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Special Issue "Human-Induced Changes to Aquatic Communities: Monitoring and Ecological Restoration"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 September 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrés Millán

Universidad de Murcia, Departamento de Ecología e Hidrología, Murcia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ecology and conservation of aquatic ecosystems; mediterranean saline systems; biodiversity of aquatic coleopteran and hemiptera
Guest Editor
Dr. Daniel Bruno

Department of Biodiversity and Restoration, Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: aquatic ecosystems; freshwater biodiversity; riparian ecology; river restoration; ecosystem functioning; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Freshwater ecosystems have experienced intense, multiple and long-standing human pressures that have caused damage to aquatic and riparian biodiversity and contributed to their being considered one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. The main anthropogenic impacts are caused by activities such as water overexploitation, channelization, flow regulation, riparian deforestation, agricultural and urban pollution and the spread of non-native species. In the last decades, different biomonitoring schemes have been applied to detect the biological responses of aquatic and riparian communities and determine the ecological status of inland waters. Based on this information, management and restoration actions have been developed to try to reverse this environmental degradation. However, how aquatic communities respond to multiple anthropogenic impacts and especially to restoration actions is still poorly understood. This Special Issue aims to compile experiences of the biomonitoring of impacted and restored inland water ecosystems around the world to gain insight into human-induced changes to freshwater communities in a framework of global change and identify effective restoration actions to recover them.

Dr. Andrés Millán
Dr. Daniel Bruno
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 1600 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

  • aquatic biodiversity
  • biomonitoring
  • environmental management
  • freshwater ecology
  • global change
  • human impacts
  • restoration actions

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Taxonomic and Functional Responses of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities to Hydrological and Water Quality Variations in a Heavily Regulated River
Water 2019, 11(7), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071478
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Aquatic macroinvertebrates are frequently used to evaluate river system conditions and restoration project performance. A better understanding of macroinvertebrate community responses to multiple stressors is a primary challenge for river science. In this paper, macroinvertebrate responses to hydrological and water quality variability were [...] Read more.
Aquatic macroinvertebrates are frequently used to evaluate river system conditions and restoration project performance. A better understanding of macroinvertebrate community responses to multiple stressors is a primary challenge for river science. In this paper, macroinvertebrate responses to hydrological and water quality variability were studied in the regulated Oglio River (northern Italy). We hypothesized that in regulated rivers the hydrological, rather than the physico-chemical conditions, would affect macroinvertebrate communities and biomonitoring tools (taxonomic metrics and functional indices). Repeated sampling (six times a year) was performed at four sites downstream of four dams in a 30 km river stretch during 2014 and 2015. Data were analysed using a linear mixed effect framework, to take into account random variation due to site and sampling date, and with multivariate analysis to track changes in community structure. A total of 69 families and 134,693 organisms were identified. The investigated metrics were mainly affected by the coefficient of variation of discharge, minimum discharge, ammonium, and temperature. The short-term dynamics of hydrological and physico-chemical variables were generally less important than the overall random effects as drivers of macroinvertebrate-based metrics. However, the relevance of a random effect (site, time, their interaction) differed depending on the biological metrics analysed. Understanding potential differences in response to short term and short stretch conditions would benefit biomonitoring and restoration procedures in both regulated and natural rivers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of River Ecological Restoration on Biofilm Microbial Community Composition
Water 2019, 11(6), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061244
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Across the world, there have been increasing attempts to restore good ecological condition to degraded rivers through habitat restoration. Microbial communities developing as biofilms play an important role in river ecosystem functioning by driving organic matter decomposition and ecosystem respiration. However, little is [...] Read more.
Across the world, there have been increasing attempts to restore good ecological condition to degraded rivers through habitat restoration. Microbial communities developing as biofilms play an important role in river ecosystem functioning by driving organic matter decomposition and ecosystem respiration. However, little is known about the structure and function of microbial communities in riverine systems and how these change when habitat restoration is implemented. Here, we compared the biofilm bacterial community composition using 16S rRNA genes targeted high-throughput Illumina Miseq sequencing in three river types, degraded urban rivers, urban rivers undergoing habitat restoration and forested rivers (our reference conditions). We aimed to determine: (i) the biofilm bacterial community composition affected by habitat restoration (ii) the difference in bacterial diversity in restored rivers, and (iii) correlations between environmental variables and bacterial community composition. The results showed that both water quality and biofilm bacterial community structure were changed by habitat restoration. In rivers where habitat had been restored, there was an increase in dissolved oxygen, a reduction in organic pollutants, a reduction in bacterial diversity and a related developing pattern of microbial communities, which is moving towards that of the reference conditions (forested rivers). River habitat management stimulated the processing of organic pollutants through the variation in microbial community composition, however, a big difference in bacterial structure still existed between the restored rivers and the reference forest rivers. Thus, habitat restoration is an efficient way of modifying the biofilm microbial community composition for sustainable freshwater management. It will, however, take a much longer time for degraded rivers to attain a similar ecosystem quality as the “pristine” forest sites than the seven years of restoration studied here. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Ecological Health Assessment of a Restored Urban Stream Based on Chemical Water Quality, Physical Habitat Conditions and Biological Integrity
Water 2019, 11(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010114
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We studied the chemical water quality, physical habitat and biotic integrity of an urban stream subjected to restoration measures in South Korea. We used the water pollution index (WPI), qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI) and index of biotic integrity (IBI) on the water [...] Read more.
We studied the chemical water quality, physical habitat and biotic integrity of an urban stream subjected to restoration measures in South Korea. We used the water pollution index (WPI), qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI) and index of biotic integrity (IBI) on the water quality, physical habitat and fish assemblage data respectively, during 2007–2016 in Gap Stream to evaluate the ecological health before and after restoration measures. The results revealed annual mean total phosphorus (TP) dramatically decreased by 13-fold for 10 years and the values of biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) also decreased by >50% over the time, indicating decrease in nutrient enrichment and organic matter pollution after restoration measures. In the meantime, biological health analyses using IBI indicated no major transformation in fish assemblages under restoration impact. However, the proportion of sensitive species increased, and tolerant species decreased after restoration. Gap stream is home to 50 distinct fish species. QHEI proposed that the physical habitat health was in ‘good’ condition during the study period. WPI showed the chemical water quality status remained ‘poor’ during and before restoration but improved to ‘fair-good’ condition in the ensuing years after restoration. The IBI results, however, indicated ‘very poor-poor’ biotic integrity irrespective of restoration measures. CHL-a and TP showed strong (r < 0.7) to moderately strong (r = 0.5–0.7) correlation with significantly important water quality factors. Spatially significant pattern change in TN and TP was obvious as measured levels were significantly higher (p < 0.01) in downstream than upstream. Principal component analysis successfully indicated the placement of water quality factors and indices used as in three distinct stream compartments. The higher pollutant levels in the downstream mainly linked to the nutrient-rich effluents from emerging from the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and industrial complexes operative in the stream catchment. Overall, restoration measures indicated minor impact on fish assemblages and physical habitat due to slow and steady improvement, however, water quality improved due to a decline of nutrients and chemicals downstream. This indicated a positive tendency of improvements in physical habitat and richness of fish assemblages in Gap Stream. Full article
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