The Impact of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Activities on Watershed Eco-Hydrology

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 9356

Special Issue Editors

College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Interests: drought; extreme climate; eco-hydrology; hydrological simulation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Urban & Environmental Science, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
Interests: vegetation dynamics; extreme climate; water balance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change and extreme events such as drought, flood, and heat waves are the most notable factors influencing the water cycle and vegetation at the watershed scale. Not only does precipitation variability interfere with the water cycle, but evapotranspiration change induced by global warming and vegetation cover alternation also results in significant changes in the hydrological process. Anthropogenic impact is another major factor influencing the quantity and quality of water resources by disturbing the eco-hydrological process. With the population and urbanization growth, irrigation, soil and water conservation projects, industrial and domestic water extraction, and water regulations can profoundly alter the hydrological process.

This Special Issue aims to address new research on the topic of eco-hydrological response under climate change and anthropogenic impact using either statistical analysis or hydrological models. The application of new approaches such as deep learning methods and multiple-source data analysis is especially encouraged. Scenario simulation about future hydrological process variability under climate change, human-induced vegetation change, or anthropogenic activities is also welcome in this Special Issue.

This Special Issue of Water invites papers related to the subject of “Response of Watershed Eco-Hydrological Processes to Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact”. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Hydrological process change variability detection
  • Coupled simulation of ecology and hydrology
  • Vegetation response to climate change or extreme events
  • Hydrological response to extreme weather
  • Application of multi-data remote sensing on watershed eco-hydrology
  • Response of vegetation to floods and droughts
  • Impact of irrigation practices on ecosystems and environment
  • Remote-sensing-based eco-hydrology process modeling

Dr. Xuan Zhang
Dr. Xiran Li
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • extreme events
  • hydrological simulation
  • eco-hydrological process
  • vegetation dynamics
  • watershed hydrology
  • anthropogenic impact
  • multi-source data analysis
  • machine learning and deep learning

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 17171 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Dynamics of Modern Glaciers of the Mt. Munkhkhairkhan (Mongolian Altai) and Climate
by Otgonbayar Demberel, Bayarmaa Munkhbat, Batsuren Dorjsuren, Terry V. Callaghan, Bilguun Tsogoo, Valery A. Zemtsov, Otgontuya Shaarav, Erdenechimeg Gongor, Zolbayar Jargalsaikhan, Nemekhbayar Ganhuyag, Aldynay O. Khovalyg and Sergey N. Kirpotin
Water 2023, 15(10), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101921 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1697
Abstract
Mt. Munkhkhairkhan is the most crucial region for understanding climate and glaciation changes in Mongolia. This study investigated the relationship between glacial area changes and the climate elements of Mt. Munkhkhairkhan in the Mongolian-Altai Mountains using a remote sensing approach, in-situ observations, the [...] Read more.
Mt. Munkhkhairkhan is the most crucial region for understanding climate and glaciation changes in Mongolia. This study investigated the relationship between glacial area changes and the climate elements of Mt. Munkhkhairkhan in the Mongolian-Altai Mountains using a remote sensing approach, in-situ observations, the Mann–Kendall (MK) test, Innovative Trend Analysis Method (ITAM), Sen’s slope estimator test, and statistical analysis. The study results showed that for the last 30 years, the annual average air temperature of Mt. Munkhkhairkhan has been slightly increasing. Total annual precipitation (mainly snow) in the mountain area decreased from 1990 to 2000, but since 2000, a significant increase in precipitation levels has appeared. For the last 30 years, the glacial area has decreased by 32% to 11.7 km2. Multiple regression results showed a strong correlation between Temperature, Precipitation, and Glaciers (Multiple R = 0.69, R2 = 0.48). Ruther indicated that Temperature (t = −2.332, p = 0.036) and Precipitation (t = −3.212, p = 0.007) were significant predictors in the model. Air temperature and precipitation explained 48 percent of the change in the glacier area, and R = 0.69 is a strong correlation. The glaciers and snow area in the study area have changed due to climate warming and precipitation changes and are located in arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia. This study of Mt. Munkhairkhan shows that climate change significantly impacts glaciers and snow. Full article
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18 pages, 3187 KiB  
Article
Methodological Framework for Assessing Hydromorphological Conditions of Heavily Modified and Artificial River Water Bodies in Croatia
by Katarina Pavlek, Mladen Plantak, Ivan Martinić, Karlo Vinković, Ivan Vučković and Ivan Čanjevac
Water 2023, 15(6), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061113 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
Water Framework Directive (WFD) guidance documents from 2019 provide a comprehensive review of methods and guidelines to improve the comparability of heavily modified water bodies (HMWBs) in the European Union. However, there is currently no common, single methodology for monitoring HMWBs and artificial [...] Read more.
Water Framework Directive (WFD) guidance documents from 2019 provide a comprehensive review of methods and guidelines to improve the comparability of heavily modified water bodies (HMWBs) in the European Union. However, there is currently no common, single methodology for monitoring HMWBs and artificial water bodies (AWBs) or for determining maximum (MEP) and good ecological potential (GEP). This study presents the first assessment of hydromorphological conditions of HMWBs and AWBs in Croatia based on type-specific indicators. The typology of HMWBs and AWBs was based on distinct hydromorphological characteristics and modifications in order to be easily related to the uses of the water bodies. The classes of hydromorphological potential were graded from the theoretical MEP, which was determined by the score scale as the tolerated deviation from natural reference conditions, considering potential mitigation measures. The use of the water body and/or the effects on the wider environment were considered while determining MEP and choosing indicators included in monitoring and assessment. In the case of AWBs, the parameters dependent on natural reference conditions, which are non-existent, were omitted from the assessment. Only 27% of HMWBs and 2 out of 51 AWBs achieved good potential for all three hydromorphological elements. The most significant hydromorphological modifications include channelization, straightening, deepening and removal of riparian vegetation due to flood-protection management practices. In order to achieve the environmental objectives set out by the WFD, the Croatian water management system has to start implementing mitigation measures, especially related to natural flood management. Full article
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19 pages, 9768 KiB  
Article
Multi-Remote Sensing Data Analysis for Identifying the Impact of Human Activities on Water-Related Ecosystem Services in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, China
by Yifan Wu, Yang Xu, Xuan Zhang, Chong Li and Fanghua Hao
Water 2023, 15(5), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15050915 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1514
Abstract
The ecosystem service (ES) is the basis for human lives, and is also one of the criteria for evaluating environmental conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how human activities would affect the ESs under the rapid urbanization and social-economic development phenomena. This [...] Read more.
The ecosystem service (ES) is the basis for human lives, and is also one of the criteria for evaluating environmental conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how human activities would affect the ESs under the rapid urbanization and social-economic development phenomena. This study selected four vital important water-related ESs, including the water yield, soil retention, water purification, and net primary productivity (NPP), to detect how the structure and function of ecosystems had changed in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) from 1999–2018, by applying multi-remote sensing methods. The results show that: though the YREB has experienced rapid urbanization during the study period, the integrated ecosystem services value (ESV) did not present a significant change trend, and the average integrated (ESV) is 5.06 × 1012 yuan. The 20-year average water yield, soil retention, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and NPP of the YREB are 1.378 × 1012 m3; 6.35 × 1010 t, 2.92 × 105 t, 6.89 × 104 t, 1.55 × 1015 gC, respectively. Most provinces and cities present a weak negative correlation between human activities and the integrated ESV, while human activities show more than 50% attribution weights on ESV change, especially in three urban agglomeration areas. Moreover, the NPP has been found not to be mainly affected by human activities, which may stress the irreplaceable effects of climate change and other environmental protection actions. These findings emphasize that it is crucial to regulate human activities to guarantee ecosystem health and ESs in the future. Full article
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18 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
Land-Use and Land Cover Is Driving Factor of Runoff Yield: Evidence from A Remote Sensing-Based Runoff Generation Simulation
by Chaowei Xu, Hao Fu, Jiashuai Yang and Chan Gao
Water 2022, 14(18), 2854; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182854 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1949
Abstract
The spatial distribution of water storage capacity has always been the critical content of the study of saturation-excess runoff. Xin’anjiang model uses the water storage capacity curve (WSCC) to characterize the distribution of water storage capacity for runoff yield calculation. However, the mathematical [...] Read more.
The spatial distribution of water storage capacity has always been the critical content of the study of saturation-excess runoff. Xin’anjiang model uses the water storage capacity curve (WSCC) to characterize the distribution of water storage capacity for runoff yield calculation. However, the mathematical and physical foundations of WSCC are unclear, which is impossible to simulate runoff generation with complex basins accurately. To fill this gap, we considered the dominant role of basin physical characteristics in water storage capacity and developed a new integrated approach to solve the spatial distribution of water storage capacity (L-WSCC) to account for the spatiotemporal dynamics of their impact on runoff generation. The main contribution of L-WSCC was to confer WSCC more physical meaning and the spatial distribution of water storage capacity was explicitly represented more accurately, so as to better express the runoff generation and provide a new approach for runoff yield calculation in non-data basin. L-WSCC was applied to Misai basin in China and promising results had been achieved, which verified the rationality of the method (the mean Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE):0.86 and 0.82 in daily and hourly scale, respectively). Compared with WSCC, the performance of L-WSCC was improved (mean NSE: 0.82 > 0.78, mean absolute value of flood peak error (PE): 12.74% < 21.66%). Moreover, the results of local sensitivity analyses demonstrated that land-use and land cover was the major driving factor of runoff yield (the change of mean absolute error (ΔMAE): 131.38%). This work was significant for understanding the mechanisms of runoff generation, which can be used for hydrological environmental management and land-use planning. Full article
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19 pages, 3834 KiB  
Article
Identifying Spatial Patterns of Hydrologic Drought over the Southeast US Using Retrospective National Water Model Simulations
by Jamie Dyer, Andrew Mercer and Krzysztof Raczyński
Water 2022, 14(10), 1525; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14101525 - 10 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Given the sensitivity of natural environments to freshwater availability in the Southeast US, as well as the reliance of many municipal and commercial water consumers on surface water supplies, specific issues related to low river streamflow are apparent. As a result, the need [...] Read more.
Given the sensitivity of natural environments to freshwater availability in the Southeast US, as well as the reliance of many municipal and commercial water consumers on surface water supplies, specific issues related to low river streamflow are apparent. As a result, the need for quantifying the spatial distribution, frequency, and intensity of low flow events (a.k.a., hydrologic drought) is critical to define areas most susceptible to water shortages and subsequent environmental and societal risk. To that end, daily mean discharge values from the National Water Model (NWM) retrospective data (v. 2.0) are used to assess low flow frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution within the Southeast US. Low flow events are defined using the US EPA 7Q10 approach, based on the flow duration curve (FDC) developed using a 1993–2018 period of record. Results reflect the general climatological patterns of the region, with a higher probability of low flow events occurring during the warm season (June–August) while low flow events in the cool season (January–March) are generally less common and have a higher average discharge. Spatial analysis shows substantial regional variability, with an area from southeastern Mississippi through central South Carolina showing higher low flow event frequency during the cool season. This same area is also highlighted in the warm season, albeit along a more expansive area from central Alabama into the piedmont region of North Carolina. Results indicate that the NWM retrospective data are able to show general patterns of hydrologic drought across the Southeast US, although local-scale assessment is limited due to potential issues associated with infiltration and runoff during periods of warm-season convective rainfall. Full article
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