Special Issue "Biodiversity and Functionality in Freshwater and Transitional Ecosystems"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Elisa Anna Fano
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari, 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: aquatic ecology; macrozoobenthic communities; ecosystem functioning; river ecology; lagoon ecosystems; ecosystem services; ecosystem management; environmental impacts
Dr. Mattias Gaglio
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari, 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: aquatic ecology; ecosystem functioning; ecosystem services; landscape ecology; ecosystem management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aquatic ecosystems host high levels of biological diversity, which significantly support human life. Unfortunately, the majority of freshwater and transitional ecosystems are experiencing severe impacts caused by human activities and climate change that are threatening their ecological conditions. When effectively conserved, aquatic living communities guarantee ecosystem resilience and the maintenance of relevant ecological processes and functions, such as nutrient and carbon cycling, water quality regulation, trophic resources, etc.

However, the role of biological communities in the regulation of aquatic ecosystem functioning is poorly studied. The understanding of the complex relations between aquatic biota and ecosystem functioning and how aquatic systems respond to environmental changes is of paramount importance to strengthen biological conservation and support human wellbeing.

This Special Issue calls for new insights into the consequences of environmental variations on aquatic biodiversity and ecological functioning, including spatial and temporal dimensions. Contributions may include investigations of freshwater and transitional ecosystems, ranging from headwaters to coastal areas at different scales.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Relations between aquatic biodiversity and ecological functions;
- Biodiversity and ecological functions along environmental gradients;
- Effects of climate change and/or other environmental variations on ecological functions;
- Contribution of aquatic biodiversity and ecological functioning to human wellbeing.

Prof. Dr. Elisa Anna Fano
Dr. Mattias Gaglio
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 1800 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

  • Biodiversity–ecosystem functions relationship
  • Ecosystem functioning
  • Aquatic biota
  • Freshwater ecosystems
  • Transitional ecosystems
  • Environmental gradients
  • Environmental changes
  • Climate change

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Variability in Environmental Conditions Strongly Impacts Ostracod Assemblages of Lowland Springs in a Heavily Anthropized Area
Water 2020, 12(11), 3276; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113276 - 21 Nov 2020
Abstract
The Po river plain (Northern Italy) hosts artificial, lowland springs locally known as fontanili, which provide important ecosystem services in an area dominated by intensive agricultural activities. Here we present a study carried out in 50 springs. Each spring was visited once from [...] Read more.
The Po river plain (Northern Italy) hosts artificial, lowland springs locally known as fontanili, which provide important ecosystem services in an area dominated by intensive agricultural activities. Here we present a study carried out in 50 springs. Each spring was visited once from October 2015 to January 2016. The sampled sites were selected to include springs studied in 2001 and 2004, to evaluate changes in water quality and ostracod assemblages that possibly occurred over a period of 10–15 years, and explore the relationships between ostracod community composition and water physical and chemical variables. Our results showed a decrease in the chemical water quality especially, in springs south of the Po river, evidenced by high nitrate levels. Most of the studied springs showed a relevant decrease in dissolved reactive silica, probably related to recent transformations of either agricultural practices or crop typology. Ostracods were mostly represented by common and tolerant species, and communities were characterized by low alpha diversity and high species turnover. Water temperature and mineralization level were the most influential variables in structuring the ostracod communities. We stress the need to implement conservation and restoration measures for these threatened ecosystems, to regain their role as ecosystem services providers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Extended Ecosystem Model for Understanding EE2 Indirect Effects on a Freshwater Food Web and its Ecosystem Function Resilience
Water 2020, 12(6), 1736; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061736 - 17 Jun 2020
Abstract
Freshwater species are highly impacted by human activities and the consequences on ecosystem functioning are still not well understood. In the literature, a multitrophic perspective appears to be key to advance future biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. This paper aims at studying [...] Read more.
Freshwater species are highly impacted by human activities and the consequences on ecosystem functioning are still not well understood. In the literature, a multitrophic perspective appears to be key to advance future biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. This paper aims at studying indirect effects of the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on a freshwater food web by creating BEF links, through the interpretation of seasonal cycles and multitrophic interactions. An ecosystem model previously developed using experimental data from a unique whole-ecosystem study on EE2 was extended with the addition of Chaoborus, an omnivorous insect. During the experimental study, a collapse of fathead minnow was measured after one year of exposure. The simulation results showed that EE2 indirect effects on other fishes (horizontal diversity) and lower trophic levels (vertical diversity) were connected to multitrophic interactions with a top-down cascade effect. The results also demonstrated that adding an omnivorous, mid-trophic level group such as Chaoborus enhances resilience. Conversely, missing such a species means that the actual resilience of an ecosystem and its functioning cannot be properly simulated. Thus, the extended ecosystem model offers a tool that can help better understand what is happening after environmental perturbations, such as with EE2. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Ecosystem Metabolism in Small Ponds: The Effects of Floating-Leaved Macrophytes
Water 2020, 12(5), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051458 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
Small ponds constitute a significant number of standing water bodies on earth and may contribute to CO2 uptake or release into the atmosphere. Despite their importance, few studies have examined ecosystem metabolism in ponds, especially in ponds that may be dominated by [...] Read more.
Small ponds constitute a significant number of standing water bodies on earth and may contribute to CO2 uptake or release into the atmosphere. Despite their importance, few studies have examined ecosystem metabolism in ponds, especially in ponds that may be dominated by floating-leaved macrophytes. In this study, we examined ecosystem metabolism by measuring changes in dissolved oxygen levels every 10 min from late May through late October for four shallow ponds (0.5–1.5 m) in east-central Minnesota, USA. Ponds had varying levels of floating-leaved macrophytes from sparse (<1% coverage) to abundant (61% coverage). We found significant differences in a number of physical/chemical factors including P, N, DOC, water temperature and light penetration. We also found significant difference in gross primary production (GPP—average ranged from 2.2 to 5.5 mg O2/L/day), respiration (R—average ranged from −6.8 to −3.6 mg O2/L/day) and net ecosystem production (NEP—average ranged from −1.5 to −0.1 mg O2/L/day) among the ponds. On average, all of the ponds were heterotrophic (R > GPP). While it appeared that floating-leaved macrophytes provided a significant impact on ecosystem metabolism, there was not a one-to-one correspondence between the amount of macrophytes and the level of ecosystem metabolism. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
The Ecological Importance of Amphipod–Parasite Associations for Aquatic Ecosystems
Water 2020, 12(9), 2429; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092429 - 29 Aug 2020
Abstract
Amphipods are a key component of aquatic ecosystems due to their distribution, abundance and ecological role. They also serve as hosts for many micro- and macro-parasites. The importance of parasites and the necessity to include them in ecological studies has been increasingly recognized [...] Read more.
Amphipods are a key component of aquatic ecosystems due to their distribution, abundance and ecological role. They also serve as hosts for many micro- and macro-parasites. The importance of parasites and the necessity to include them in ecological studies has been increasingly recognized in the last two decades by ecologists and conservation biologists. Parasites are able to alter survival, growth, feeding, mobility, mating, fecundity and stressors’ response of their amphipod hosts. In addition to their modulating effects on host population size and dynamics, parasites affect community structure and food webs in different ways: by increasing the susceptibility of amphipods to predation, by quantitatively and qualitatively changing the host diet, and by modifying competitive interactions. Human-induced stressors such as climate change, pollution and species introduction that affect host–parasite equilibrium, may enhance or reduce the infection effects on hosts and ecosystems. The present review illustrates the importance of parasites for ecosystem processes using examples from aquatic environments and amphipods as a host group. As seen from the literature, amphipod–parasite systems are likely a key component of ecological processes, but more quantitative data from natural populations and field evidence are necessary to support the results obtained by experimental research. Full article
Back to TopTop