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Special Issue "Integrated Management of River Basins: Interaction between Aquatic Ecosystems and Forestry Environment"

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
Prof. Dr. Rui Cortes

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, CITAB - Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Vila Real, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hydrobiology; ecology of inland waters; management of aquatic ecosystems; forestry; river restoration
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fernando A.L. Pacheco

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Chemistry Research Center, Vila Real, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hydrologic modelling at catchment scale; multivariate statistical treatment of hydrologic and water quality data
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Luís Filipe Sanches Fernandes

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, CITAB - Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Vila Real, Portugal
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Without the implementation of mitigating measures such as reducing monoculture or the implementation of buffer zones, silviculture operations can negatively affect stream ecosystems. Such effects on water quality, physical habitats, and stream communities, as well on hydrological changes at the catchment level, have been widely documented. Nevertheless, the increasing role that climate changes and dramatic disturbances such as forest fires or more intense drought periods modify the functioning of the aquatic ecosystems, which is not very well understood. Particularly, wildfires result in a cascade of environmental changes in riparian and stream ecosystems as a consequence of post-fire erosion, snag-fall, and debris flows, and all these impacts require observation from an integrated perspective in the aquatic systems.

Additional scientific support for ameliorative procedures in forest stands is also necessary—specifically the best management practices to reduce the impacts of disturbance, such as the effect of particulate transport and nutrient leaching on running waters and on riparian vegetation—in order to maintain the physical and water quality characteristics of stream ecosystems as well as their inherent biodiversity.

However, the ability to act also implies a definition of rapid survey techniques to monitor these dramatic events, which should be based on proper structural and functional metrics. Moreover, the combined and interrelated influences of multiple parameters demands convenient data treatment techniques and the use of robust models that may allow the prediction of scenarios related to forest management practices at the catchment scale.

The present Special Issue seeks works that discuss integrated assessments of factors that can impact stream water quality, hydromorphology, and biodiversity at the catchment scale and in a changing climate.

Prof. Dr. Rui Cortes
Prof. Dr. Fernando A.L. Pacheco
Prof. Dr. Luís Filipe Sanches Fernandes
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

  • land use
  • forested watershed
  • best management practices
  • modelling
  • deforestation
  • chemical budgets
  • water quality
  • erosion
  • restoration of macroinvertebrate and fish communities

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Groundwater Contamination Risk with Radon Based on Clustering and Structural Models
Water 2019, 11(5), 1107; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051107
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
PDF Full-text (5979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There is currently some controversy in the scientific community regarding the efficiency of the water–rock interaction process in the contamination of radon in groundwater. In this study, some difficulties were found in the sampling phase. Many of the water collection points are used [...] Read more.
There is currently some controversy in the scientific community regarding the efficiency of the water–rock interaction process in the contamination of radon in groundwater. In this study, some difficulties were found in the sampling phase. Many of the water collection points are used for human consumption. As such, some municipalities did not want to collaborate. When this natural contaminant is undetectable to the human sense and may cause pulmonary neoplasms in the long term, it is difficult to obtain collaboration from the municipalities concerned. To overcome this controversy, it is important to understand that geogenic, climatic, hydrological, and topographic features may contribute to the effective transfer of radon from rocks to groundwater. In brief, this new approach combines the radon transfer from the geological substrate to the groundwater circulation through hierarchic agglomerative clustering (HAC) and partial least squares-path modeling (PLS-PM) methods. The results show that some lithologies with higher radon production may not always contribute to noticeable groundwater contamination. In this group, the high-fracturing density confirms the recharge efficiency, and the physical-chemical properties of the hydraulic environment (electric conductivity) plays the main role of radon unavailability in the water intended for human consumption. Besides, the hydraulic turnover time of the springs can be considered an excellent radiological indicator in groundwater. In the absence of an anomalous radioactive source near the surface, it means that the high-turnover time of the springs leads to a low-radon concentration in the water. Besides linking high-risk areas with a short period required to free local flow discharges, this study exposes the virtues of a new perspective of a groundwater contamination risk modeling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Undamming the Douro River Catchment: A Stepwise Approach for Prioritizing Dam Removal
Water 2019, 11(4), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040693
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4050 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dams provide water supply, flood protection, and hydropower generation benefits, but also harm native species by altering the natural flow regime, and degrading the aquatic and riparian habitats. In the present study, which comprised the Douro River basin located in the North of [...] Read more.
Dams provide water supply, flood protection, and hydropower generation benefits, but also harm native species by altering the natural flow regime, and degrading the aquatic and riparian habitats. In the present study, which comprised the Douro River basin located in the North of Portugal, the cost-benefit assessment of dams was based upon a balance between the touristic benefits of a dammed Douro, and the ecological benefits of less fragmented Douro sub-catchments. Focused on four sub-catchments (Sabor, Tâmega, Côa and Corgo), a probabilistic stream connectivity model was developed and implemented to recommend priorities for dam removal, where this action could significantly improve the movement of potadromous fish species along the local streams. The proposed model accounts for fish movement across the dam or weir (permeability), which is a novel issue in connectivity models. However, before any final recommendation on the fate of a dam or weir, the connectivity results will be balanced with other important socio-economic interests. While implementing the connectivity model, an inventory of barriers (dams and weirs) was accomplished through an observation of satellite images. Besides identification and location of any obstacles, the inventory comprised the compilation of data on surrounding land use, reservoir water use, characteristics of the riparian gallery, and permeability conditions for fish, among others. All this information was stored in a geospatial dataset that also included geographical information on the sub-catchment drainage network. The linear (drainage network) and point (barriers) source data were processed in a computer program that provided or returned numbers for inter-barrier stream lengths (habitat), and the barrier permeability. These numbers were finally used in the same computer program to calculate a habitat connector index, and a link improvement index, used to prioritize dam removal based upon structural connectivity criteria. The results showed that habitat patch connectivity in the Sabor, Tâmega and Côa sub-catchments is not dramatically affected by the installed obstacles, because most link improvement values were generally low. For the opposite reason, in the Corgo sub-catchment, obstacles may constitute a relatively higher limitation to connectivity, and in this case the removal of eight obstacles could significantly improve this connectivity. Using the probabilistic model of structural connectivity, it was possible to elaborate a preliminary selection of dams/weirs that critically limit stream connectivity, and that will be the focus of field hydraulic characterization to precisely determine fish movement along the associated river stretches. Future work will also include the implementation of a multi-criteria decision support system for dam removal or mitigation of the critical structures, as well to define exclusion areas for additional obstacles. Full article
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