Rivers Functionality Reflects Their Ecological Status and Is Rarely Explored
Jul 19, 2017 at 1:00pm
UPV/EHU- University of Basque Country
A study by the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country establishes the need to incorporate measurements relating to the functioning of river ecosystems into the research and management of them.
The research group within the framework of the European Globaqua project proposes going beyond the study of river ecosystems and incorporating into the studies routinely carried out a set of processes that regulate not only the fluxes of matter but also the fluxes of energy within an ecosystem.
Right now, the measurements stipulated by the protocols to find out what the ecological status of the rivers is are structural ones (related to the shape of the channel, water quality or the composition of the biological communities): measurements of communities, pollutants, temperature, concentration of nutrients, etc. Yet the way an ecosystem functions is defined as the set of processes that regulate both matter fluxes and energy fluxes within an ecosystem. In this respect, the researchers are proposing a raft of complementary measurements of function relating to metabolism processes, the decomposition of organic matter, nutrient cycling, pollutant dynamics and river community dynamics.
The researchers set out to produce a tool that both researchers and managers can use for their work.
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