Special Issue "Challenges and Opportunities in Diatom Research on Environmental Management and Climate Change"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.
Interests: diatoms; limnological processes; species ecology; environmental change; ecological indicators; conservation and management
Interests: diatoms; ecological indicators; metabarcoding; species ecology; rivers and coastal wetlands; track environmental changes
In the Anthropocene, climate change is proving to have considerable environmental consequences for aquatic ecosystems. Diatoms are widely used indicators of human impacts on aquatic ecosystems because they are very responsive to changing environmental conditions. Currently, the most basic “tool” used in biological assessment is diatom indices, which are routinely applied in Europe and other countries around the world. Most biomonitoring methods rely on reference sites, which serve as benchmarks of water quality because they represent the best attainable condition in a region and how biological communities would exist in the presence of minimal human impacts. However, when this scheme was developed, climate change was not the pressing issue it is today. In future, environmental variability is projected to increase as the world becomes warmer so the criteria used to define ecological status will have to be changed to accommodate this ‘natural variability’. For water managers, the key task is to distinguish those changes that are primarily driven by local changes in the environment from those that are driven by regional changes in the climate. However, the projections of anticipated changes will create many opportunities in diatom research to include flexibility and wide tolerances in the design of ecosystem monitoring strategies and lead water bodies to a desirable state.
This Special Issue invites contributions dedicated to elucidating how the new conditions imposed by the changing climate will force a revision of methods and redefinition of environmental targets to accommodate both the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We invite research particularly focusing on the current practices and future requirements regarding the application of diatoms in aquatic ecosystems’ monitoring, assessment, management, and restoration, whether inland or marine waters. Papers integrating the fields of diatom ecology and physiology at different levels of biological organization are welcome.
Dr. Manel Leira
Dr. Rosa Trobajo
Manuscript Submission Information
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- community structure
- natural variation
- indicator values
- ecological condition
- reference condition