Special Issue "Inland Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 6777
Status Update: The submission deadline has been updated to 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Assist. Prof. Manuela Morais
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Évora/Instituto de Ciências da Terra, Rua Romão Ramalho, 59, 7002–554 Évora, Portugal
Interests: limnology; intermittent streams; bioindicators; macroinvertebrates; ecosystem services; mitigation measures; restoration solutions
Dr. Maria Helena Novais
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Évora, 7000-671 Evora, Portugal
Interests: freshwater ecology; diatoms; temporary rivers; taxonomy; water-energy nexus
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Inland aquatic ecosystems comprise natural and manmade water bodies, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, floodplains, reservoirs, and irrigation channels, among others. These systems are subject to a variety of anthropogenic threats worldwide, and some of them are already irreversibly damaged. So far, human activities and disturbances, including inappropriate land use practices, pollution, basin disturbances, invasive species, and climate change, have fragmented aquatic habitats, disrupting the natural functioning of both physical and ecological processes and degrading biodiversity and water quality. Nevertheless, it is recognized that these ecosystems are a biodiversity hotspot which supports almost 10% of all species, while also providing numerous economic benefits to society.

At a global scale, the current broad policy landscape, such as the EU Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive, among others, imply that sustainable management requires integrated solutions to manage aquatic ecosystems as truly social-ecological systems.

This Special issue will address different actions that lead to the conservation of these ecosystems. Therefore, we invite papers focusing on the improvement of knowledge, the disclosure of effective practices to mitigate the anthropogenic threats, and the proposal of restoration solutions to enhance the resilience of aquatic ecosystems and contribute to aquatic biodiversity, as well as to ensure the ongoing provision of ecosystem services.

Assist. Prof. Manuela Morais
Dr. Maria Helena Novais
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • anthropogenic threats
  • aquatic biodiversity
  • ecosystem services
  • mitigation measures
  • restoration solutions

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Bacterial Microbiomes in the Sediments of Lotic Systems Ecologic Drivers and Role: A Case Study from the Mureş River, Transylvania, Romania
Water 2021, 13(24), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243518 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
Numerous sections of the Mureş River vary in terms of the abundance of nitrates, ammonia, and orthophosphates; and of correlated lotic sediment bacterial microbiome structures in terms of both diversity and abundance. This highlights the great versatility of microbiomes in being influenced by [...] Read more.
Numerous sections of the Mureş River vary in terms of the abundance of nitrates, ammonia, and orthophosphates; and of correlated lotic sediment bacterial microbiome structures in terms of both diversity and abundance. This highlights the great versatility of microbiomes in being influenced by the physical-chemical characteristics of environments and their spatial changes. Bacteria microbiomes exhibit dynamic and shifting potential and significant tendencies toward self-organization and self-adaptation. These typical features represent an essential ecologic basis for lotic systems having to do with the use and reuse of various kinds of environmental resource as chemical substances. In this respect, trophic processes assure the river ecosystem optimum health ecologic status dynamic and trend, to be reached. The flexibility of shifting bacterial microbiomes is crucial in maintaining this ecological context’s vital role in biogeochemically sustaining other taxonomic groups, which are spatially and temporally continuous. This is especially important for nutrient cycle processes, even for rivers with high levels of negative human impact, in promoting a functional lotic system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inland Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation)
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Article
Some Observations on Phytoplankton Community Structure, Dynamics and Their Relationship to Water Quality in Five Santiago Island Reservoirs, Cape Verde
Water 2021, 13(20), 2888; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202888 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 820
Abstract
Reservoirs provide valuable services to human beings, especially in arid, semi-arid, and Mediterranean regions affected by water scarcity. The present effort aims to study the environmental descriptors of variation and the main factors influencing phytoplankton composition, structure, and diversity in five reservoirs in [...] Read more.
Reservoirs provide valuable services to human beings, especially in arid, semi-arid, and Mediterranean regions affected by water scarcity. The present effort aims to study the environmental descriptors of variation and the main factors influencing phytoplankton composition, structure, and diversity in five reservoirs in Santiago Island, Cape Verde, a region affected by water availability. Five campaigns took place from 2016 to 2020 to sample phytoplankton and measure environmental variables according to standard analytical methodologies. Environmental results (17 water physicochemical variables, air temperature, and precipitation) revealed that reservoirs differ in the geological influence variables. The high levels of P and N in water seem to be related to Land Use/Land Cover and are responsible for water-quality degradation. Cyanobacteria dominated the phytoplankton community and posed high risk levels, especially considering that the identified taxa are potential producers of different toxins. Taxa responsible for this dominance were not the same in all reservoirs, emphasizing the dominant role of local habitat factors on community composition and diversity. Overall, the results reveal the importance of defining integrated management plans/strategies for the set of five studied reservoirs, since the processes influencing variation in the phytoplankton community are temporal-scale dependent, with similar biogeographic patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inland Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation)
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Article
Estimation of the Average Retention Time of Precipitation at the Surface of a Catchment Area for Lake Biwa
Water 2021, 13(12), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121711 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
In a lake catchment system, we analyzed the lake water-level responses to precipitation. Moreover, we identified the average precipitation retention time—due to subsurface flows—from the delay time calculated using the response function with data of water level and catchment precipitation (both rainfall and [...] Read more.
In a lake catchment system, we analyzed the lake water-level responses to precipitation. Moreover, we identified the average precipitation retention time—due to subsurface flows—from the delay time calculated using the response function with data of water level and catchment precipitation (both rainfall and snowfall) collected over 30 years of continuous observations of Lake Biwa, Japan. We focused on the snow reserves and the water-level response delay due to the snowmelt of Lake Biwa catchment. We concluded that the average precipitation retention time of the catchment subsurface flow (i.e., above the impermeable layer) in Lake Biwa was approximately 45 days. Additionally, the precipitation retention time during snowmelt was shorter than that during the dry season. Overall, the shape of the response function reflects the lake system. This knowledge improves the understanding of lake systems and can be helpful for lake resource managers. Furthermore, finding the delay time from the response function may be useful for determining the contribution of rainfall to increasing the water levels of other lakes. Therefore, our results can contribute to the development of management strategies to address inland aquatic ecosystems and conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inland Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation)
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Article
Water Security and River Basin Revitalization of the São Francisco River Basin: A Symbiotic Relationship
Water 2021, 13(7), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070907 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1129
Abstract
What is river basin revitalization’s place in relation to water security? This question is the basis of our reflection, posed to help in the understanding of the evolution of both concepts, taking management of the São Francisco River Basin (Brazil) as a case [...] Read more.
What is river basin revitalization’s place in relation to water security? This question is the basis of our reflection, posed to help in the understanding of the evolution of both concepts, taking management of the São Francisco River Basin (Brazil) as a case study. With this main objective in mind, a literature review was carried out, followed by the collection of survey data on the watershed’s revitalization program. In this context, the members of the São Francisco River Basin Committee (a total of 124 participants) were consulted, using questionnaires with the Delphi method. The respondents (a total of 47) chose the river basin revitalization strategy as the main measure to achieving water security in the São Francisco River Basin. They also highlighted the importance of the environmental dimension, underlining measures for conservation and restoration of the ecosystem’s natural functions. The concept map tool was adopted for a comparative perspective between conceptual implications of revitalization and water security for the studied river basin’s conservation. The results showed the existence of a symbiotic relationship between both concepts. Consequently, we conclude that it is urgent to reconcile water use and ecosystem ecological integrity through the comprehensive concept of water security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inland Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation)
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Article
Variation of Diatoms at Different Scales in the Brazilian Pantanal Basin
Water 2021, 13(6), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060823 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
(1) Background: We analyzed the diatom community structure of the surface sediments, in three permanent ponds in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to better understand how biota in these aquatic environments depend on structural connectivity and functional connectivity: (2) Methods: Ten samples [...] Read more.
(1) Background: We analyzed the diatom community structure of the surface sediments, in three permanent ponds in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to better understand how biota in these aquatic environments depend on structural connectivity and functional connectivity: (2) Methods: Ten samples sites were established in each pond, water and the sediment were taken during the flood period. Abiotic–biotic variables were determined and standardized; (3) Results: The three ponds presented acidic water and high concentration of nitrogen, with the highest acidity for Ferradura Pond (P1) and the highest trophic status index for Burro Pond (P2), but the greatest environmental variations occurred in Caracará Pond (P3). The variation in diversity between sites in the same pond is what contributes the most to gamma diversity. The most abundant species was Aulacoseiraitalica (Ehrenberg) Simonsen and the genus Eunotia Ehrenberg was the most representative in species. Ferradura Pond, there was a relationship between compositional and environmental dissimilarities with geographic distance, but there was no independent. Burro Pond, the relationship the compositional variation with environmental variables was not significant. Caracará Pond, there was a relationship of compositional dissimilarity both with geographical distance and with environmental; (4) Conclusions: The set of results suggests that the mechanisms that determine the metacommunity of each pond are different and that the environmental conditions and dispersion influenced the structure and composition. Since, diatom species were different between ponds, and ponds more eutrophic showed less diversity. The pH and oligotrophy were the main factors to maintain the greatest diversity of species of the genus Eunotia and the greatest abundance of Aulacoseira italica. Knowing the dynamics and structure of diatoms, which are at the beginning of the food chain, is essential for conserving, maintaining, or rehabilitating wetland ecosystems, such as the Pantanal, which is part La Plata river basin, which represents the second largest surface for water resources in South America and the Guarani Aquifer System, the biggest unified groundwater aquifer in the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inland Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation)
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