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Alberto Muñoz, Xavier Santos, Ángel M Felicísimo
Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area...
2016: PeerJ
Stephen E Darby, Christopher R Hackney, Julian Leyland, Matti Kummu, Hannu Lauri, Daniel R Parsons, James L Best, Andrew P Nicholas, Rolf Aalto
The world's rivers deliver 19 billion tonnes of sediment to the coastal zone annually, with a considerable fraction being sequestered in large deltas, home to over 500 million people. Most (more than 70 per cent) large deltas are under threat from a combination of rising sea levels, ground surface subsidence and anthropogenic sediment trapping, and a sustainable supply of fluvial sediment is therefore critical to prevent deltas being 'drowned' by rising relative sea levels. Here we combine suspended sediment load data from the Mekong River with hydrological model simulations to isolate the role of tropical cyclones in transmitting suspended sediment to one of the world's great deltas...
October 19, 2016: Nature
Daniel A Nidzgorski, Sarah E Hobbie
Many urban waterways suffer from excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), feeding algal blooms, which cause lower water clarity and oxygen levels, bad odor and taste, and the loss of desirable species. Nutrient movement from land to water is likely to be influenced by urban vegetation, but there are few empirical studies addressing this. In this study, we examined whether or not urban trees can reduce nutrient leaching to groundwater, an important nutrient export pathway that has received less attention than stormwater...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Bérenger Bourgeois, Eduardo González, Anne Vanasse, Isabelle Aubin, Monique Poulin
The disruption of hydrological connectivity by human activities such as flood regulation or land-use changes strongly impacts riparian plant communities. However, landscape-scale processes have generally been neglected in riparian restoration projects as opposed to local conditions, even though such processes might largely influence community recovery. We surveyed plant composition of field edges and riverbanks in 51 riparian zones restored by tree planting (565 1-m(2) plots) within two agricultural watersheds in southeastern Québec, Canada...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Jacqueline R Gerson, Charles T Driscoll, Karen M Roy
With decreases in acid deposition, nitrogen : phosphorus (N:P) ratios in lakes are anticipated to decline, decreasing P limitation of phytoplankton and potentially changing current food web dynamics. This effect could be particularly pronounced in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a historic hotspot for effects of acid deposition. In this study, we evaluate spatial patterns of nutrient dynamics in Adirondack lakes and use these to infer potential future temporal trends. We calculated Mann-Kendall tau correlations among total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll a, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), and nitrate (NO3(-) ) concentrations in 52 Adirondack Long Term Monitoring (ALTM) program lakes using samples collected monthly during 2008-2012...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Helen R Sofaer, Susan K Skagen, Joseph J Barsugli, Benjamin S Rashford, Gordon C Reese, Jennifer A Hoeting, Andrew W Wood, Barry R Noon
Climate change poses major challenges for conservation and management because it alters the area, quality, and spatial distribution of habitat for natural populations. To assess species' vulnerability to climate change and target ongoing conservation investments, researchers and managers often consider the effects of projected changes in climate and land use on future habitat availability and quality and the uncertainty associated with these projections. Here, we draw on tools from hydrology and climate science to project the impact of climate change on the density of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of the USA, a critical area for breeding waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Xindi C Hu, David Q Andrews, Andrew B Lindstrom, Thomas A Bruton, Laurel A Schaider, Philippe Grandjean, Rainer Lohmann, Courtney C Carignan, Arlene Blum, Simona A Balan, Christopher P Higgins, Elsie M Sunderland
Drinking water contamination with poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) poses risks to the developmental, immune, metabolic, and endocrine health of consumers. We present a spatial analysis of 2013-2015 national drinking water PFAS concentrations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (US EPA) third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) program. The number of industrial sites that manufacture or use these compounds, the number of military fire training areas, and the number of wastewater treatment plants are all significant predictors of PFAS detection frequencies and concentrations in public water supplies...
October 11, 2016: Environmental Science & Technology Letters
Nikolaos Th Skoulikidis, Leonidas Vardakas, Yorgos Amaxidis, Panagiotis Michalopoulos
Desiccation and re-flooding processes play a key role on hydrological features of non-perennial rivers. This study addresses the effects of these processes on the aquatic quality and unravels underlying biogeochemical processes of an intermittent river reach in southern Greece containing a spring-fed pool. Combined spatio-temporal sampling for physicochemical parameters, major ions and nutrients and high frequency automatic monitoring during a hydrological year (2010-2011) indicate that during the dry period, solute variation was controlled by "concentration" processes (i...
October 13, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Tauheed A Farooqui, Marguerite A Renouf, Steven J Kenway
Urban areas will need to pursue new water servicing options to ensure local supply security. Decisions about how best to employ them are not straightforward due to multiple considerations and the potential for problem shifting among them. We hypothesise that urban water metabolism evaluation based a water mass balance can help address this, and explore the utility of this perspective and the new insights it provides about water servicing options. Using a water mass balance evaluation framework, which considers direct urban water flows (both 'natural' hydrological and 'anthropogenic' flows), as well as water-related energy, we evaluated how the use of alternative water sources (stormwater/rainwater harvesting, wastewater/greywater recycling) at different scales influences the 'local water metabolism' of a case study urban development...
October 6, 2016: Water Research
Pamela Louise M Tolentino, Ate Poortinga, Hideki Kanamaru, Saskia Keesstra, Jerry Maroulis, Carlos Primo C David, Coen J Ritsema
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the potential impacts of climate change. To fully understand these potential impacts, especially on future hydrological regimes and water resources (2010-2050), 24 river basins located in the major agricultural provinces throughout the Philippines were assessed. Calibrated using existing historical interpolated climate data, the STREAM model was used to assess future river flows derived from three global climate models (BCM2, CNCM3 and MPEH5) under two plausible scenarios (A1B and A2) and then compared with baseline scenarios (20th century)...
2016: PloS One
Jeffrey P Johnson, William F Hunt
Bioretention cells (BRCs) are an increasingly popular Stormwater Control Measure used to mitigate the hydrologic and water quality impacts of urbanization. Previous BRC research has demonstrated a strong capacity for pollutant removal; however, long-term sequestration of pollutants within soil media can elevate concentrations to levels fostering environmental and human health risks. Soil media samples were collected from an 11 year-old BRC in Charlotte, NC, and analyzed for the accumulation and spatial distribution of zinc, copper, and phosphorus...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
M Fossey, A N Rousseau
The effects of wetlands on stream flows are well established, namely mitigating flow regimes through water storage and slow water release. However, their effectiveness in reducing flood peaks and sustaining low flows is mainly driven by climate conditions and wetland type with respect to their connectivity to the hydrographic network (i.e. isolated or riparian wetlands). While some studies have demonstrated these hydrological functions/services, few of them have focused on the benefits to the hydrological regimes and their evolution under climate change (CC) and, thus, some gaps persist...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
Zhongli Chen, Andreas Schäffer
The anti-seasonal hydrology with 30m water fluctuations in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) of China attracts growing environmental and ecological concerns. We investigated the biotransformation of the herbicide propanil in plants dominating in the littoral zone of the TGR by applying the (14)C-ring-labeled herbicide into non-aseptic hydroponic plant systems (Cynodon dactylon, Nelumbo nucifera and Bidens pilosa), aseptic plants (Lemna minor and Lemna gibba) and cell suspension cultures (C. dactylon and L. minor)...
October 2016: Journal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Ming-Chih Chiu, Lisa Hunt, Vincent H Resh
Pesticide pollution from agricultural field run-off or spray drift has been documented to impact river ecosystems worldwide. However, there is limited data on short- and long-term effects of repeated pulses of pesticide mixtures on biotic assemblages in natural systems. We used reported pesticide application data as input to a hydrological fate and transport model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) to simulate spatiotemporal dynamics of pesticides mixtures in streams on a daily time-step. We then applied regression models to explore the relationship between macroinvertebrate communities and pesticide dynamics in the Sacramento River watershed of California during 2002-2013...
October 13, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Ellen Besseling, Joris T K Quik, Muzhi Sun, Albert A Koelmans
Riverine transport to the marine environment is an important pathway for microplastic. However, information on fate and transport of nano- and microplastic in freshwater systems is lacking. Here we present scenario studies on the fate and transport of nano-to millimetre sized spherical particles like microbeads (100 nm-10 mm) with a state of the art spatiotemporally resolved hydrological model. The model accounts for advective transport, homo- and heteroaggregation, sedimentation-resuspension, polymer degradation, presence of biofilm and burial...
October 12, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Isaac J Larsen, Michael P Lamb
The surfaces of Earth and Mars contain large bedrock canyons that were carved by catastrophic outburst floods. Reconstructing the magnitude of these canyon-forming floods is essential for understanding the ways in which floods modify planetary surfaces, the hydrology of early Mars and abrupt changes in climate. Flood discharges are often estimated by assuming that the floods filled the canyons to their brims with water; however, an alternative hypothesis is that canyon morphology adjusts during incision such that bed shear stresses exceed the threshold for erosion by a small amount...
October 12, 2016: Nature
J J Ibáñez, R Pérez-Gómez, Eric C Brevik, A Cerdà
Many maps (geology, hydrology, soil, vegetation, etc.) are created to inventory natural resources. Each of these resources is mapped using a unique set of criteria, including scales and taxonomies. Past research indicates that comparing results of related maps (e.g., soil and geology maps) may aid in identifying mapping deficiencies. Therefore, this study was undertaken in Almeria Province, Spain to (i) compare the underlying map structures of soil and vegetation maps and (ii) investigate if a vegetation map can provide useful soil information that was not shown on a soil map...
October 7, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Françoise Vernier, Odile Leccia-Phelpin, Jean-Marie Lescot, Sébastien Minette, André Miralles, Delphine Barberis, Charlotte Scordia, Vanessa Kuentz-Simonet, Jean-Philippe Tonneau
Non-point source pollution is a cause of major concern within the European Union. This is reflected in increasing public and political focus on a more sustainable use of pesticides, as well as a reduction in diffuse pollution. Climate change will likely to lead to an even more intensive use of pesticides in the future, affecting agriculture in many ways. At the same time, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and associated EU policies called for a "good" ecological and chemical status to be achieved for water bodies by the end of 2015, currently delayed to 2021-2027 due to a lack of efficiency in policies and timescale of resilience for hydrosystems, especially groundwater systems...
October 10, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Zhenzhen Zhang, Ping Zhao, Heather R McCarthy, Lei Ouyang, Junfeng Niu, Liwei Zhu, Guangyan Ni, Yuqing Huang
A clear understanding of hydraulic regulation in cultivated plants is crucial for addressing challenges to forest water cycling due to climate changes in low subtropical China. Experiments were conducted to determine the hydrologic balance of a Eucalyptus urophylla plantation in response to periodic drought. Trees displayed lower stomatal conductance (GS) and leaf water potentials (ΨL) during the dry periods. A decrease of 22.4% was found for the maximum reference GS (GS at D = 1 kPa; GSref-max). Accordingly, specific hydraulic conductivity (ks) decreased by 45...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
D Olefeldt, S Goswami, G Grosse, D Hayes, G Hugelius, P Kuhry, A D McGuire, V E Romanovsky, A B K Sannel, E A G Schuur, M R Turetsky
Thermokarst is the process whereby the thawing of ice-rich permafrost ground causes land subsidence, resulting in development of distinctive landforms. Accelerated thermokarst due to climate change will damage infrastructure, but also impact hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry. Here, we present a circumpolar assessment of the distribution of thermokarst landscapes, defined as landscapes comprised of current thermokarst landforms and areas susceptible to future thermokarst development. At 3.6 × 10(6) km(2), thermokarst landscapes are estimated to cover ∼20% of the northern permafrost region, with approximately equal contributions from three landscape types where characteristic wetland, lake and hillslope thermokarst landforms occur...
October 11, 2016: Nature Communications
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