428 research outputs found

    The Biological Assessment and Rehabilitation of the World’s Rivers: An Overview

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    The biological assessment of rivers i.e., their assessment through use of aquatic assemblages, integrates the effects of multiple-stressors on these systems over time and is essential to evaluate ecosystem condition and establish recovery measures. It has been undertaken in many countries since the 1990s, but not globally. And where national or multi-national monitoring networks have gathered large amounts of data, the poor water body classifications have not necessarily resulted in the rehabilitation of rivers. Thus, here we aimed to identify major gaps in the biological assessment and rehabilitation of rivers worldwide by focusing on the best examples in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North, Central, and South America. Our study showed that it is not possible so far to draw a world map of the ecological quality of rivers. Biological assessment of rivers and streams is only implemented officially nation-wide and regularly in the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, South Africa, and the USA. In Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, and Singapore it has been implemented officially at the state/province level (in some cases using common protocols) or in major catchments or even only once at the national level to define reference conditions (Australia). In other cases, biological monitoring is driven by a specific problem, impact assessments, water licenses, or the need to rehabilitate a river or a river section (as in Brazil, South Korea, China, Canada, Japan, Australia). In some countries monitoring programs have only been explored by research teams mostly at the catchment or local level (e.g., Brazil, Mexico, Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam) or implemented by citizen science groups (e.g., Southern Africa, Gambia, East Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada). The existing large-extent assessments show a striking loss of biodiversity in the last 2–3 decades in Japanese and New Zealand rivers (e.g., 42% and 70% of fish species threatened or endangered, respectively). A poor condition (below Good condition) exists in 25% of South Korean rivers, half of the European water bodies, and 44% of USA rivers, while in Australia 30% of the reaches sampled were significantly impaired in 2006. Regarding river rehabilitation, the greatest implementation has occurred in North America, Australia, Northern Europe, Japan, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea. Most rehabilitation measures have been related to improving water quality and river connectivity for fish or the improvement of riparian vegetation. The limited extent of most rehabilitation measures (i.e., not considering the entire catchment) often constrains the improvement of biological condition. Yet, many rehabilitation projects also lack pre-and/or post-monitoring of ecological condition, which prevents assessing the success and shortcomings of the recovery measures. Economic constraints are the most cited limitation for implementing monitoring programs and rehabilitation actions, followed by technical limitations, limited knowledge of the fauna and flora and their life-history traits (especially in Africa, South America and Mexico), and poor awareness by decision-makers. On the other hand, citizen involvement is recognized as key to the success and sustainability of rehabilitation projects. Thus, establishing rehabilitation needs, defining clear goals, tracking progress towards achieving them, and involving local populations and stakeholders are key recommendations for rehabilitation projects (Table 1). Large-extent and long-term monitoring programs are also essential to provide a realistic overview of the condition of rivers worldwide. Soon, the use of DNA biological samples and eDNA to investigate aquatic diversity could contribute to reducing costs and thus increase monitoring efforts and a more complete assessment of biodiversity. Finally, we propose developing transcontinental teams to elaborate and improve technical guidelines for implementing biological monitoring programs and river rehabilitation and establishing common financial and technical frameworks for managing international catchments. We also recommend providing such expert teams through the United Nations Environment Program to aid the extension of biomonitoring, bioassessment, and river rehabilitation knowledge globally

    Considering multiple anthropogenic threats in the context of natural variability: Ecological processes in a regulated riverine ecosystem

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    Rivers are among the most altered environments globally, but identifying which threats are responsible for observed biotic and abiotic changes is complicated by natural drivers of variation. The Bow River, Canada provides an ideal model to resolve these influences and explore spatial relationships. It originates from pristine Rocky Mountain headwaters and is subsequently impacted by typical human alterations: damming, municipal channelization and effluent release, and agricultural impacts (nutrient enrichment and water withdrawal for irrigation). By coordinating studies of the Bow River's biota, we demonstrate how threat–driver interactions depend on season and the abiotic factor and biotic community or species of interest. We conclude that impact severity and riverine recovery depend on the threat magnitude, its longitudinal position and proximity to other threats and natural drivers. We found that river regulation, water extraction and bank armouring interact to limit geomorphic processes resulting in depleted riparian woodlands and numbers of fish species, though a large, undammed tributary nearby allows quick recovery downstream. We highlight the implications of the longitudinal position of the threats because cold-water fish species are disproportionately impacted through the area where the human impacts on the Bow River overlap. We illustrate how the interactions between flow, nutrients and temperature lead to macrophyte- or algae-dominated communities and associated shifts in fish composition and biomass. Finally, we applied our increased understanding of ecological riverine processes to conclude that management techniques such as flushing flows or functional environmental flows are likely to have only minimal or conditional success in the Bow River.Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)Alberta Innovates - Research Gran

    High energy cosmic ray physics with underground muons in MACRO. I. Analysis methods and experimental results

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    In this paper, the first of a two-part work, we present the reconstruction and measurement of muon events detected underground by the MACRO experiment at Gran Sasso (E у 1.3 TeV in atmosphere͒. The main aim of this work is to discuss the muon multiplicity distribution as measured in the detector. The data sample analyzed consists of 4.4ϫ10 6 muon events, of which ϳ 263 000 are multiple muons, corresponding to a total live time of 5850 h. In this sample, the observed multiplicities extend above N ϭ35, with intermuon separations up to 50 m and beyond. Additional complementing measurements, such as the inclusive muon flux, the angular distribution, and the muon separation distribution ͑decoherence͒, are also included. The physical interpretation of the results presented here is reported in the following companion paper. ͓S0556-2821͑97͒00615-2͔ PACS number͑s͒: 13.85. Tp, 96.40.De, 96.40.Tv, 98.70.S

    Assessing different components of diversity across a river network using eDNA

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    International audienceAssessing individual components of biodiversity, such as local or regional taxon richness, and differences in community composition is a long-standing challenge in ecology. It is especially relevant in spatially structured and diverse ecosystems. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been suggested as a novel technique to detect taxa and therefore may allow to accurately measure biodiversity. However, we do not yet fully understand the comparability of eDNA-based assessments to classical morphological approaches. We assessed may-, stone-, and caddisfly genera with two contemporary methods, namely eDNA sampling followed by molecular identification and kicknet sampling followed by morphological identification. We sampled 61 sites distributed over a large river network, allowing a comparison of various diversity measures from the catchment to site levels and providing insights into how these measures relate to network properties. We extended our data with historical morphological records of total diversity at the catchment level. At the catchment scale, identification based on eDNA and kicknet samples detected similar proportions of the overall and cumulative historically documented richness (gamma diversity), 42% and 46%, respectively. We detected a good overlap (62%) between genera identified from eDNA and kicknet samples at the regional scale. At the local scale, we found highly congruent values of local taxon richness (alpha diversity) between eDNA and kicknet samples. Richness of eDNA was positively related to discharge, a descriptor of network position, while kicknet was not. Beta diversity, a measure of dissimilarity between sites, was comparable for the two contemporary methods and is driven by species replacement and not by nestedness. Although eDNA approaches are still in their infancy and optimization regarding sampling design and laboratory work is still needed, our results indicate that it can capture different components of diversity, proving its potential utility as a new tool for large sampling campaigns across hitherto understudied complete river catchments

    Carriage of critically important antimicrobial resistant bacteria and zoonotic parasites amongst camp dogs in remote Western Australian indigenous communities

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    Camp dogs in indigenous communities in the Western Australian Kimberley Region, share the domestic environment with humans and have the potential to act as carriers of, and sentinels for, a wide range of zoonotic agents, including intestinal parasites and antimicrobial resistant bacteria. In this study, we investigated the carriage of extended-spectrum-cephalosporin-resistant (ESC-resistant) Escherichia coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and species of hookworm and Giardia among camp dogs in remote Western Australian Aboriginal communities. A total of 141 canine faecal samples and 156 nasal swabs were collected from dogs in four communities of the Western Australian Kimberley region. Overall, ESC-resistant E. coli was detected in 16.7% of faecal samples and MRSA was isolated from 2.6% of nasal swabs. Of most significance was the presence of the community-associated Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL)-positive MRSA ST93 and ST5 clones and ESC-resistant E. coli ST38 and ST131. The most prevalent zoonotic intestinal parasite infection was Ancylostoma caninum (66%). The prevalence of Giardia was 12.1%, with the main genotypes of Giardia detected being dog specific assemblages C and D, which are unlikely to cause disease in humans

    The ecology of freshwater planarians.

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    Planarians are on the rise as a model system for regeneration and stem cell dynamics. Almost in parallel the interest in planarian field biology has declined. Besides representing an independent research discipline in its own right, understanding of the natural habitat is also directly relevant to optimizing culture conditions in the laboratory. Moreover, the current laboratory models are but few of hundreds of planarian species worldwide. Their adaptation to a wide range of ecological niches has resulted in a fascinating diversity of regenerative abilities, body size, reproduction strategies, and life expectancy, to name just a few. With the currently ongoing establishment of large planarian species collections, such phenotypic diversity becomes accessible to comparative mechanistic analysis in the laboratory. Overall, we hope that this chapter inspires an integral view of the planarian model system that not only includes the molecular and cellular processes under investigation but also the evolutionary forces that shaped them in the first place
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