Special Issue "Chemical and Biochemical Processes of Watershed Ecosystems and Their Impacts on Water Quality"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (4 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Akira Haraguchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Environmental Engineering, The University of Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka 808-0135, Japan
Interests: peatlands; Sphagnum; aquatic macrophytes; water chemistry; soil; forests
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Water focuses on the natural and anthropogenic impacts on water quality in watershed ecosystems. The water quality is determined by various chemical and biological processes, as well as their complex interactions. For example, nutrient cycling includes processes of weathering, dissolution, absorption, and decomposition, amongst others. Water pollution problems appear after the emission of pollutants, migration, modification, and absorption by organisms. Most of the driving forces of these processes are the function of various organisms, including aquatic macrophytes, algae, microorganisms, and humans. Investigations of these processes are useful for considering procedures for the removal of contaminants, avoiding harmful impacts on organisms and the conservation of watershed ecosystems encompassing rivers, reservoirs, wetlands, aquifer, forests, grasslands, and agroecosystems, and a whole range of other types of ecosystems related to water environments. Papers comprising this Special Issue focus on all chemical and biochemical processes in all ecosystems in watersheds. Papers describing both pure and applied investigations will be considered for publication.

Prof. Dr. Akira Haraguchi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Water chemistry
  • Production and decomposition
  • Nutrients
  • Pollutants
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Forest
  • River
  • Lakes and reservoir
  • Wetlands
  • Soil and sediment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Nutrient Release Dynamics Associated with Native and Invasive Leaf Litter Decomposition: A Mesocosm Experiment
Water 2020, 12(9), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092350 - 21 Aug 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Leaf litter contributes to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems through allochthonous inputs of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements. Here, we examine leaf litter nutrient inputs and decomposition associated with four plant species using a mesocosm approach. Native sycamore fig Ficus sycomorus L., and [...] Read more.
Leaf litter contributes to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems through allochthonous inputs of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements. Here, we examine leaf litter nutrient inputs and decomposition associated with four plant species using a mesocosm approach. Native sycamore fig Ficus sycomorus L., and silver cluster–leaf Terminalia sericea Burch. ex DC. decomposition dynamics were compared to invasive tickberry Lantana camara L. and guava Psidium guajava L., whereby phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, silicate, and ammonium releases were quantified over time. Leaf inputs significantly reduced pH, with reductions most marked by invasive L. camara. Conductivity was heightened by all leaf input treatments, except native T. sericea. Leaf inputs significantly affected all nutrient levels monitored in the water over time, except for silicate. In particular, leaf litter from invasive L. camara drove significantly increased nutrient concentrations compared to other native plant species, whilst effects of invasive P. guajava were less statistically clear. The end weights of the leaf litter demonstrated decomposition differences among the species types, following a decreasing order of P. guajava > T. sericea > F. sycomorus > L. camara, further suggesting high organic inputs from invasive L. camara. The study results highlight that differential leaf litter decomposition rates of four plant species can play a significant role in nutrient release, in turn altering aquatic ecosystem productivity. However, these effects likely depend on species-specific differences, rather than between invasive–native species generally. Shifting terrestrial plant communities may alter aquatic community composition, but specific effects are likely associated with leaf traits. Full article
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Article
Water Chemistry of Arctic Lakes under Airborne Contamination of Watersheds
Water 2020, 12(6), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061659 - 10 Jun 2020
Viewed by 610
Abstract
The data on the metal contents and acidification of small lakes caused by airborne contamination of the watershed in three industrial regions of the Arctic—European Russia (Kola region), Western (Yamal-Nenets region) and Eastern Siberia (Norilsk region)—have been presented for the first time. It [...] Read more.
The data on the metal contents and acidification of small lakes caused by airborne contamination of the watershed in three industrial regions of the Arctic—European Russia (Kola region), Western (Yamal-Nenets region) and Eastern Siberia (Norilsk region)—have been presented for the first time. It has been proven that acidification and enrichment by metals of water connect with sulfur dioxide and metals emissions from copper–nickel smelters, contaminating the catchments, with associated gas burning during raw hydrocarbon production. To assess the effects of acid deposition, critical loads and their exceeds were calculated: exceeded by 56% and 12.5%, respectively, in lakes in the Kola region and in the north of Western Siberia; the catchments of the East Siberian region are resistant to acidification. Water enrichment factors (EF) by elements were calculated to show that the waters of the Norilsk and Kola regions are enriched with Ni, Cd, As, Sb and Se as a result of emissions from copper–nickel smelters. The oil and gas industry in the northern regions of Western Siberia lead to the increase in V, Pb and Mo concentrations in the waters. The high values of EF and excess of acidity critical loads for water are explained by the local and transboundary pollution impacts on the catchment of small lakes. Full article
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Article
Formation of Soil Chemical Environment in Coastal Pinus thunbergii Parlatore Forest in Southwestern Japan
Water 2020, 12(6), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061544 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
We investigated the chemical properties of precipitation and litter fall, and their effects on soil chemistry, in a coastal forest consisting of pure Pinus thunbergii stands, Pinus-dominated stands with broadleaf trees in the understory, mixed stands of Pinus and evergreen broadleaf trees, [...] Read more.
We investigated the chemical properties of precipitation and litter fall, and their effects on soil chemistry, in a coastal forest consisting of pure Pinus thunbergii stands, Pinus-dominated stands with broadleaf trees in the understory, mixed stands of Pinus and evergreen broadleaf trees, and evergreen broadleaf stands. Throughfall pH in the pure Pinus stand was significantly lower than those in the other three stands, and the soil in the pure Pinus stand was determined to be acidic (pH = ca. 5.0). In Pinus-dominated stands with broadleaf species in the understory, precipitation had a neutralizing effect in the foliage of broadleaf species in the understory of the Pinus stand and the pH levels of their surface mineral soil were significantly higher than those in the pure Pinus stand. The soil pH level was low in the pure Pinus stand, and then increased with an increasing dominance of broadleaf species in the understory. The soil pH was lowered with an increasing dominance of broadleaf species in the canopy layer. A litter layer consisting of decomposable litter of broadleaf species with low C/N ratio acidified precipitation that was deposited as throughfall on the litter surface. Nitrates in the soil-extracted water from the mixed stand and from the evergreen broadleaf stand were significantly higher than the nitrates of stands with high dominance of Pinus. Higher nitrogen flux in the mixed stand and in the evergreen broadleaf stand, as well as a lower C/N ratio of the litter of broadleaf species, accelerated nitrogen accumulation in the soil in stands with high broadleaf species dominance in the canopy compared to the Pinus-dominated stand. Thus, the accumulation of nitrogen in the soil through litter fall is a possible factor that promotes succession from Pinus stands to evergreen broadleaf stands. Full article
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Article
Effects of Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus) on Water Quality in Aquatic Ecosystems: An Experimental Mesocosm Study
Water 2020, 12(5), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051444 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
The presence of omnivorous fish is known to affect aquatic ecosystems, including water quality. The effect, however, depends on the species in question, and our knowledge is limited on the effect of omnivorous crucian carp (Carassius auratus), a common and often [...] Read more.
The presence of omnivorous fish is known to affect aquatic ecosystems, including water quality. The effect, however, depends on the species in question, and our knowledge is limited on the effect of omnivorous crucian carp (Carassius auratus), a common and often the most numerous fish species in eutrophic shallow lakes in China. We conducted a 70-day outdoor experiment in mesocosms with and without crucian carp to examine whether this species adversely affects water quality by increasing the levels of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP), thereby stimulating the biomass of phytoplankton and increasing water turbidity. Compared with carp-free controls, the presence of crucian carp resulted in higher TN and TP in the water column, greater phytoplankton biomass and lower periphyton biomass, measured as chlorophyll a. Total suspended solids (TSS) also increased in the presence of fish. We conclude that crucian carp can increase TN and TP, enhance phytoplankton biomass, and increase water turbidity, thereby contributing significantly to the deterioration of the water quality. In addition to controlling external nutrient loading, the removal of crucian carp may help to improve water quality in warm shallow eutrophic lakes. Full article
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Article
Heterogeneity and Anthropogenic Impacts on a Small Lowland Stream
Water 2019, 11(10), 2002; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102002 - 26 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
During our work, we investigated the physical and chemical variables of a small surface watercourse to investigate how different anthropogenic effects affect its water quality. Along this small watercourse, there are well-separated areas that are affected by various anthropogenic effects. In addition to [...] Read more.
During our work, we investigated the physical and chemical variables of a small surface watercourse to investigate how different anthropogenic effects affect its water quality. Along this small watercourse, there are well-separated areas that are affected by various anthropogenic effects. In addition to its origin and branches, in many places it is surrounded by agricultural land with insufficient buffer zones, which burdens the small watercourse with nitrogen and phosphorus forms. In the lower stages, artificial damming inhibits the natural flow of the Tócó Canal, thereby creating eutrophicated stagnant water areas. This is further strengthened by, in many cases, illegal communal and used water intake that further burdens the small watercourse. Considering the experience of our investigation, it can be stated that the examined small watercourse could barely suffer human impacts, and it could be described with great heterogeneity using physical and chemical variables. We experienced that this heterogeneity caused by anthropogenic effects appeared in all hydrologic states and seasons. Furthermore, our research showed that these small watercourses had such high heterogeneity that their monitoring and examination should be taken just as seriously as when it comes to larger watercourses. Full article
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Brief Report
Spatial Distribution of Sea Salt Deposition in a Coastal Pinus thunbergii Forest
Water 2020, 12(10), 2682; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102682 - 25 Sep 2020
Viewed by 396
Abstract
We investigated the sea salt deposition process on the soil in a coastal black pine (Pinusthunbergii Parlatore) forest in Japan with reference to sea salt scavenging by the forest canopy and the following washout by precipitation. We collected throughfall and soil-infiltration [...] Read more.
We investigated the sea salt deposition process on the soil in a coastal black pine (Pinusthunbergii Parlatore) forest in Japan with reference to sea salt scavenging by the forest canopy and the following washout by precipitation. We collected throughfall and soil-infiltration water along transects crossing the coastal forest and measured the water chemistry—electric conductivity, pH, major cations (NH4+, Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+), major anions (Cl, SO42−, NO2, NO3, and PO43−), and total organic carbon—at 10-m intervals on the survey transects. Leaching of base cations from surface soil kept lower acidity of soil water in the evergreen broadleaf forest, whereas soil infiltration water was acidified in the soil surface in the P. thunbergii forest. Hot spots of sea salt deposition on the soil surface were observed at hollows of the ground surface, slope-facing coastal line, or sites with an abrupt increase in height where the canopy faces the coast. However, the edge effect in sea salt scavenging was not evident in the juvenile stand at the forest edge, which had a height of <5 m. The sea salt deposition was only evident in the coastal black pine forest with canopy height >10 m. Full article
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