About this Research Topic
The flow regime is the master variable governing processes and biota in rivers. Freshwater biological communities evolved based on the natural flow regime pattern of rivers, thus changes to this natural pattern entail modifications to those communities, proportional to the detour from the natural pattern. In regulated rivers, environmental flows and other river restoration measures try to return sustainability to the downstream biological communities, addressing their flow requirements based on established flow-ecology responses. Although in natural flow conditions, communities are in an equilibrium state, in regulated circumstances the actual context is defined by multiple interactions and cascades of effects that determine contradictions in flow requirements of the communities. When research tries to address the multiple biological elements and processes, towards a holistic perspective, expert judgments are needed to balance the different flow requirements.
The goal of this Research Topic is to assemble a collection that investigates the potential interactions and cascades of effects between biological communities, fluvial processes, and habitats. The collection will provide a pool of information that can reveal and help understand, the complex network of interactions and factors that could be masking the responses of biota for a determined environmental flow regime released to the river. This is only achievable with a deep understanding of the interactions existing between communities, habitats, and processes, in a wide detour gradient from the natural flow regime. This Research Topic also intends to bring together the greatest possible interdisciplinary approaches, for a broader encompassing understanding of the fluvial systems and their requirements.
We are looking for interdisciplinary studies relating to multiple biological elements, river processes, and habitat changes facing river regulation. The main requirement for studies presented to this call is an interactive perspective of the considered elements in the work, particularly as a result of the flow regime or facing flow regime changes.
Research interests include but are not limited to the following areas:
• Ecohydrology and ecohydraulic studies, as well as freshwater ecology works relating biodiversity both functional and biological, with flow regulation.
• Aims to ascertain common factors with similar flow responses from freshwater communities functioning as holistic variables for ecosystem health assessment facing river regulation.
• Ecosystem services in a holistic perspective of the fluvial system.
• Studies to increase the confidence of the long-term effects of the prescribed e-flow regimes.
• Subsequent suggestions intended for habitat improvement in these areas.
• Sciences involving mechanical or social properties of river ecosystems facing river regulation.
Keywords: Ecohydraulics, ecohydrology, freshwater biodiversity, instream habitat, fluvial processes, environmental flows, river restoration, habitat improvement, river ecosystem
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.