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Title: Editorial: advances in biomonitoring for the sustainability of vulnerable African Riverine ecosystems.
Authors: O'Brien, Gordon Craig.
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
Keywords: Biomonitoring.;Bioassessment.;Biotic indices.;Multimetric indices.;Afrotropical rivers.;Water resources.;Macroinvertebrates.;Fishes.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Abstract: Since recorded time, rivers have facilitated the establishment of human civilizations because of the myriad ecosystem goods and services they offer (Macklin and Lewin, 2015). Rivers provide transportation corridors, supply food in form of fisheries, and are major sources of water for irrigation, domestic use, renewable energy, and industrial development (Ripl, 2003).However, these benefits have come at a great cost to the structural and functional integrity of rivers and linked ecosystems (Dudgeon et al., 2006; Vörösmarty et al., 2010). The capacity of rivers to sustainably meet human needs for water and ecosystem services is premised on maintaining their ecological integrity, which encompasses the gamut of biological diversity and ecosystem processes that maintain them (Karr, 1993). In river networks, ecological integrity is spatiotemporally dynamic, largely driven by the natural flow regime (Poff et al., 1997), which provides a template for ecological processes and species to thrive. River managers have the challenge of reconciling human needs with the ecological requirements of healthy ecosystems. This requires innovative decision-support tools for assessing and monitoring the ecological status of rivers to guide management and conservation efforts. This Research Topic presents selected original research articles and reviews on some of the tools used to assess the ecological status of rivers in Africa. The objectives of the special issue are to: i. contribute to the development of biomonitoring tools (e.g., biotic indices, multimeric indices, models, etc.), that are affordable, rapid and easy to use for enhanced understanding of human impacts on rivers. ii. give novel insights into the effects of multiple stressors in rivers arising from human activities, such as land-use change, water pollution and excessive water withdrawals, iii. address methodological challenges related to the use of existing tools used for biomonitoring, and iv. encourage knowledge sharing and standardization of tools used for biomonitoring rivers in Africa, and promote interdisciplinary collaborations.
DOI: 10.3389/frwa.2021.772682
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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