel with a solar heating gallery decreased more slowly than that without a solar heating gallery due to its good thermal insulation effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoration Methods and Planning Techniques for River Ecology)
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16 pages, 1818 KiB  
Article
Influence of Riparian Conditions on Physical Instream Habitats in Trout Streams in Southeastern Minnesota, USA
by Will L. Varela, Neal D. Mundahl, David F. Staples, Rachel H. Greene, Silas Bergen, Jennifer Cochran-Biederman and Cole R. Weaver
Water 2024, 16(6), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16060864 - 17 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Rivers across the globe experience and respond to changes within the riparian corridor. Disturbance of the riparian corridor can affect warmwater, intermediate, and coldwater streams, which can negatively influence instream physical structure and biological communities. This study focused on assessing the influence of [...] Read more.
Rivers across the globe experience and respond to changes within the riparian corridor. Disturbance of the riparian corridor can affect warmwater, intermediate, and coldwater streams, which can negatively influence instream physical structure and biological communities. This study focused on assessing the influence of the riparian habitat on instream structure within the Whitewater River, a coldwater stream system within an agricultural watershed in southeastern Minnesota, USA. To understand the influence of the riparian zone on the physical instream habitat, twenty variables (riparian, n = 9; instream, n = 11) were measured at 57 sites across three forks of the Whitewater using a transect method every 10 m across a 150 m reach. We used a modified Wentworth scale approach to assess coarse and fine substrates to describe habitat conditions. Canonical correlation detected significant associations between riparian and instream variables across the river forks, and indicated that wider riparian buffers, more bank grass and shrubs, longer overhanging vegetation, limited bare soil, and more rocks on banks were significantly associated with increased instream cover, high levels of coarse substrates with reduced embeddedness, increased pool habitats, and reduced fine sediments. In contrast, excessive fine sediments, lack of riffle habitat, reduced coarse substrates, and high width to depth ratios indicative of an impaired instream habitat were associated with narrow riparian buffers and high percentages of bare soil on banks. Riparian corridors have the capacity to enhance and protect physical instream habitats and overall ecosystem health when managed properly. Wide, grassy riparian corridors with stable banks, overhanging vegetation, and limited shade from trees should protect and/or enhance the instream physical habitat, providing the structural diversity favored by aquatic communities. We recommend revising the current Best Management Practices to include monitoring for impairments in the riparia, while promoting and developing good land stewardship with private landowners which can be effective in improving river ecosystems in agricultural settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoration Methods and Planning Techniques for River Ecology)
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14 pages, 2848 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Benefit Assessment of the Middle Route of South-to-North Water Diversion Project Based on Markowitz Theory
by Yan Long, Jia Qu, Tianhao Zhao, Wei Gao, Yuxin Liu and Yilin Yang
Water 2023, 15(24), 4212; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15244212 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 681
Abstract
In the context of global climate change and the water-carbon peak target, improving water security in arid regions is a persistent challenge in global water resources management. Water diversion projects can serve as an important measure to effectively alleviate the uneven distribution of [...] Read more.
In the context of global climate change and the water-carbon peak target, improving water security in arid regions is a persistent challenge in global water resources management. Water diversion projects can serve as an important measure to effectively alleviate the uneven distribution of water resources, achieve rational allocation and efficient utilization of water resources. However, how to achieve the maximization of comprehensive benefits during the process of water allocation is also an urgent problem that needs to be solved. This study focuses on the Middle Route Project of the South to North Water Diversion Project in China, selecting four important municipalities and provinces during 2015 to 2021, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, and Henan Province, based on the actual benefits of the water receiving areas of the middle line project. Nine representative indicators related to social, economic, and ecological benefits were selected to evaluate the optimal combination of water resource allocation in the water receiving areas along the central line, in order to achieve the maximum comprehensive benefits and solve the problems of high water safety guarantee requirements and difficult balanced water distribution in urban agglomerations in the water receiving areas. Through the calculation of the Markovsky theoretical model, the results show that when 79.9% of the water conveyance is used to generate social benefits, 15.8% of the water conveyance is used to generate ecological benefits, and 4.5% of the water conveyance is used to generate economic benefits, the project achieves the maximum comprehensive benefits. This computational model method can be used to provide technical support and scientific reference for the optimal allocation of water resources in cross regional water transfer projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoration Methods and Planning Techniques for River Ecology)
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