Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Monitoring and Conservation

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 (31 May 2024) | Viewed by 2285

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: wetlands; rivers; lakes; environmental parameters; macrophytes; macroinvertebrates; diatoms
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known that the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems has suffered heavily decline in recent decades. Although, we are aware of these processes, further decreases in valuable ecosystems and the biodiversity therein are occurring in our neighbourhoods. Aquatic ecosystems are some of the fastest disappearing habitats on Earth. Various human pressures on aquatic ecosystems have posed a permanent threat despite the regulations and numerous attempts to protect them. However, the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity is not just our obligation to future generations but also a strategic issue that can influence our quality of living. With reduced biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems, their resilience decreases and vulnerability to various pressures increases. Their self-purifying capacity and ability to mitigate extreme events, such as floods, are also reduced. The consequences of climate changes also include altered hydrological regimes of superficial and underground freshwaters, which can fatally influence the citizens living in their catchment areas. The conservation of biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems depends on their suitable management, which could also solve several issues on flood risk mitigation and drinking water supply. We would like to gather contributions dealing with different aspects of biodiversity of freshwaters and including suggestions for their proper management to reach conservation goals and enhance human well-being at the same time.  

Dr. Igor Zelnik
Prof. Dr. Mateja Germ
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • rivers
  • lakes
  • wetlands
  • springs
  • streams
  • groundwater
  • ponds
  • macrophytes
  • macroinvertebrates
  • diatoms
  • algae

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 2627 KiB  
Article
Testing 16S Primers for Proper Identification of Cyanobacterial Communities in Small Water Bodies
by Łukasz Łach, Nataliia Khomutovska, Jan Kwiatowski and Iwona Jasser
Water 2024, 16(10), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16101357 - 10 May 2024
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Abstract
The majority of investigations on microbial communities from various environments are presently built on culture-independent methods. Many studies point to the pivotal, selective role of primers targeting hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA in the metabarcoding of bacteria, including cyanobacterial communities. The selectivity of [...] Read more.
The majority of investigations on microbial communities from various environments are presently built on culture-independent methods. Many studies point to the pivotal, selective role of primers targeting hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA in the metabarcoding of bacteria, including cyanobacterial communities. The selectivity of primers designed to amplify targeted regions of the 16S rRNA gene, which has been highlighted by many authors, limited effective amplification. Moreover, the type and specificity of the studied material can also negatively influence the results of 16S metabarcoding. Most of the studies of cyanobacterial communities have been performed for planktonic microbial communities that are often represented by common, well-studied species. In this study, we present the results of 16S metabarcoding analysis using three primer pairs—two already well-known and a third designed in this study—that amplify divergent regions of the 16S rRNA gene (V3–V4, V4–V6, V6) for benthic, microbial mat-forming cyanobacteria communities. Such communities can be a source of toxigenic cyanobacterial taxa and should be monitored with adequate primers. The comparison of three primer pairs suggested that those designed within the present study describe the structure and composition of highly heterogeneous cyanobacterial mats’ communities better than the others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Monitoring and Conservation)
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12 pages, 1850 KiB  
Article
Cladocera and Geochemical Variables from Core Sediments Show Different Conditions of Hungarian Lakes
by István Gyulai, János Korponai, Sheila Mumbi A. Wamugi, Jázmin Jakab, Umar Abba Kawu, Andor G. Soltész, Tamás Karches and Uyanga Tumurtogoo
Water 2024, 16(9), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16091310 - 5 May 2024
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Abstract
Studies on the sediments of lakes with varying trophic status are of particular importance when considering changes in the natural environment. In this study, our objective was to examine subfossil remains of Cladocera species and the relationship between the sedimental Cladocera assemblages and [...] Read more.
Studies on the sediments of lakes with varying trophic status are of particular importance when considering changes in the natural environment. In this study, our objective was to examine subfossil remains of Cladocera species and the relationship between the sedimental Cladocera assemblages and geochemical variables during 11 years of sediment records from northern Hungarian lakes. To achieve this, we compared sedimental cladoceran communities and the geochemistry of the sediment layers among lakes. Among the studied lakes, one was an intermittent lake (KMT: the Kis-Morotva Lake) which dried out in 2012 but was subsequently naturally refilled in 2013 by groundwater affected by the high-water level of the River Tisza. The other type consisted of permanent lakes (SZA: the Szabolcs oxbow lake, TI: the Timár Morotva Lake) that never dried out. The results of the beta diversity analysis show that the deposition of Cladocera communities was similar among the sediment layers of lakes, while the abundance differences contributed significantly to replacement. Subsequently, core sediment samples of the three lakes were compared based on the remains of Cladocera communities and geochemical variables using Adonis (PERMANOVA). The core sediment samples indicate variations in Cladocera communities alongside disparities in geochemical variables across the same lakes. In conclusion, the significance of sediment cores containing the remains of the Cladocera community has grown significantly in the reconstruction of historical ecological and climatic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Monitoring and Conservation)
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19 pages, 2702 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Macrophytes and Macroinvertebrates in Different Types of Standing Waters in the Drava Field
by Mateja Germ, Žiga Tertinek and Igor Zelnik
Water 2024, 16(8), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16081130 - 16 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The diversity of macrophytes and macroinvertebrates in small standing waters of different origins and characteristics was investigated. This survey covered 19 ponds in the Drava field in northeastern Slovenia. The influence of the macrophytes on the macroinvertebrates was investigated and the main environmental [...] Read more.
The diversity of macrophytes and macroinvertebrates in small standing waters of different origins and characteristics was investigated. This survey covered 19 ponds in the Drava field in northeastern Slovenia. The influence of the macrophytes on the macroinvertebrates was investigated and the main environmental factors that had the most significant influence on the composition of the two communities were identified. Sixty-seven taxa of macrophytes and seventy-three families of macroinvertebrates were identified. We found that a diverse macrophyte community has a positive effect on the macroinvertebrate community. In contrast, the dominance of a single macrophyte species has a strong negative influence on the richness of the macroinvertebrate community. The taxonomic richness and abundance of the macroinvertebrate community in the natural ponds was statistically significantly higher than that in artificial ponds. The significant differences in the environmental characteristics between the natural and artificial ponds, such as the macrophyte cover, conductivity, and riparian zone width, may account for these differences. Our study suggests that a greater diversity of macrophyte and macroinvertebrate communities in natural ponds is enabled by abundant but diverse macrophyte cover, low phosphorus content, and wide riparian zones, which require appropriate management of ponds and their catchments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Monitoring and Conservation)
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