Groundwater ecology group

IMDEA Water, Spain

Towards the use of groundwater biodiversity as indicators for aquifers quality in agricultural watersheds of Coquimbo region (Chile): an ecological field approach 

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Field crops in Coquimbo Region, Chile

Globally, the agriculture is one of the largest consumers of groundwater (GW) resources, that has a wide range of impacts on subterranean ecosystems. The pressure on groundwater from agricultural watersheds is remarkably higher in arid and drought-prone regions, where the aquifers depletions due to water abstraction for irrigation and water degradation resulted from nutrients load, exerts major alterations of water quality, groundwater recharge and the natural renewal rate. The present project aim is to assess the environmental alterations of groundwater ecosystems from agricultural watersheds in Coquimbo region (Chile) by specifically evaluate: the groundwater biodiversity; the effects of nitrogen and pesticides water loads on groundwater biota; and the ecosystem services provided by biota and their alterations due to agricultural activities. The study will be conducted with researchers from the CEAZA in Coquimbo region, well known for the problem of diffuse pollution with nitrogen and pesticides caused by irrigated agriculture. Groundwater biodiversity assessment is esential in understanding the impact produced by agriculture activities on GW as a resource and as ecosystem, a nexus that become more and more widely recognised. A sustainable use of aquifers in agriculture presently require new and interdiciplinary research approaches trough new practices as to evaluatethe water quality using a cluster of GW footprints.

Team collaborators: Nicolas Gouin, University La Serena / CEAZA, Chile


Ecology and biodiversity of copepods and ostracods in groundwater and groundwater dependent ecosystems

Groundwater is one of the most important natural resources on Earth which is currently under an exponential increase risks due to contamination and overexploitation. Integration of knowledge resulted from groundwater ecology will significantly advance our understanding of subterranean ecosystems, in terms of improvement/maintenance of water quality, bioremediation of contaminated aquifers as well as enhancing the knowledge on groundwater habitats and biodiversity conservation. The project is focused on applying the ecological criteria for an integrated assessment of groundwater ecosystems health, by using crustaceans as bioindicators. The aims of this long term project are to unravel the biodiversity of groundwater crustaceans (specifically copepods and ostracods), investigate their adaptations, evolution and colonisation of the subterranean domain (including caves, aquifers and hyporheic zone of rivers) and determine the ecological factors controlling the subterranean community’s structures and functions. We are focused our studies on subterranean copepods and ostracods from karst and porous aquifers located in temperate and Mediteranean climate regions. The projects also address questions related to the impacts of human activites on aquifers quality and of biotic community resilience and resistance; assess the impact of artificial recharged aquifers on groundwater ecosystems biota and the evaluation of toxic effects of emerging contaminants on groundwater crustacean species.

Team collaborators: Dr. Tiziana di Lorenzo (CNR Florence, Italy), Dr. Javier Lillo Ramos (University Rey Juan Carlos – IMDEA Water), Dr. Francisco Carreño (University Rey Juan Carlos – IMDEA Water), Dr. Raffaela Meffe (IMDEA Water), PhD Student David Mostaza; PhD Student Ruben Rasines Ladero (IMDEA Water), Andrea Castaño (IMDEA Water), Hydrographic Confederation of Tajo.


Ecology assessment of shallow recharged aquifers  in the upper part of  the Tajo basin (central Spain)

diagramrechargemethods
Aquifer recharge

Groundwater is one of the most important natural resources on Earth which is currently under an exponential increase risks due to contamination and overexploitation. Integration of knowledge resulted from groundwater ecology will significantly advance our understanding of subterranean ecosystems, in terms of improvement/maintenance of water quality, bioremediation of contaminated aquifers as well as enhancing the knowledge on groundwater habitats and biodiversity conservation. The Groundwater Ecology group of IMDEA Water is focused on applying the ecological criteria for an integrated assessment of groundwater ecosystems health, by using crustaceans as bioindicators. Our R&D activities aim to unravel the biodiversity of groundwater crustaceans and the ecological factors controlling the community’s structure and function from pristine and contaminated aquifers. The present project SMARTHYDRO address questions related to the impacts of agricultural practices on aquifers quality and of biotic community resilience and resistance; assess the impact of artificial recharged aquifers on groundwater ecosystems biota and the evaluation of toxic effects of emerging contaminants on groundwater crustacean species. SMARTHYDRO aims to incorporate technological advances in sensors, multispectral images and telecommunications to control the quantity and quality of groundwater in agricultural landscape, in order to reduce energy costs, water losses and environmental impact. Within SMARTHYDRO we explore the aquifers ecosystems status affected by agricultural activities (i.e. irrigation, use of fertilizers and pesticides compounds) by analyzing the groundwater crustacean’s community’s structural patterns and the alterations of ecosystem services they provide related to groundwater quality (http://smarthydro.inkoa.com/index.php/es/).


Team collaborators: Dr. Francisco Carreño (PI Smathydro) (University Rey Juan Carlos – IMDEA Water), Dr. Maria Leal Leca; PhD Student David Mostaza (IMDEA Water). Partners: Innovati, Inkoa, Sensing and Control, Imdea Water, AIN, Neiker.


Publications:

Iepure, S., R. Rasines-Ladero, R. Meffe, F. Carreño, D. Mostaza, A. Sundberg, T. Di Lorenzo, J. L. Barroso. 2017. Exploring the distribution of groundwater Crustacea: Copepoda and Ostracoda to disentangle aquifer type features – a case study in the Upper Tajo Basin (central Spain). Ecohydrology, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1876

Mostaza, D., Carreño, F., Iepure, S. 2016. Empleo de nuevas tecnologías en el campo de la agricultura: el proyecto Smart-Hydro. FuturENVIRO (31). pp. 72-73. ISSN 2340-2628.

Mostaza, D., Carreño, F., Iepure, S. 2016. Análisis del efecto de la extracción de agua para riego de un acuífero aluvial. Caso de estudio: Masa de Agua Subterránea (030.007) “Aluviales: Jarama-Tajuña” y Finca Experimental “La Isla” (IMIDRA, Arganda del Rey – Madrid). Comunicaciones CONAMA 2016.

Iepure, S., Feurdean, A., Badaluta, C., Nagavciuc, V., Persoiu, A. 2016. Pattern of richness and distribution of groundwater Copepoda (Cyclopoida: Harpacticoida) and Ostracoda in Romania: an evolutionary perspective. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society119(3): 593-608 · November 2016, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12686. 

Shapouri, M., Cancela da Fonseca, L., Iepure, S., Stigter, T., Ribeiro, L., Silva , A. 2016. The variation of stygofauna along a gradient of salinization in a coastal aquifer: the variation of stygofauna along a gradient of salinization in coastal aquifer. Hydrology Research, 47 (1). pp. 89-103. ISSN ISSN Online: 2224-7955.

SMARTHYDRO (PT4) 2015 Parameterization context Water Sensors and Data E4.1 Cloud Computing and Big Data Infrastructure (In spanish).

SMARTHYDRO (PT4) 2015 Setting context Water Sensors and Data E4.4 Infrastructure architecture researching the collection of experimental data and prototypes of the initial data collection (In spanish).

SMARTHYDRO (PT6) 2015 End User Applications E6.3 Integration Plan (In spanish)

SMARTHYDRO (PT3) 2015 Characterization of the physical environment (In spanish)

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