Watershed influence on fluvial ecosystems: an integrated methodology for river water quality management

The EU Water Framework Directive 2000/ 60 (Integrated River Basin Management for Europe) establishes the importance of preserving water quality through policies applied at watershed level given the strong links existing among ecological, hydrological, and hydrogeological systems. Therefore, monitoring campaigns of river water quality should be planned with multidisciplinary approaches starting from a landscape perspective. In this paper, the effects of the basin hydrology on the river water quality and, in particular, the impacts caused by the runoff production coming from agricultural areas are investigated. The fluvial segments receiving consistent amount of pollutant loads (due to the runoff routing over agricultural areas) are assumed more critical in terms of water quality and thus, they require more accurate controls. Starting from this perspective, to evaluate the runoff productions coming from agricultural areas, we applied a semi-distributed hydrological model that adopts satellite data, pedological and morphological information for the watershed description. Then, the river segments receiving critical amount of runoff loads from the surrounding cultivated areas were identified. Finally, in order to validate the approach, water quality for critical and non critical segment was investigated seasonally, by using river macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality because of their effectiveness in preserving in time a memory of pollution events. Biomonitoring data showed that river water quality strongly decreases in correspondence of fluvial segments receiving critical amount of runoff coming from agricultural areas. The results highlight the usefulness of such a methodology to plan monitoring campaigns specifically devoted to non-point pollution sources and suggest the possibility to use this approach for water quality management and for planning river restoration policies.

How to cite: Carone, M.T., T. Simoniello, S. Manfreda, G. Caricato, Watershed influence on fluvial ecosystems: a methodology for river water quality managementEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment, 152(1-4), 327-342, (doi: 10.1007/s10661-008-0319-1), 2009. [Link]

MEDCLUB—starting line and first activities

The working group MEDCLUB, proposed by Fiorentino and Iacobellis (2005), is aimed at developing a wide range of activities dealing with Climate-Soil-Vegetation (CSV) interactions in Mediterranean basins. The goal of the project is to reduce uncertainty in predictions regarding hydrological extremes, soil water balance and ecosystem response to hydrological fluctuations. The research will focus on the controlling or dominant processes acting at basin or local scale that may allow model classification in terms of temporal and spatial scales, local climate, data requirements and type of application. In the present work, we briefly present the main framework of the project and its future perspective.

How to cite: Fiorentino, M., D. Carriero, V. Iacobellis, S. Manfreda, I. Portoghese, MEDCLUB – starting line and first activities, In: Predictions in Ungauged Basins: Promises and Progress edited by Murugesu Sivapalan, Thorsten Wagener, Stefan Uhlenbrook, Erwin Zehe, Venkat Lakshmi, Xu Liang, Yasuto Tachikawa & Praveen Kumar,  IAHS Publ. 303, (ISBN 1-901502-48-1), 2006. 

A model devoted to study the ecological restoration of fluvial habitats: a study case, first results

Fluvial habitat represents the most vulnerable ecosystem of the landscape because of its role of environmental corridor. For this reason a correct policy of management of these habitats is strictly necessary. In order to choose the best practice it is required to carry out a preliminary analysis of the whole fluvial system with integrated methodologies. In this work are presented the first results about the functionality and quality of a vulnerable area, called “Torrente Levata”, located in Southern Italy. The aim of this research is to classify the studied ecosystem and its landscape in different levels of vulnerability so as to suggest the best practice of ecological restoration of the more sensible sites using bioengineering techniques. To achieve this aim an interdisciplinary approach is used combining hydraulic and environmental sciences. In this paper we present the first step of the analysis which has concerned the investigation of quality state of the fluvial ecosystem by using the IFF (Fluvial Functionality Index), the IBE (Extended Biotic Index) and hydrological analyses. The research has taken advantages by the use of remotely sensed images (LANDSAT TM 5) to build a land use map of the study area.

How to cite: Carone, M.T. and S. Manfreda, A model devoted to study the ecological restoration of fluvial habitats: a case study, first results, Water Pollution VII:  Modelling, Measuring and Prediction (edited by C.A. Brebbia), WITpress, pp. 3-12, (ISBN 1-85312-976-3), 2003. [Link]