About this Research Topic
More than 100,000 species depend on freshwater ecosystems, though they occupy less than 1% of Earth’s surface. Furthermore, about one-third of all vertebrate species (including mammals, amphibians, aquatic reptiles, and freshwater fish) live in freshwater habitats. An important biodiversity hotspot, freshwater wetlands are critical to global ecology and play a vital role in biodiversity protection around the world, providing habitat for many endangered and endemic species.
To meet water, energy and transportation needs, humans have built a series of dams. For example, over 300 giant dams and a surprising number of smaller dams have been constructed, leaving over half of the Earth’s large rivers fragmented. In China alone, over 50,000 dams were built throughout the Changjiang (Yangtze) River's watershed since 1950. The construction, operation, and removal of dams has altered global wetland ecosystems significantly, with a substantial impact on biodiversity across taxa (benthos, plankton, microorganisms, fish, aquatic mammals, birds, plants, etc.). For instance, the construction of dams has blocked migration routes and caused extensive habitat fragmentation.
The aim of this Research Topic is to gather the latest research addressing the critical issue of the impact of construction, operation, and removal of dams on biodiversity, with a particular focus on mitigating measures. In this collection, we invite the submission of original research and review articles from wetland ecologists and wetland ecological engineers on the following topics:
• Individual and community-level responses to the construction, operation or removal of dams;
• Combined effects of dams and other (natural and human) disturbance on wetland biodiversity;
• Measures to mitigate and quantify the impacts of construction, operation, or removal of dams on wetland biodiversity;
• Restoration of wetlands to conserve and recover biodiversity;
• New research technologies and methods (such as molecular biology techniques and remote sensing) and their application in this field.
Keywords: biodiversity, conservation, Impact, Dam, wetland, mitigating measure
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.