Special Issue "Challenges and Opportunities in Diatom Research on Environmental Management and Climate Change"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Manel Leira
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of A Coruña (UDC), A Coruña, Spain
Interests: diatoms; limnological processes; species ecology; environmental change; ecological indicators; conservation and management
Dr. Rosa Trobajo
Guest Editor
Institute of Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (IRTA), Marine and Continental Waters Program, Ctra Poble Nou, Km 5.5, E-43540 Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Catalonia, Spain
Interests: diatoms; ecological indicators; metabarcoding; species ecology; rivers and coastal wetlands; track environmental changes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

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
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.


  • diatoms
  • community structure
  • monitoring
  • natural variation
  • indicator values
  • ecological condition
  • reference condition
  • adaptation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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