Research Topic

Ecological Dynamics Across the Aquatic-Terrestrial Boundary

About this Research Topic

Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are in an active and constant exchange of energy, material and organisms across boundaries. Thereby, interactions across the aquatic-terrestrial interface may have major consequences for supporting ecosystem functions and services in both aquatic and terrestrial systems (e.g., drinking water, flood protection, pollination, biological diversity or recreation). The drivers underpinning the functioning of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are, however, still mainly assessed within ecosystem boundaries, while recent findings emphasize the need for a broader approach with a focus on interactions across ecosystem boundaries. In addition, knowledge of aquatic-terrestrial interactions is not only theoretically sparse and in need of a better understanding of underlying mechanisms, but we also need to know how to use generated scientific knowledge for applied issues to tackle current and future challenges, such as increasing food demand, pollution and climate change.

The aim of this Research Topic is (i) to increase the understanding of cross-boundary flows, which requires expertise from multiple disciplines (e.g., terrestrial ecology, limnology, chemistry) to quantify flows, their importance to recipient organisms, and the ecosystem functions they provide, (ii) to give novel insights into cross-ecosystem interactions and integrate them into ecosystem services for projected climate and land-use change scenarios and (iii) and to determine key topics and methodological challenges related to the interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Thereby, this Research Topic also aims to inform researchers across boundaries to develop a common understanding and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations.

We seek contributions from a broad base that demonstrate how incorporating aquatic-terrestrial linkages provides challenges (or opportunities) for existing ecological theory and the management of aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems. We specifically invite submissions on the cross-boundary effects of:

• Flows and feedback loops between organisms and material
• Biodiversity, food webs, ecosystem functions and services
• Climate change amplification and mitigation
• Land-use change, agriculture, and urbanization
• Hydrology on the above topics


Keywords: Biodiversity, climate change, ecosystem functions and services, intensified agriculture, aquatic-terrestrial interactions


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.

Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are in an active and constant exchange of energy, material and organisms across boundaries. Thereby, interactions across the aquatic-terrestrial interface may have major consequences for supporting ecosystem functions and services in both aquatic and terrestrial systems (e.g., drinking water, flood protection, pollination, biological diversity or recreation). The drivers underpinning the functioning of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are, however, still mainly assessed within ecosystem boundaries, while recent findings emphasize the need for a broader approach with a focus on interactions across ecosystem boundaries. In addition, knowledge of aquatic-terrestrial interactions is not only theoretically sparse and in need of a better understanding of underlying mechanisms, but we also need to know how to use generated scientific knowledge for applied issues to tackle current and future challenges, such as increasing food demand, pollution and climate change.

The aim of this Research Topic is (i) to increase the understanding of cross-boundary flows, which requires expertise from multiple disciplines (e.g., terrestrial ecology, limnology, chemistry) to quantify flows, their importance to recipient organisms, and the ecosystem functions they provide, (ii) to give novel insights into cross-ecosystem interactions and integrate them into ecosystem services for projected climate and land-use change scenarios and (iii) and to determine key topics and methodological challenges related to the interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Thereby, this Research Topic also aims to inform researchers across boundaries to develop a common understanding and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations.

We seek contributions from a broad base that demonstrate how incorporating aquatic-terrestrial linkages provides challenges (or opportunities) for existing ecological theory and the management of aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems. We specifically invite submissions on the cross-boundary effects of:

• Flows and feedback loops between organisms and material
• Biodiversity, food webs, ecosystem functions and services
• Climate change amplification and mitigation
• Land-use change, agriculture, and urbanization
• Hydrology on the above topics


Keywords: Biodiversity, climate change, ecosystem functions and services, intensified agriculture, aquatic-terrestrial interactions


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.

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Submission Deadlines

29 October 2020 Abstract
08 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

29 October 2020 Abstract
08 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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