Special Issue "Urban Ecohydrology along the Urban Watershed Continuum: Engineered, Socioecological, and Nature-Based Perspectives"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kenneth T. Belt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geography & Environmental Systems, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
Interests: urban forestry and ecology; stormwater engineering; ecohydrology; stream biogeochemistry and ecology; citizen science
Prof. Dr. Sujay S. Kaushal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geology & Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
Interests: biogeochemistry; ecohydrology; geochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The watershed approach has been a powerful tool in ecosystem ecology research for over 50 years, integrating biogeochemical systems to observe input–output fluxes and processes, and has been central to urban water research in the urban Phoenix and Baltimore LTERs. Given the keen interest in green infrastructure and nature-based solutions for urban environmental problems, the integrating power of the watershed approach makes it a powerful tool for understanding the ecohydrological systems of the built environment.

Urban ecology has matured over the last three decades by fully incorporating people and their institutions into ecological theory and research. People and their infrastructure are the dominant forces in determining the pathways, magnitudes, and fluxes of chemicals, nutrients, water, etc. Urban watersheds are very complex because waterflows have been so extensively engineered both above and below ground. Given the extreme alterations in stormwater, sewage, and potable water networks in addition to soils and the large magnitudes of basin transfers (e.g., water imported into cities), urban watersheds can function like a kind of urban karst, producing a complex hydrology with numerous direct connections to streams. This creates a novel urban stream continuum network because these connections are spread across the entire watershed in ways that more natural watersheds are not.

Despite the apparent dominance of the built infrastructure and its altered hydrology and chemistry, the functions of “natural” infrastructure (soil, water, microbes, vegetation, animals) still have important roles, and the greening of urban landscapes suggests a need for an ecohydrological approach to urban ecosystem watersheds. Ecohydrology is an excellent framework for these “mixed” watershed systems. It is an interdisciplinary science that pursues applied solutions to environmental problems and often employs modern techniques (e.g., in environmental sensing, data, modeling, and experimentation) to explore the integrated role of water and biology in a wide range of ecosystem processes.

Against this broad ecohydrological backdrop, submissions (research articles and reviews on modeling or management) are sought that address ecohydrological linkages, at any scale, that are a part of urban ecosystems and their management.

Dr. Kenneth T. Belt
Prof. Dr. Sujay S. Kaushal
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 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

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Ecohydrology
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Groundwater
  • Hydrology
  • Microbial ecology
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Plant physiology
  • Pathogens
  • Sensor technology
  • Socioecohydrology
  • Stormwater management
  • Urban ecology
  • Urban forestry
  • Urban karst
  • Urban sustainability
  • Urban water management
  • Urban watershed continuum

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Medieval Relict Beaver Ponds in the Polish Plain: Studies from the Tuchola Forest
Water 2021, 13(6), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060777 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Beavers have lived in the territory of Poland since the beginning of the Holocene, as testified by bone remains found in archaeological sites of different ages. The area inhabited by these animals has experienced continuing transformations of terrain relief, geological structure, hydrology and [...] Read more.
Beavers have lived in the territory of Poland since the beginning of the Holocene, as testified by bone remains found in archaeological sites of different ages. The area inhabited by these animals has experienced continuing transformations of terrain relief, geological structure, hydrology and plant cover. In Poland, beavers are partially protected and their population has spread in virtually every part of the country (except in the highest mountain ranges). The authors of this paper wish to present the results of field works carried out since 2006 in the Tuchola Forest (Polish Plain). This paper aims to identify the potential sediments of relict beaver ponds and their sedimentological features. The studies are also backed up with a description of radiocarbon dating of samples. The results indicate that beavers used to live in the Tuchola Forest in the Middle Ages, as shown by the radiocarbon dates and sequences of mineral–organic deposits found in exposures and geological boreholes. The spatial distribution of organic and mineral deposits in wider sections of river valleys can be explained by the avulsion of the riverbed downstream of the pond and by the distribution of ponds in the Gołyjonka valley. The discovery of relict beaver pond sediments suggests that the activity of these mammals in the Middle Ages played a major part in shaping the landscape of the valley. The results of studies clearly indicate that analyses of the valley sediment facies of small watercourses should take into account the role beavers played in the past in shaping the landscape of the analysed valley. This highlights the insufficiency of studies concerning the activity of beavers in river valleys. Full article
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Article
Developing Sensor Proxies for “Chemical Cocktails” of Trace Metals in Urban Streams
Water 2020, 12(10), 2864; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102864 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Understanding transport mechanisms and temporal patterns in the context of metal concentrations in urban streams is important for developing best management practices and restoration strategies to improve water quality. In some cases, in-situ sensors can be used to estimate unknown concentrations of trace [...] Read more.
Understanding transport mechanisms and temporal patterns in the context of metal concentrations in urban streams is important for developing best management practices and restoration strategies to improve water quality. In some cases, in-situ sensors can be used to estimate unknown concentrations of trace metals or to interpolate between sampling events. Continuous sensor data from the United States Geological Survey were analyzed to determine statistically significant relationships between lead, copper, zinc, cadmium, and mercury with turbidity, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and discharge for the Hickey Run, Watts Branch, and Rock Creek watersheds in the Washington, D.C. region. We observed a significant negative linear relationship between concentrations of Cu and dissolved oxygen at Rock Creek (p < 0.05). Sometimes, turbidity had significant positive linear relationships with Pb and Hg concentrations. There were negative or positive linear relationships between Pb, Cd, Zn, and Hg and specific conductance. There also appeared to be relationships between watershed areal fluxes of Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd in streams with turbidity. Watershed monitoring approaches using continuous sensor data have the potential to characterize the frequency, magnitude, and composition of pulses in concentrations and loads of trace metals, which could improve the management and restoration of urban streams. Full article
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