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Special Issue "Tropical Wetlands in a Changing World: Current Status and Future Perspectives"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Salvador Sánchez-Carrillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
Interests: wetlands; ecology; aquatic biogeochemistry; global change; ecosystem functioning
Dr. Martín Merino-Ibarra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México (UNAM), Mexico
Interests: aquatic biogeochemistry; nutrient dynamics; global change; ecosystem functioning; eutrophication
Dr. Javier Alcocer-Durand
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México (UNAM), Mexico.
Interests: wetlands; tropical limnology; water quality; global change; conservation biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tropical wetlands are recognized for providing numerous environmental services and critical ecological functions at several landscape scales that are important from local to global scales. However, these functional processes are not well known and represent a missing link in global ecological and biogeochemical models. There are considerable uncertainties regarding the global spatial extent of tropical wetlands, the relative distribution of wetland types, and their environmental status. It is assumed that tropical wetlands are under considerable environmental pressure from global change, including hydrological disruption, eutrophication, urban pollution, desiccation, biodiversity loss, deforestation, agricultural, and aquaculture conversion but their effects have rarely been quantified. This Special Issue is focused on recent ecological research on status and the main environmental impacts threatening the vulnerability of tropical wetlands in the twenty-first century. The main goals are to determine how the different environmental impacts are addressing the disturbance of tropical wetlands and their resilience, how these altered systems contribute to the loss of important environmental services, and how they can be conserved and protected in the framework of the global environmental and socio-economic crises that we will face over the next 100 years.

Dr. Salvador Sánchez-Carrillo
Dr. Martín Merino-Ibarra
Dr. Javier Alcocer-Durand
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • Tropical wetlands
  • Wetland disturbance
  • Wetland function and structure
  • Water quality
  • Nutrient dynamics
  • Conservation biology
  • Global change

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Páramo Lakes of Colombia: An Overview of Their Geographical Distribution and Physicochemical Characteristics
Water 2021, 13(16), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162175 - 09 Aug 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
The páramo lakes, Colombia, situated in the neotropical region, are of great value both as natural heritage and as water source to the most populated areas of the Andes, but are threatened by expanding agriculture, livestock, mining, and landscape fragmentation. Nonetheless, a general [...] Read more.
The páramo lakes, Colombia, situated in the neotropical region, are of great value both as natural heritage and as water source to the most populated areas of the Andes, but are threatened by expanding agriculture, livestock, mining, and landscape fragmentation. Nonetheless, a general assessment of the lakes’ distribution and biogeochemical characteristics was lacking. We made a complete inventory of the Colombian páramo lakes and characterized their morphometry and water chemistry based on a survey of 51 lakes in the Eastern Cordillera. There are 3250 lakes distributed across 28 páramo complexes in Colombia, mainly located between 3600 and 4400 m a.s.l. The lakes are usually small (<10 ha) and shallow (<10 m). Most of them are slightly acidic (average pH~6), with high nutrient (total phosphorus ~0.6 mg/L, total nitrogen ~1 mg/L) and total organic carbon (~6 mg/L) concentrations and low oxygen (~3.5 mg/L) at the bottom. Water chemistry varies according to two main independent gradients related to watershed bedrock geology and trophic state. Global change pressures may be challenging the preservation of these unique ecosystems. Increasing the protection of more lake watersheds should reduce these potential impacts by mitigating negative synergies with local pressures. Full article
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Article
Methane Production and Oxidation in Mangrove Soils Assessed by Stable Isotope Mass Balances
Water 2021, 13(13), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131867 - 04 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Considerable variability in methane production and emissions has been reported in mangroves, explained by methane inhibition and oxidation. In this study, soil pore waters were collected from mangrove forests located in the Gulf of California (Mexico) exposed to shrimp farm disturbance. The δ [...] Read more.
Considerable variability in methane production and emissions has been reported in mangroves, explained by methane inhibition and oxidation. In this study, soil pore waters were collected from mangrove forests located in the Gulf of California (Mexico) exposed to shrimp farm disturbance. The δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and CH4 were analyzed along with the δ13C of the soil organic matter to assess the proportion of CO2 derived from methanogenesis, its main pathway, and the fraction of methane oxidized. We performed slurry incubation experiments to fit the isotope–mass balance approach. Very low stoichiometric ratios of CH4/CO2 were measured in pore waters, but isotope mass balances revealed that 30–70% of the total CO2 measured was produced by methanogenesis. Mangrove soils receiving effluent discharges shifted the main methanogenesis pathway to CO2 reduction because of an increase in refractory organic matter. Isotope–mass balances of incubations indicated that methane was mainly oxidized by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction, and the increase in recalcitrant organic matter should fuel AOM as humus serves as a terminal electron acceptor. Since methanogenesis in mangrove soils is strongly controlled by the oxygen supply provided by mangrove roots, conservation of the forest plays a crucial role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
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Article
The River Influence Controls Water Quality and Spatio-Temporal Microalgal Distribution in Pacific Estuaries (Padre Ramos and Salinas Grandes) of Nicaragua
Water 2021, 13(12), 1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121712 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Estuaries are coastal wetlands that deserve special attention because they are vulnerable, biodiversity- and service-rich environments. However, estuaries of tropical areas have been scarcely studied regarding water quality and biodiversity in spite of strong developments of their agricultural and livestock sectors. Two estuaries [...] Read more.
Estuaries are coastal wetlands that deserve special attention because they are vulnerable, biodiversity- and service-rich environments. However, estuaries of tropical areas have been scarcely studied regarding water quality and biodiversity in spite of strong developments of their agricultural and livestock sectors. Two estuaries on the Pacific Nicaragua in which snapper cages had been set up were studied regarding water physicochemical properties, microalgae and cyanobacteria along with their dynamics over a hydrological year. Both environments showed excellent water quality (oligotrophy and absence of harmful organisms) arising from their fluvial features. During the rainy season, there was a decline in chemical compounds and microorganisms. In the dry period nutrients and salinity promoted different assemblages of microscopic primary producers that were never too dense. Nutrient inputs from shrimp farms, agricultural crops and snapper cages did not appear to increase eutrophication and cyanobacterial blooms did not occur. Furthermore, the strong fluvial character of these estuaries seems to prevent the entry of harmful dinoflagellates from marine areas. Full article
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Article
Particulate Organic Carbon in the Tropical Usumacinta River, Southeast Mexico: Concentration, Flux, and Sources
Water 2021, 13(11), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111561 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Particulate organic carbon (POC) derived from inland water plays an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle; however, the POC dynamic in tropical rivers is poorly known. We assessed the POC concentration, flux, and sources in the Usumacinta, the largest tropical river [...] Read more.
Particulate organic carbon (POC) derived from inland water plays an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle; however, the POC dynamic in tropical rivers is poorly known. We assessed the POC concentration, flux, and sources in the Usumacinta, the largest tropical river in North America, to determine the controls on POC export to the Gulf of Mexico. We examined the Mexican middle and lower Usumacinta Basin during the 2017 dry (DS) and rainy (RS) seasons. The POC concentration ranged from 0.48 to 4.7 mg L−1 and was higher in the RS, though only in the middle basin, while remaining similar in both seasons in the lower basin. The POC was predominantly allochthonous (54.7 to 99.6%). However, autochthonous POC (phytoplankton) increased in the DS (from 5.1 to 17.7%) in both basins. The POC mass inflow–outflow balance suggested that floodplains supply (C source) autochthonous POC during the DS while retaining (C sink) allochthonous POC in the RS. Ranging between 109.1 (DS) and 926.1 t POC d−1 (RS), the Usumacinta River POC export to the Gulf of Mexico was similar to that of other tropical rivers with a comparable water discharge. The extensive floodplains and the “Pantanos de Centla” wetlands in the lowlands largely influenced the POC dynamics and export to the southern Gulf of Mexico. Full article
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Article
Regional Hydrogeochemical Evolution of Groundwater in the Ring of Cenotes, Yucatán (Mexico): An Inverse Modelling Approach
Water 2021, 13(5), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050614 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 640
Abstract
The Ring of Cenotes (RC) extends along the edge of the Chicxulub crater, in the limestone platform of the Yucatan Peninsula (YP), where groundwater shows two preferential flow paths toward the coast near Celestun and Dzilam Bravo towns. The objectives of this study [...] Read more.
The Ring of Cenotes (RC) extends along the edge of the Chicxulub crater, in the limestone platform of the Yucatan Peninsula (YP), where groundwater shows two preferential flow paths toward the coast near Celestun and Dzilam Bravo towns. The objectives of this study were to describe the regional hydrogeochemical evolution of the groundwater in the RC, and its association with the dissolution/precipitation of the minerals present along its pathway to the ocean. These objectives results were obtained by: (a) characterizing groundwater hydrogeochemistry; (b) calculating calcite, dolomite, and gypsum saturation indexes in the study area; and (c) developing a hydrogeochemical model using PHREEQC (U. S. Geological Survey) inverse modelling approach. The model predictions confirmed that there are two evolution pathways of the groundwater consistent with the preferential flow paths suggested in a previous regionalization of the RC. On the western path, where groundwater flows towards Celestun, marine intrusion influences the hydrogeochemical processes and represents a risk for the freshwater. On the eastern path, where groundwater flows toward Dzilam Bravo, rainfall has an important effect on the hydrogeochemical processes, evidenced by a higher concentration in sulfates during droughts than during rainy periods. Then, monitoring of marine intrusion and phases dissolution in the RC is highly recommended. Full article
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Article
Primary Sources and Food Web Structure of a Tropical Wetland with High Density of Mangrove Forest
Water 2020, 12(11), 3105; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113105 - 05 Nov 2020
Viewed by 910
Abstract
The trophic ecology of wetlands with mangrove forests remains poorly understood. Through the use of stomach contents analysis, stable isotope signatures, and Bayesian mixing models, the food web of a tropical wetland in the gulf of California was investigated. Consumers had heterogeneous diets, [...] Read more.
The trophic ecology of wetlands with mangrove forests remains poorly understood. Through the use of stomach contents analysis, stable isotope signatures, and Bayesian mixing models, the food web of a tropical wetland in the gulf of California was investigated. Consumers had heterogeneous diets, omnivores were the most abundant species (47%), followed by planktivorous (21%), minor piscivores (10%), major piscivores (10%), macrobenthivores (9%), and herbivores (3%). The values of δ13C (from −12 to −29‰) and δ15N (from 4 to 24‰) showed a wide range of isotopic values of the consumers. Most of the species had a broad isotopic niche and there was a large diet overlap of species due to the exploitation of a common set of food resources. Five trophic levels were identified, with the weakfish (Cynoscion xanthulus) as the top predator of this system with detritus coming from the mangrove as the main source that supports the food chain. This highlights the importance of the mangrove forests to such ecosystems, because not only they are the most important primary food source, but also, they offer habitat to a large suite of fauna, which are important components of the trophic chain. Full article
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