Watershed Management & Ecosystem Restoration

Multifunctional nature-based watershed management & ecosystem restoration

Eurasian beaver activity increases water storage, attenuates flow and mitigates diffuse pollution from intensively-managed grasslands

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:22am
Beavers are the archetypal keystone species, which can profoundly alter ecosystem structure and function through their ecosystem engineering activity, most notably the building of dams. This can have a major impact upon water resource management, flow regimes and water quality. Previous research has predominantly focused on the activities of North American beaver (Castor canadensis) located in very different environments, to the intensive lowland agricultural landscapes of the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe.

Nature-Based Solutions for Europe's Sustainable Development

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:10am
Pursuing economic targets of job creation, growth, and innovation while tackling global environmental challenges, has long been seen as impossible. However, any long-term economic competitiveness and security depends on the extent to which natural resources are used sustainably. Therefore, the European Union is investing in nature-based solutions to achieve this double goal. The difference between the prevailing economic model and a sustainable resource use has long seemed insurmountable.

Integrated valuation of a nature-based solution for water pollution control. Highlighting hidden benefits

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:07am
In this study we assess multiple benefits (environmental, social and economic) provided by a multi-purpose green infrastructure (a series of constructed wetlands surrounded by a park) in a peri-urban area, and compare it with the alternative grey infrastructure and with the previous situation (a poplar plantation). We apply a multi-criteria analysis as a basis for integrated valuation. We address specific policy needs (strategic objectives) for the local territorial planning in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

Hydro-dam – A nature-based solution or an ecological problem: The fate of the Tonlé Sap Lake

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:06am
Recent proliferation of hydro-dams was one of the nature-based solutions to meet the increasing demand for energy and food in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMRB). While construction of these hydro-dams generated some hydropower and facilitated expansion of irrigated lands, it also significantly altered the basin-wide hydrology and subsequently impacted wetland ecosystems. Unintended adverse consequences of ecosystem services from lakes and wetlands offset the intended gains in hydroelectricity and irrigated agriculture.

Assessment of the spatiotemporal effects of land use changes on runoff and nitrate loads in the Talar River

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:00am
This research surveyed the effects of land use changes on flow nitrate pollution in the Talar River (northern Iran), using Landsat images of 1991 and 2013 and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The results indicated that forest areas decreased by 14.9% and irrigated crops, dry land farming areas, range lands and residential areas increased by 46.8%, 31.1%, 4.7% and 17.5%, respectively.

Bioturbation effects on bioaccumulation of cadmium in the wetland plant Typha latifolia: A nature-based experiment

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:55am
The development of efficient bioremediation techniques to reduce aquatic pollutant load in natural sediment is one of the current challenges in ecological engineering. A nature-based solution for metal bioremediation is proposed through a combination of bioturbation and phytoremediation processes in experimental indoor microcosms. The invertebrates Tubifex tubifex (Oligochaeta Tubificidae) was used as an active ecological engineer for bioturbation enhancement. The riparian plant species Typha latifolia was selected for its efficiency in phyto-accumulating pollutants from sediment.

Identifying Five Different Perspectives on the Ecosystem Services Concept Using Q Methodology

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:54am
The objective of this paper is to recognize and categorize the various ways that ecosystem services researchers perceive the concept and purpose of ecosystem services (ES). To do so, we employed the discourse analysis approach of Q methodology, where 33 researchers ranked 39 statements on ES derived from the literature.

Reflections about blue ecosystem services in cities

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:52am
Water is of particular importance for cities. Many fast growing megacities are facing serious water-related problems including pollution, eutrophication, missing wastewater treatment and, perhaps most importantly, a severe scarcity of clean water. In the entire urban world, water resources are used in an inefficient way. But there is great potential: this opinion paper discusses ecosystem services provided by waters-hereafter referred to as blue urban ecosystem services-and respective links to green infrastructure and the services they provide for human wellbeing.

Linear parks along urban rivers: Perceptions of thermal comfort and climate change adaptation in Cyprus

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:49am
The development of green space along urban rivers could mitigate urban heat island effects, enhance the physical and mental well-being of city dwellers, and improve flood resilience. A linear park has been recently created along the ephemeral Pedieos River in the urban area of Nicosia, Cyprus. Questionnaire surveys and micrometeorological measurements were conducted to explore people's perceptions and satisfaction regarding the services of the urban park. People's main reasons to visit the park were physical activity and exercise (67%), nature (13%), and cooling (4%).

Life Cycle Assessment of wastewater treatment systems for small communities: Activated sludge, constructed wetlands and high rate algal ponds

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:48am
The aim of this study was to assess the environmental impact of three alternatives for wastewater treatment in small communities. To this end, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was carried out comparing a conventional wastewater treatment plant (i.e. activated sludge system) with two nature-based technologies (i.e. hybrid constructed wetland and high rate algal pond systems). Moreover, an economic evaluation was also addressed. All systems served a population equivalent of 1500 p.e. The functional unit was 1 m3 of water.