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A new hydrology: effects on ecosystem form and functioning

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Water cycles are changing because of human population growth and climate change. Such changes will affect fundamental system-level characteristics that in turn will greatly influence ecosystem form and functioning. Here, a collection of papers is offered that furthers our understanding of cause and effect relationships between altered hydrology and various ecosystem properties. Combined, these papers address issues related to inflows, connectivity, and circulation and vertical mixing. In regards to altered inflows, this collection of papers addresses how seagrass bed communities, incidence of some haptophyte harmful algal blooms, and biodiversity of intermittently flowing streams might respond. These papers also address factors that influence connectivity in wetlands, and in the case of a lake and its neighboring wetland, how connectivity between systems can profoundly affect ecosystem form and functioning. Finally, the effects of altered circulation and vertical mixing are addressed as they relate to the spread of some cyanobacteria blooms to higher latitudes. The reader of this collection of papers gains a better appreciation of how ecosystem form and functioning is influenced by hydrologic processes and can conclude that there is a need for continued research in this area to better understand the impacts of human population growth and climate change.

Document Type: Introduction


Affiliations: 1: Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, University Hill, 81100 Mytilene, Greece. 2: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia; Environmental Performance and Evaluation Branch, NSW Office of Water, Australia.

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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