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  • 1. Bazzanti, Marcello
    et al.
    Mastrantuono, Luciana
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Depth-related response of macroinvertebrates to the reversal of eutrophication in a Mediterranean lake: Implications for ecological assessment2017In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 579, p. 456-465Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A better management of nutrient inflows into lakes has led to an improvement in their conditions (i.e. reversal of eutrophication) and the effects of this on macroinvertebrate communities that inhabit different lake-depth zones is largely unknown. This paper reports a comparison of macroinvertebrate communities living in the eulittoral, infralittoral and sublittoral/profundal zones of Lake Nemi (Central Italy) before and after its natural recovery from eutrophication following the deviation of domestic Wastewater. The infralittoral zone responded more rapidly than the other two depth-zones to the improved ecological conditions, as shown by larger differences in community composition between the two periods. In the eulittoral sand, the combined effects of hydromorphological pressures and reversal of eutrophication hindered the biotic response. In the eulittoral and infralittoral zones, typical taxa of mesotrophic waters appeared or increased their abundances after the eutrophication reversal. Benthic invertebrate response was slower in the sublittoral/profundal zone due to deoxygenation that continued to prevail in the deepest area of the lake during summer. However, both tolerant and more sensitive taxa were collected there for the first time. After the reversal of eutrophication, the percentage of molluscan + large crustaceans increased in the infralittoral zone, whereas the oligochaete/chironomid ratio decreased in both sublittoral/profundal and infralittoral zones. Functional feeding metrics (percentages of filter-feeders, collector-gatherers, miners and scrapers/grazers) differently tracked the reversal of eutrophication in the three depth-zones probably according to the effects of the-reduction of nutrients on food-web structure influencing macroinvertebrates. Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) and the Average Score Per Taxon (ASPT) seemed to respond to eutrophication reversal only in the sublittoral/profundal zone, where deoxygenation plays a major role as a structuring agent of the community. Our results suggest that the effects of re-. versal of eutrophication can be better assessed by examining the response of the communities belonging to each zone individually. 

  • 2. Bravo, Andrea G.
    et al.
    Kothawala, Dolly N.
    Attermeyer, Katrin
    Tessier, Emmanuel
    Bodmer, Pascal
    Ledesma, Jose U.
    Audet, Joachim
    Pere Casas-Ruiz, Joan
    Catalan, Nuria
    Cauvy-Fraunie, Sophie
    Colls, Miriam
    Deininger, Anne
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Evtimova, Vesela V.
    Fonvielle, Jeremy A.
    Fuss, Thomas
    Gilbert, Peter
    Ortega, Sonia Herrero
    Liu, Liu
    Mendoza-Lera, Clara
    Monteiro, Juliana
    Mor, Jordi-Rene
    Nagler, Magdalena
    Niedrist, Georg H.
    Nydahl, Anna C.
    Pastor, Ada
    Pegg, Josephine
    Roberts, Catherine Gutmann
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Portela, Ana Paula
    Gonzalez-Quijano, Clara Romero
    Romero, Ferran
    Rulik, Martin
    Amouroux, David
    The interplay between total mercury, methylmercury and dissolved organic matter in fluvial systems: A latitudinal study across Europe2018In: Water Research, ISSN 0043-1354, E-ISSN 1879-2448, Vol. 144, p. 172-182Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Large-scale studies are needed to identify the drivers of total mercury (THg) and monomethyl-mercury (MeHg) concentrations in aquatic ecosystems. Studies attempting to link dissolved organic matter (DOM) to levels of THg or MeHg are few and geographically constrained. Additionally, stream and river systems have been understudied as compared to lakes. Hence, the aim of this study was to examine the influence of DOM concentration and composition, morphological descriptors, land uses and water chemistry on THg and MeHg concentrations and the percentage of THg as MeHg (%MeHg) in 29 streams across Europe spanning from 41°N to 64°N. THg concentrations (0.06–2.78 ng L−1) were highest in streams characterized by DOM with a high terrestrial soil signature and low nutrient content. MeHg concentrations (7.8–159 pg L−1) varied non-systematically across systems. Relationships between DOM bulk characteristics and THg and MeHg suggest that while soil derived DOM inputs control THg concentrations, autochthonous DOM (aquatically produced) and the availability of electron acceptors for Hg methylating microorganisms (e.g. sulfate) drive %MeHg and potentially MeHg concentration. Overall, these results highlight the large spatial variability in THg and MeHg concentrations at the European scale, and underscore the importance of DOM composition on mercury cycling in fluvial systems.

  • 3. Manfrin, Alessandro
    et al.
    Traversetti, Lorenzo
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Larsen, Stefano
    Scalici, Massimiliano
    Effect of spatial scale on macroinvertebrate assemblages along a Mediterranean river2016In: Hydrobiologia, ISSN 0018-8158, E-ISSN 1573-5117, Vol. 765, no 1, p. 185-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although the assembly of stream macroinvertebrates is regulated by environmental heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales, field bioassessment studies that explicitly considered such scale-dependency are rare. Here, we investigated how large scale longitudinal gradients and local microhabitat structure jointly regulate the assembly of macroinvertebrate communities along a Mediterranean river. We compared community composition, metrics and functional feeding traits among three microhabitat categories (grain-size > 20 cm; grain-size < 20 cm; organic substrata) along three river sectors (up-, middle-, downstream), which reflected a gradient of anthropogenic modification. Macroinvertebrate assemblages varied mostly over the large-scale longitudinal gradient, but the influence of local micro-habitat features was evident at the within-sector scale. The effects of micro-habitats appeared stronger for feeding traits compared to simple taxonomic metrics, supporting the hypothesis that feeding traits are sensitive to river substratum character. Beta-diversity among micro-habitat types was smaller in the modified downstream sector, which supported more homogeneous communities. An explicit consideration of spatial scales is recommended when interpreting results from environmental assessment studies. In the Aniene River, the influence of local-scale substratum character on macroinvertebrates depended on the longitudinal gradient in anthropogenic pressure. Also, the findings suggest that taxonomic and functional metrics reflect processes operating at different spatial scales.

  • 4.
    Mastrantuono, Luciana
    et al.
    Rome, Italy.
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Rome, Italy; Berlin, Germany.
    Rossopinti, Andrea
    Rome, Italy.
    Bazzanti, Marcello
    Rome, Italy.
    Solimini, Angelo G.
    Rome, Italy.
    Response of littoral macroinvertebrates to morphological disturbances in Mediterranean lakes: the case of Lake Piediluco (central Italy)2015In: Fundamental and Applied Limnology, ISSN 1863-9135, Vol. 186, no 4, p. 297-310, article id PA Umbria, 2005, Monografia 15/Caratterizzazione ambientale del lago di Piediluco, P1 dand J., 1983, Malacologia, V24, P277 ccardi R, 1955, Mem. Soc. Geogr. Ital, V22, P115 Farland B., 2010, Aquat. Conserv.: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst., V20, P105 ring Daniel, 2013, HYDROBIOLOGIA, V704, P1 nziger R., 1995, Hydrobiologia, V301, P133 igal C, 2006, HYDROBIOLOGIA, V563, P371 Goff Elaine, 2012, FUNDAMENTAL AND APPLIED LIMNOLOGY, V180, P111Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The assessment of the impacts of human morphological alterations on lake ecological condition based on littoral benthic fauna is still in its infancy, especially in the Mediterranean area of Europe. Lake Piediluco is a riverine lake, sited in Central Italy, whose water level is strictly regulated for hydroelectric reasons and hence can be classified as a Heavily Modified Water Body (HMWB) according to the E.U. Water Framework Directive (WDF). Here, we aim at comparing the invertebrate assemblages among sites with a different degree of morphological alterations by identifying potential indicator species and metrics sensitive to morphological alterations, and by comparing the fauna composition collected using two sampling procedures (composite vs habitat-specific samples) with different processing times. Our results show that the invertebrate assemblages of Lake Piediluco differed according to the three types of shoreline alteration (natural, soft- and hard-altered sites) and this was more evident when we analyzed the habitat-specific samples. Several taxa, diversity and metrics based on the number of Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, Odonata and Mollusca taxa (ETO and ETOM) are found to be sensitive to shoreline alterations and are candidates for inclusion in assessment metrics for WDF compliant monitoring of the ecological status of this lake. While habitat-specific sampling provided a more detailed picture of the assemblages, composite samples provided consistent results and could be used when processing cost is an issue.

  • 5.
    Nilsson, Christer
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Sarneel, Judith M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Ecology & Biodiversity Group and Plant Ecophysiology Group, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.
    Palm, Daniel
    Gardeström, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Polvi, Lina E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Lind, Lovisa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Holmqvist, Daniel
    Lundqvist, Hans
    How do biota respond to additional physical restoration of restored streams?2017In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), ISSN 1432-9840, E-ISSN 1435-0629, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 144-162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Restoration of channelized streams by returning coarse sediment from stream edges to the wetted channel has become a common practice in Sweden. Yet, restoration activities do not always result in the return of desired biota. This study evaluated a restoration project in the Vindel River in northern Sweden in which practitioners further increased channel complexity of previously restored stream reaches by placing very large boulders (> 1 m), trees (> 8 m), and salmonid spawning gravel from adjacent upland areas into the channels. One reach restored with basic methods and another with enhanced methods were selected in each of ten different tributaries to the main channel. Geomorphic and hydraulic complexity was enhanced but the chemical composition of riparian soils and the communities of riparian plants and fish did not exhibit any clear responses to the enhanced restoration measures during the first 5 years compared to reaches restored with basic restoration methods. The variation in the collected data was among streams instead of between types of restored reaches. We conclude that restoration is a disturbance in itself, that immigration potential varies across landscapes, and that biotic recovery processes in boreal river systems are slow. We suggest that enhanced restoration has to apply a catchment-scale approach accounting for connectivity and availability of source populations, and that low-intensity monitoring has to be performed over several decades to evaluate restoration outcomes.

  • 6.
    Pilotto, Francesca
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany; Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin; School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.
    Harvey, Gemma L.
    Wharton, Geraldene
    Pusch, Martin T.
    Simple large wood structures promote hydromorphological heterogeneity and benthic macroinvertebrate diversity in low-gradient rivers2016In: Aquatic Sciences, ISSN 1015-1621, E-ISSN 1420-9055, Vol. 78, no 4, p. 755-766Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The presence of large wood (LW) in river channels adds an important habitat feature for benthic macroinvertebrates. However, there has been a lack of studies focusing on the effects of simple wood structures on hydromorphology and macroinvertebrate diversity in surrounding channel areas. This study explores whether consistent patterns in LW-related benthic habitat complexity and macroinvertebrate diversity can be identified across a set of low-gradient streams dominated by fine sediments. While the presence of LW did not change the average values of standard hydromorphological variables (flow velocity, turbulence, median sediment grain size and sorting index), the coefficients of variation of such variables for wood rich sites were consistently higher than those for wood poor sites (velocity: 85 % higher, turbulence: 89 %, grain size: 126 %, sorting index: 67 % higher). In parallel, beta diversity was on average 31 % higher in the wood rich sites, and positively correlated with the amount of LW at the site. The hotspots of local (alpha) diversity were located in the river-bed areas surrounding the LW, where taxonomic richness was 83 % higher and Shannon-Wiener diversity 39 % higher compared to the sites with less wood. These results demonstrate that the presence of LW in sandy lowland rivers induces consistent patterns of increased spatial variability of benthic habitats in the surrounding channel areas and this significantly enhances alpha and beta diversity of macroinvertebrate communities. Therefore, LW should be conserved in river channels wherever possible, and its potential for introduction into degraded systems should be explored further because even simple pieces of LW introduced to lowland streams can deliver benefits.

  • 7.
    Pilotto, Francesca
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Polvi, Lina E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    McKie, Brendan G.
    First signs of macroinvertebrate recovery following enhanced restoration of boreal streams used for timber floating2018In: Ecological Applications, ISSN 1051-0761, E-ISSN 1939-5582, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 587-597Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although ecological restoration generally succeeds in increasing physical heterogeneity, many projects fail to enhance biota. Researchers have suggested several possible explanations, including insufficient restoration intensity, or time-lags in ecological responses that prevent detection of significant changes in short-term monitoring programs. This study aims to evaluate whether benthic macroinvertebrate communities responded to an expanded set of stream restoration measures within a study period of one to five years after completion of the restoration project. We studied 10 forest streams in northern Sweden that were channelized in the past for timber floating. Managers subjected six of these streams to habitat restoration, on each of these we selected two reaches, located in close proximity but differing in restoration intensity. In basic restored reaches, the restoration managers broke up the channelized banks and returned cobbles and small boulders to the main channel. In enhanced restoration reaches, they added additional large wood and boulders to reaches previously subjected to basic restoration, and rehabilitated gravel beds. The remaining four streams were not restored, and thus represent the baseline impacted (channelized) condition. We surveyed stream benthic assemblages before the enhanced restoration (year 2010) and three times afterward between 2011 and 2015. Five years after restoration, macroinvertebrate assemblages at the enhanced restored reaches were more differentiated from channelized conditions than those at basic-restored reaches. This reflected increased relative abundances of the insect orders Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera and the bivalve molluscs Sphaeriidae and decreased relative abundances of Chironomidae (Diptera). Analysis of functional traits provided further insights on the mechanistic explanations driving the recovery, e.g., indicating that the augmented channel retention capacity at enhanced restored reaches favored taxa adapted to slow flow conditions and more effectively retained passive aquatic dispersers. The increased restoration intensity in enhanced restored reaches has resulted in shifts in the composition of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages, including increases in more sensitive taxa. These shifts became fully apparent five years after the enhanced restoration. Our results emphasize the value of longer-term monitoring to assess ecological responses following restoration, and of undertaking additional restoration as a valuable management option for previously restored sites that failed to achieve biotic recovery.

  • 8.
    Su, Xiaolei
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Ministry of Education), Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing 400715, PR China.
    Nilsson, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Liu, Songping
    Shi, Shaohua
    Zeng, Bo
    Soil erosion and deposition in the new shorelines of the Three Gorges Reservoir2017In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 599, p. 1485-1492Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the last few decades, the construction of storage reservoirs worldwide has led to the formation of many new shorelines in former upland areas. After the formation of such shorelines, a dynamic phase of soil erosion and deposition follows. We explored the factors regulating soil dynatitics in the shorelines of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) on the Yangtze River in China. We selected four study sites on the main stem and three on the tributaries in the upstream parts of the reservoir, and evaluated whether the sites close to the backwater tail (the point at which the river meets the reservoir) had more soil deposition than the sites far from the backwater tail. We also tested whether soil erosion differed between the main stem and the tributaries and across shorelines. We found that soil deposition in the new shorelines was higher close to the backwater tail and decreased downstream. Soil erosion was higher in the main stem than in the tributaries and higher at lower compared to higher shoreline altitudes. In the tributaries, erosion did not differ between higher and lower shoreline levels. Erosion increased with increasing fetch length, inundation duration and distance from the backwater tail, and decreased with increasing soil particle fineness. Our results provide a basis for identifying shorelines in need of restorative or protective measures.

  • 9.
    Su, Xiaolei
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Ministry of Education), Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.
    Polvi, Lina E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Lind, Lovisa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, NRRV, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Pilotto, Francesca
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of River Ecology and Conservation, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Gelnhausen, Germany.
    Nilsson, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
    Importance of landscape context for post-restoration recovery of riparian vegetation2019In: Freshwater Biology, ISSN 0046-5070, E-ISSN 1365-2427, Vol. 64, no 5, p. 1015-1028Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We tested whether the recovery of riparian vegetation along rapids that have been restored after channelisation for timber floating can be predicted based on floristic and geomorphic characteristics of surrounding landscape units. Our study was located along tributary stream networks, naturally fragmented in rapids, slow-flowing reaches, and lakes (i.e. process domains), in the Vindel River catchment in northern Sweden.

    We tested whether landscape characteristics, specifically to what extent the geomorphology (affecting local abiotic conditions), species richness, and species composition (representing the species pool for recolonisation), as well as the proximity to various upstream process domains (determining the dispersal potential), can predict post-restoration recovery of riparian vegetation.

    Our results indicate that post-restoration recovery of riparian vegetation richness or composition is not strongly related to landscape-scale species pools in these streams. The restored rapids were most similar to upstream rapids, geomorphically and floristically, including plant traits. Species richness of adjacent landscape units (upstream process domains or lateral upland zone) did not correlate with that of restored rapids, and proximity of upstream rapids or other process domains was only weakly influential, thus diminishing support for the hypothesis that hydrochory or other means of propagule dispersal plays a strong role in riparian vegetation community organisation after restoration in this fragmented stream network.

    We conclude that, in these naturally fragmented stream systems with three discrete process domains (rapids, slow-flowing reaches and lakes), hydrochory is probably not the main predictor for short-term riparian vegetation recovery. Therefore, other factors than landscape context can serve in prioritising restoration and, in these systems, local factors are likely to outweigh landscape connectivity in the recovery of riparian vegetation.

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