Freshwater ecosystems offer an especially rich diversity of habitat conditions, plants and animal species. Whether forest ponds, mountain rivers or large lakes – the role of interactions between organisms that live there differ according to the type of water body involved. We explore these complex processes and interactions, including primary production, evolution, food webs, and interactions between parasites and their host.
However, ecosystems are not only habitats – humans also use them for resources, and they are being influenced and shaped by us to an ever-greater extent. For this reason, we consider humans and ecosystems within an integrated approach, rather than in isolation. For which services do we use ecosystems, and how can these be quantified? We hope that answers to questions such as these will give us a deeper understanding of ecosystems and what they signify to humans.
Flow dynamics in rivers with riffle-pool morphology: a dataset from case studies and field experiments
Riffle-pool sequences provide vital ecological services to aquatic organisms and are considered fundamental habitats in fluvial ecosystems. Little is known about riffle-pool hydrodynamics. The study presents a dataset on turbulent flow structure in riffle-pool sequences of a natural river, the Tagliamento River in Italy.
The authors detected great concentrations of source hotspots on the northern regions associated to lentic ecosystems, main European rivers acting as ecological corridors for all freshwaters, and a mixed distribution of connectivity hotspots in southern and Mediterranean ecoregions.
Socio-economic or environmental benefits from pondscapes? Deriving stakeholder preferences using analytic hierarchy process and compositional data analysis
The authors studied the needs and knowledge of stakeholders who own, work, research, or benefit from pondscapes in 8 countries. Using the analytic hierarchy process, this study shows that in general stakeholders in the European and Turkish demo-sites prefer environmental benefits, while stakeholders in the Uruguayan demo-sites rank the economic benefits higher.
Global patterns and controls of nutrient immobilization on decomposing cellulose in riverine ecosystems
The research team used a standardized, low-nutrient organic matter substrate (cotton strips) to quantify nutrient immobilization at 100 paired stream and riparian sites representing 11 biomes worldwide. Immobilization rates varied by three orders of magnitude, were greater in rivers than riparian zones, and were strongly correlated to decomposition rates.
Variability is inherent to all natural ecosystems, yet the consequences of alterations to existing variability patterns in environmental factors expected under global change scenarios remain unclear. The authors identified sources of mismatches, challenges, and knowledge gaps to contribute to a research agenda on the effects of variability in aquatic systems. T