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Call 2013 SMART’s overall objective is to train scientists to develop and adopt integrated multidisciplinary approaches to the sustainable rehabilitation and maintenance of river corridor ecosystems. In particular SMART emphasises three multidisciplinary research areas that support specific objectives and offer each doctoral candidate a challenging context for their research project:
Research Area A: To advance relevant scientific knowledge of the resilience of riverfloodplain ecosystems to both natural and human induced changes in hydrological connectivity and other stressors.
Research Area B: To focus on the central linkage between physical processes and biota within river corridor ecosystems that fundamentally influence the potential of fluvial systems to self regulate and attain good ecological quality in both ‘reference’ and ‘impacted’ situations.
Research Area C: To evaluate the potential to support or rehabilitate desired river system functions in impacted systems (e.g. land use, hydropower, urban development, flow-tidal interactions).
This document presents a list of proposed research topics for the SMART Joint Doctorate. They are listed in the following table and a short description for each topic is reported in the following pages, together with the research supervisors, the primary and secondary university and, in some cases, the involved associate partner. The code given to each topic reflects the correspondent primary and secondary institution (“U”: University of Trento; “Q”: Queen Mary, University of London; “F”: Freie Universitat Berlin).
Res. area A B B A A A B C C B A B B B A B C B B C B C B C B B A A B UQ1 UQ2 UQ3 UQ4 UQ5 UQ6 UQ7 UQ8 UQ9 UF1 UF2 UF3 QU1 QU2 QU3 QU4 QU5 QU6 FU1 FU2 FU3 FU4 FU5 FQ1 FQ2 FQ3 FQ4 FQ5 FQ6
Interactions among vegetation, morphology and quality of water Establishing the spatial and temporal structure of hydraulic conductivity in alluvial floodplains using physical-based meander modelling and luminescence dating Morphotexture of gravel-bed river bars Isotopic, chemical and physical characterization of the Presena glacier and of the Noce River basin Modelling the effects of aquatic vegetation and colmation on suspended sediment transport and hyporheic exchange of permeable gravel bed rivers Climate Sensitivity of the Presena glacier Bio-morphodynamic evolution of tidal systems Hydroecological processes and nutrients cycling in agricultural ditches The role of morphological diversity in improving the health of hydropower-regulated river systems Thermal dynamics in braided river corridors. Environmental impacts of small hydropower plants The mechanics of bed-load and grain dispersion in rivers bed Investigating and modelling vegetation – fluvial morphology interactions: bank erosion and accretion Exploring interrelationships between floods and morphodynamics in braided rivers using multispectral satellite data Environmental impacts of hydrodynamic dredging Modelling the response of braided rivers and deltas to unsteady sediment supply Next generation models for urban flood management. Quantifying the methodological uncertainty in empirical estimates of gravel sediment transport 3D riverscapes: An airscape perspective of river landscapes Critical landscape elements along river corridors Food web modeling in aquatic systems Domesticated freshwaters: structure, function, and biodiversity River-floodplain connectivity in a lowland clay river corridor (Prut River, Romania/Moldova): Governing factors of hydrodynamics and productivity Remobilization of contaminants out of estuarine sediments Ecology of root-endophytic fungi in riparian plants Hyporheic reactors: coupling hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes in the bed of permeable lowland rivers Interactive response of macrophytes, invertebrates and fish to changing hydromorphologic conditions in rivers Microplastics in the river system Airborne and ground-based upscaling of findings on groundwater-surface water interactions
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QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL FUB FUB FUB QMUL/ UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN UniTN QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL QMUL
Research topic (UQ1) Interactions among vegetation, morphology and quality of water Supervisors: Aronne Armanini, Maurizio Righetti, Giorgio Rosatti, James Brasington, Alexander Sukhodolov Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary, University of London (UK) Associate Partner: IGB Berlin Research Area: B
Description The presence of plants, bushes or grass in river beds modifies the characteristics of flow field in water courses. Typically, the velocity field which crosses the vegetation is slower and more turbulent than the velocity field in reaches without vegetation. These differences in velocities change the transport of mass through the vegetation and, consequently, the chemical and biological equilibria of water are strongly influenced. In this research, the student will face the study of relationships among the presence of stems in bed streams, morphological changes and transport of mass both with experimental and numerical approach. Some experimental results have been already obtained at the University of Trento, concerning the interaction among plants, sediment transport and flow field. This investigation has been conducted with vegetation uniformly distributed on the bed of the channel. A further step of the investigation concerns the effect of islands of vegetation on river morphology. This situation is also affecting the environmental diversity inside the stream and have effects also on transport of different chemical and biological scalars. In the channel it will be possible to measure the flow and the turbulence field with the PIV Technique both in the vegetated islands and in not vegetated areas. There is the possibility to modelling numerically these interactions by adapting the existing 2D numerical code already existing at CUDAM. This approach will permit to understand the role of vegetation in the movements and dispersion of chemical and biological components of water, for relating the vegetation directly with the ecological equilibrium of rivers, and for defining the capacity of vegetation of restoring the quality of waters. References
Armanini A., Cavedon V., Righetti M. 2010, Sediment transport processes in vegetated streams, proceedings of 1° European IAHR Congress. Edinburgh, Scotland. Armanini A., Righetti M., Grisenti,P. (2005), Direct measurements of vegetation resistance in prototype scale, J. Hydr. Res. 43 (5)., 481-487. Elliot, A.H. (2000). Settling of fine sediment in a channel with emergent vegetation, J. Hydr. Engnr. 126 (8), 570-577 Nepf, H.M. (1999). Drag, turbulence and diffusion in flow through emergent vegetation. Water Resources Research. 35(2): 479-489. Nepf H., Ghisalberti M. (2008). Flow and transport in channels with submerged vegetation, Acta Geophysica, Vol. 56 (3), 756-777 Nikora, V. (2010). Hydrodynamics of aquatic ecosystems: an interface between ecology, biomechanics and environmental fluid mechanics, River Res. and Appl, Vol. 26 (4), 367-384. Righetti, M. , 2008, Flow analysis in a channel with flexible vegetation using double-averaging method, Acta Geophys. 56, 801-823 Wu, W., F. D. Shields Jr., S. J. Bennett, and S. S. Y. Wang (2005). A depth-averaged twodimensional model for flow, sediment transport, and bed topography in curved channels with riparian vegetation, Water Res. Res., 41 Rosatti G., Cesari D, Bonaventura L (2005). Semi-implicit, semi-Lagrangian modelling for environmental problems on staggered Cartesian grids with cut cells. Journal of Computational Physics, vol. 204; p. 353-377
The proposed research project aims to further develop a physically based mathematical model of river meandering evolution (Seminara et al. P. Res. 438. Computer Simulations. The research will integrate mathematical modelling with field observations. Duller. The recent development of physically-based simulation models of long term river dynamics hasn’t been exploited so far for this purpose despite its strong potential in this direction. A Computer Model for Meandering Rivers with Multiple Bed Load Sediment Sizes 2. 2001) to predict the spatial structure of the hydraulic conductivity in alluvial meandering floodplains. Water Resour. Zolezzi G...A. v.. Together. and T. Planimetric development. G. Seminara G. The chronological component of the vertical accretion rate will be established by employing optically-stimulated luminescence dating (OSL) of silt.Resarch topic (UQ2) Establishing the spatial and temporal structure of hydraulic conductivity in alluvial floodplains using physical-based meander modelling and luminescence dating Supervisors: Guido Zolezzi. South Africa. S. 15: 802-811. Part 2. Journal of fluid mechanics. 213-230. so to produce 3D grain size maps over geological timescales. Meakin. Tooth.. 2001 Downstream and upstream influence in river meandering. At present it is mainly achieved through a combination of geophysical surveys and statistical techniques. Jøssang (2001). Rodnight et al. Alberto Bellin. Zardi D. 37(8). A. This approach offers temporal resolution at the order of centuries to millennia (e. p.. Optical dating of a scroll-bar sequence on the Klip River.T.G.and sand-sized grains extracted from cores and sedimentary exposures at key locations along meander bends. 2001) and for the floodplain vertical accretion rate. this dual approach of numerical modelling and geological fieldwork will allow a deeper level of understanding than could be achieved by employing one of these approaches on it’s a own... H. Wintle. Tubino M. Sun. 2005) and will be carried out at the luminescence laboratory at QMUL. . T. 2005. The Holocene.. 2243-2258. The modelling development shall account for sediment heterogeneity in the description of the flow-bed topography in meandering channels (Sun et al. to derive the lateral migration rate of a meander bend.....g. Sven Lukas Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: to be defined Research Area: B Description Estimating the spatial structure of hydraulic conductivity in alluvial floodplain aquifers has great scientific and practical relevance. References Rodnight..
Hodge RA. Walter Bertoldi. 149-174 Laronne. Res. 2009. Richards KS. The reason for this difference may be attributed to the controlling effect of bed topography on the duration of recession for any given hydrograph. Sedimentology 56. The modelling component can either include mathematical or physical modelling for alternate bars stability and growth under unsteady flow conditions with multiple grain size. Characterization of grain-scale fluvial morphology using TLS. Proc. 1991. Richards KS. In gravel-bed rivers they often present distinctive morphotextural properties. Arava. 195(1-2). Jonathan Laronne Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) Research Area: B Description Alternate bars can be viewed as benchmark large scale bedforms in alluvial rivers because they represent fundamental morphodynamic units of a variety of channel patterns. Depositional character and preservation potential of coarse grained sediments deposited by flood events in hyper-arid braided channels in the Rift Valley. Landforms. from temperate to arid. . The proposed research aims to provide a quantitative explanation of the above process through a combination of modelling and analysis of high spatial resolution field data on the morpho-texture and dynamics of gravel bars taken from rivers within different hydrological settings. with bar tops often less armored compared with the nearby channels. Surf. Lanzoni and Tubino. 2007). 2007. Shlomi. A comprehensive insight on the process is lacking at present and this is also one of the major limitations presently faced by predictive mathematical models of gravel-bed rivers morphodynamics. 34. Y. Grain sorting and bar instability J. 2024-2043.. 954-968. 2009.. 37-52. References Hodge RA. Hodge et al. Brasington J.Research topic (UQ3) Morphotexture of gravel-bed river bars Supervisors: Guido Zolezzi. James Brasington. 1999. Analysing laser-scanned digital terrain models of gravel bed surfaces: linking morphology to sediment transport processes and hydraulics. Tubino M. Marco Tubino. Such data will be used to provide a high resolution empirical framework essential for robust model parameterization and testing.B. 393.. 27(1). Lanzoni S. 1999). Brasington J.g. state-of-the-art field monitoring using a combination of terrestrial photogrammetry.. any part of the channel higher than the thalweg experiencing a much shorter duration of bedload transporting flow (Laronne & Shlomi. Earth. laser scanning and acoustic methods will be used to provide detailed coupled measurements of sediment transport and the evolution of bar surface facies as they evolve during and between floods (e. Fluid Mech. J. 21-37 Tubino M.b). from single to multiple-thread. 2009a. Israel. building on previous approaches (Tubino. 1991 Growth of alternate bars in unsteady flow. Sedimentary Geology.. In addition. Water Res.
an extensive and detailed characterization of the structure and internal flow-dynamics for the Presena glacier will be performed. each of which will have different isotopic ‘fingerprints’. Second. rainfall precipitation or groundwater discharge. depending on the period of the year. its behavior can be dominated by snow melting. chemical and physical characterization of the Presena glacier and of the Noce River basin Supervisors: Alberto Bellin. Simon Carr Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: Edmund Mach Foundation (Italy) Research Area: A Description This research foresees two related components. For the first component ice and snow samples will be collected with high spatial and temporal resolution in order to characterize glacier flow behavior. electrical conductivity and biological indicators. using quantities such as stable isotopes (2H and 18 O) concentrations. First. the spatial and temporal dynamics of the basin of river Noce will be characterized using stable isotopes. it will be also estimated the efficiency of the methods actually used to protect the glacier during summer. .Research topic (UQ4) Isotopic. as well as physical survey of ice flow. The goal of this component of the study will be to investigate mixing processes occurring in the glacier. This basin is of particular interest since. where the Presena Glacier is located. Furthermore different tributaries will display different seasonal behaviors depending on their location and it will be also estimated the impact of artificial reservoir on the discharge of the river. glacier ablation. snowpack level. Furthermore. since this study will be conducted in collaboration with Meteotrentino (meteorological office of the Province of Trento). The second component focuses on the basin of River Noce.
E. R. which alters the bed roughness and so the turbulence structure of the flow..C. The consequent reduction in permeability of the river bed can have implications for the ecology of the river (for example due to a reduction in oxygen supply to spawning gravels) and for biogeochemical cycling in the shallow hyporheic including the production and efflux of methane from trapped material (Sanders et al. Ecohydrology 2. Colmation of the river bed can occur due to human activity. (QMUL) Associate Partner: University of Idaho.. (2009) Sediment storage in the shallow hyporheic of lowland vegetated reaches. and apply the findings of the physically based model to the field. Kate Heppell and Geraldene Wharton (QMUL).J. or a reduction in river discharge due to abstraction. B. 2009). Warren. hydrology and geomorphology and some knowledge of biogeochemistry is desirable but not essential. Tracer experiments in the flume will study the hyporheic flows associated with different degrees of bed colmation and vegetation cover. Wotton. and Trimmer. Daniele Tonina (UoI). 2009). such as glacial silt. Freshwater Biology. 1176-1186. Bass. Sanders I..B.. J. for example due to an increased supply of fine material to the channel through land use change.. and the nature and temporal dynamics of surface water and groundwater exchange (Heppell et al. The deposition process is in turn influenced by the previously deposited sediment. Applicants should have a background in hydraulic engineering. L.. 2239-2251. Hildrew. Primary University: University of Trento.M. Cotton. Flowers. S. References: Heppell C.. G.. Heppell C. A.. 23(15). E. and Roberts.M. 2007).A. G.A.. A. Wharton. (UniTn) Secondary University: Queen Mary University London. (UoI) Research Area: A Description The ingress of fine sediments into the gravel beds and shallow hyporheic zones of permeable rivers (termed ‘colmation’ or ‘siltation’) through gravitational settling and turbulence has been shown to affect both the deposition of fine particulate inorganic and organic matter in the river bed (Warren et al. The student on this project will undertake detailed flume experiments at the University of Trento to examine the effects of colmation on the trapping and retention of fine suspended sediments under a range of vegetation densities. J. (2009) The transport of fine particulate organic matter in vegetated chalk streams.. Wharton.Research topic (UQ5) Modelling the effects of aquatic vegetation and colmation on suspended sediment transport and hyporheic exchange of permeable gravel bed rivers Supervisors: Alberto Bellin and Maurizio Righetti (UnitTn). Bass. The scenario becomes more complicated by the presence of vegetation that can strongly affect the flow field.. 480-491. Wharton. Hydrological Processes. (2007) Emission of methane from chalk streams has potential implications for agricultural practices.. . 52 (6). J. and Cotton. M. This physically based modelling will be combined with training in fluvial geomorphology and biogeochemistry at QMUL and empirical field experiments in lowland vegetated rivers in England in order to establish boundary conditions for the modelling effort. L. J. J. Cotton. Naturally occurring processes. G. A. can also result in delivery and infiltration of sediment into a gravel river bed.A.. S.
Goals of this study will be therefore to quantify the impact of different climate change scenarios on the discharge of the Vermigliana creek and hence on hydropower production. the models will be used to investigate the potential implications of climate change on the basin. Simon Carr Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: Research Area: A Description This research will focus on the development of coupled numerical mass-balance and icedynamic models to describe the seasonal to decadal behavior of the Presena glacier and its impact on the discharge of the Vermigliana Creek. including the viability of current efforts to reduce net mass-loss by shrouding the glacier during the summer months. Once calibrated. .Research topic (UQ6) Climate Sensitivity of the Presena glacier Supervisors: Alberto Bellin.
.g..g. Applicants should have good understanding of fluid mechanics and sediment transport.Fagherazzi. A basic knowledge of the ecological aspects will be appreciated. taking advantage from the comparison with other monitored sites in UK. M.. (2012). like bank erosion and collapse. Res. The project will consider the Venice lagoon as a case study of primary relevance. F04020. Predicting the eco-morphodynamic response of these landforms to e. and ecological importance. Carniello (2011). cultural. sediment trapping and biomass production. Numerical models of salt marsh evolution: Ecological. RG1002. 115. climate change is a challenging issue. Mudd. T. et al. J. S. Kate Spencer Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Research Area: C Description Estuarine wetlands (e. the participation to field surveys and the recognition of morphological patterns and vegetation dynamics by image analysis. A. Res. J. mud flats. and S. S. M. The goal of this project is to understand the main factors driving the evolution of tidal systems. F04036. A. 116. salt marshes. Geophys.Research topic (UQ7) Bio-morphodynamic evolution of tidal systems Supervisors: Marco Toffolon and Walter Bertoldi.. L.Mudd. and A. 115. which is capturing a growing attention in the scientific community and in the whole society for its paramount economic. and J. M. Murray (2007). 50. Morris (2010). Geophys. PNAS. 104(15). 6118–6122. M. Rev. focussing on the bio-morphodynamic processes that determine the growth of the salt marshes through the interaction between the transport and deposition of sediments and the action of vegetation. . Geophys.. A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolution. D’Alpaos. Morphological equilibrium of short channels dissecting the tidal flats of coastal lagoons. . lagoons) are complex systems that provide essential ecosystem services.. The feedbacks between channel network hydrodynamics and erosional and accretional processes in tidal flats and salt marshes. Dynamic response of marshes to perturbations in suspended sediment concentrations and rates of relative sea level rise. . The main activities will concern the development of a mathematical and/or numerical model. Lanzoni (2010). J. F03029. and L.. How does vegetation affect sedimentation on tidal marshes? Investigating particle capture and hydrodynamic controls on biologically mediated sedimentation. skills and interest in modelling issues. and be comfortable with differential equations. . geomorphic. Res. and climatic factors.. ..Kirwan. References .D’Alpaos. S. Geophys.Toffolon. are mediated by the spatially varying growth of halophytic vegetation.
like groundwater recharge.D. For example. 2010).. 13: 165–185. and Nesbitt J. The proposed research aims to investigate how relevant physical and biogeochemical aspects of surface – subsurface water interactions occurring in agricultural floodplains depend on flow regimes in agricultural floodplain ditches. North Am.. Soc. Alberto Bellin. 2003) providing key ecosystem services which closely depend on their flow regime. biodiversity control..Research topic (UQ8) Hydroecological processes and nutrients cycling in agricultural ditches Supervisors: Guido Zolezzi. 2003..L. Freshw. Szoszkiwicz K.. In particular we will investigate the influence of different flow regimes on surface-subsurface water and nutrient exchange and nutrient uptake length in agricultural drainage ditches. & Bouchard V. Ditch communities: a major contributor to floodplain biodiversity. Blackburn J. Ditches communities represent one of the major biodiversity sources in regulated floodplain areas (Armitage et al.. as well as nutrient attenuation.H. Powell K. Bruno Maiolini Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: Edmund Mach Foundation (Italy) Research Area: C Description Restoration of ecological functions in intensively cultivated agricultural floodplains can take advantage of irrigation ditch networks whose potential to provide ecosystem services is often poorly exploited. The research methods will integrate mathematical modelling with field observations taken from the case studies of the Rotaliana Plain in Trento Province (Italy). . which represents an ideal site to investigate the system response to various flow regimes. Is denitrification enhanced by the development of natural fluvial morphology in agricultural headwater ditches? J. Kate Heppel. 761-772. Ecosyst. Aquatic Conserv: Mar. 29(2). sediments in agricultural drainage ditches have been shown to be important sites of nitrate removal via denitrification (Powell et al. 2010. Benth. References Armitage P.
especially in piedmont areas. the river thermal regime (Zolezzi et al. (2012) Changing river channels: the roles of hydrological processes. Bertoldi. known as “hydropeaking”. Elsevier. Angela Gurnell Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: Edmund Mach Foundation (Italy) Research Area: C Description In channelized river systems. plants and pioneer fluvial landforms. References Gurnell. Thermopeaking in Alpine streams: event characterization and time scales. the proposed research will aim to define optimal and sustainable morphological improvement measures for rivers with flow regime regulated by hydropower operations.. Siviglia. These operation often cause unnatural. sediment mobilizationtransport-deposition. Besides channelization.2010).E. A. (2) fieldwork aimed at characterizing the ecohydraulic and biogeomorphological conditions in the reach. with hydropower operation often playing a major role (Petts and Gurnell. G. sediment and vegetation. Petts G. Annunziato Siviglia. Treatise in Geomorphology. and Gurnell.. Corenblit. rapid changes in streamflow. and Gurnell.Research topic (UQ9) The role of morphological diversity in improving the health of hydropower-regulated river systems Supervisors: Guido Zolezzi. 4. aerial images and other remotely sensed data. Hydrogeomorphic effects of water resources developments. in press. A. (2005) Dams and geomorphology: research progress and new directions. Rev. Geomorphology. and vegetation establishment (Gurnell et al. giving more room to the river by locally setting back levees. 2011. The lower Noce River (NE Italy) will be used as a case study because it offers an excellent array of reaches with complementary hydro-morphological conditions. which may put at risk the success of morphologically-based restoration measures by affecting spawning habitats of living organisms. Ecohydrology. . 2012).M. Earth Sci. with emphasis on interactions between discharge. D. 111 (1-2) 129-141 Petts. by supporting inundation of hydraulically rough riparian zones and side channels of differing bed elevation and capacity. A. hyporeic exchanges of solutes. 2005. Zolezzi. 71.M. but little is known about these interactions in rivers subject to hydropeaking. Chapter 8. Hazards and Climate Change. However.. M.M. river systems are often subject to strong flow regime regulation.E... is increasingly used to enhance the quality and complexity of the physical habitat through increased. 27-47. 2012. W. The ability of self-formed channels to interact with river flows to provide refugia depends upon the interplay between discharge. self-formed morphological diversity. increased morphological complexity may also support the provision of refugia for aquatic organisms as river flows vary sharply. Toffolon. Three major research components are foreseen: (1) reconstruction of the historical morphological evolution of the Noce river segment through historical maps..and downstream of a large hydropower plant release. The present research aims to investigate the relationship between hydropeaking and increased morphological diversity in formerly channelized river reaches. G. (3) mathematical modeling of the physical habitat variability in the different sub reaches. Volume 13: Geomorphology of Human Disturbances. B.. up. By comparing the Noce study area with other similar regulated river systems. A. 2012). 564–576. Maiolini.
Journal of Computational Physics. pp 651-662 Stecca. The proposed research aims at (i) developing a suitable coupling strategy between surface and subsurface flow-transport models. Ward JV. N8.. . Tockner K. A. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering-ASCE. Acuna V. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 58:2359–73. E. Mathematical modelling of thermal dynamics in braided rivers floodplains would result in a major improvements of the present knowledge on the key controls of such fundamental driver of ecosystem processes. References Arscott DB. 2001. et al. Toro (2009).Research topic (UF1) Thermal dynamics in braided river corridors.. Guido Zolezzi. Temperature is a key property driving ecological processes and controlling the composition and distribution of biota. 2009) while suitable modelling schemes are needed when dealing with complex morphologies (Stecca et al. Toro (2010). The WAF method and splitting procedure for simulating hydro and thermal peaking waves in open channel flows. 13: 727–740. (ii) applying it to a braided river morphology and at (iii) comparing the model outcomes with data from real braided river systems. Freshw Biol 54:306–20. G. Siviglia E. Upwind-biased FORCE schemes with applications to freesurface shallow flows. Each habitat type exhibits distinct environmental and ecological properties. 2010). 2001) and where thermal patterns dynamics is crucially controlled by surface – subsurface exchanges. Surface–subsurface water exchange rates along alluvial river reaches control the thermal patterns in an Alpine river network. Volume 229. 2008). 2009. 6362-6380 Tonolla. 2010 Thermal Heterogeneity in River Floodplains. Klement Tockner Primary University: University of Trento (Italy) Secondary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Research Area: B Description River floodplains are composed of a shifting mosaic of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Ecosystems. Existing models have mainly been applied to single thread rivers (Siviglia and Toro. Tockner K. 18.F. particularly at low flows (Acuna and Tockner. northeastern Italy). characterized by strong heterogeneity and diversity (Arscott et al. Siviglia.F. A.. 135. D. Thermal dynamics is particularly interesting in braided river corridors. Supervisors: Annunziato Siviglia. Thermal heterogeneity along a braided floodplain river (Tagliamento River..
rser. just considering only the lowland streams vertical axis turbines. The general assumption that “small” HPP produce “small” environmental impacts has led to an increasing demand for building new plants worldwide and particularly in Europe and more specifically in the Alpine area. 2011).1016/j. SHPs encompass an array of different structural and operational approaches and there is still no common definition for small.11.Research topic (UF2) Environmental impacts of small hydropower plants Supervisors: Maurizio Righetti (University of Trento). mostly based on dam effects and hydrological alterations downstream of major power plants.the characterization of the hydraulic and ecological impacts of different typologies of SHPs.. (2011). Bruno Maiolini and M. Different typologies of SHPs will be taken into account. Representative SHPs will be selected to study the environmental impacts of different managing and technical/structural schemes. transverse horizontal axis turbines or rank of turbines. Small hydro and the environmental implications of its extensive utilization.. and . Klement Tockner. . 15 (4). & Abbasi. Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention. floating barrels. from plants located in lowland rivers (low head.050 Hydropower in the Alps focusing on Small Hydropower. The scientific results will be used to help defining guidelines for the authorization of new plants and for a more eco-friendly management of existing ones. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. References: Abbasi. floating low pressure turbines. high water volume) to those in mountain streams (high head.g. T. mini or micro plants either if this classification is based on capacity (kW produced) or on the hydraulic head. Cristina Bruno (FEM) Primary University: University of Trento. 2134-2143 DOI: 10.. which entails different impacts both on the hydraulics and on the ecology of the stream. 2011. S. 2001). For each of these typologies different types of energy production devices/systems are proposed in literature and by the market (e. (UniTn) Secondary University: Freie Universitat Berlin Associate Partner: Edmund Mach Foundation (Italy) Research Area: A Description An extensive literature has focused on the impact of hydropower plants. This exponential development of new SHP has also been triggered by the financial incentives and support schemes in place in all European countries (Alpine Convention.). Much less scientific evidence has been produced to assess the ecological effects of small hydropower plants (SHP) (Abbasi & Abbasi. low water volume). This PhD topic will focus on: .the finding of production techniques and management practices that attempt to harmonize the production requests with environmental needing of the stream.2010.
Idaho. bed load consists fundamentally of movements of individual particles and appears to be a statistically random phenomenon (Einstein. The motion of grains is discontinuous. terrestrial laser scanner). with sediment transport and bed morphology.. such as the study of hyphoreic flows. This project requires the advisory of scientists applied to the mechanics of sediment transport. hydro-power devices. painted stones and advanced topographic tool (stereo-photogrammetry. Meerschaert.. Viparelli. imaging technique will be exploited to describe velocity fields of the solid and liquid phases and to track continuous particle trajectories with high degree of accuracy and statistical reliability thanks to the measuring devices and the experimental facilities of the Laboratory of Hydraulics of the University of Trento. Normal and anomalous dispersion of gravel tracers in rivers. doi:10.Research topic (UF3) The mechanics of bed-load and grain dispersion in rivers bed Supervisors: Jens Bölscher. V. One task of the analysis will focus on assessing up to the full scale the theoretical and experimental results. G. etc. A. D. 115. In laboratory. M.. The research path will stem from getting experimental and field data (but the doctoral student may contribute to either type of activity). Germany Associate Partner: Idaho University. may be foreseen as further ultimate goal. E. the interaction of infrastructure (abutments. 1937). and provide suggestive links to other type of analyses dealing with the river life. by the grainsize distribution and by the bed morphology. Experimental. Geophys. Luigi Fraccarollo. Foufoula-Georgiou.1029/2008JF001222. including their being at rest for even long time period buried in the bed. Boise. E.e. Characterization of individual particle displacement patterns in streams allows to get important information about the dispersion processes taking place in the bed. etc. Grain displacement may be monitored by following marked individual particles and by surveying changes of morphological patterns (scours and deposits). E. Michele Larcher Primary University: University of Trento. F00A09. Tucker. consisting of series of step and rest periods. . N. The statistics of grain movements. Field based activity will employ magnetically tagged particles. and G. modeling and/or numerical skills will be fruitfully spent in the various parts of this demanding research avenue. The grain movement is affected by the condition of partial or full mobility. Geophys. doi:10. Bed load data will be complemented with highly detailed morphological and textural map of selected fluvial reaches. Potential applications to demanding issues for river engineers. to low and large scale geomorphology and to the hyphoreic convection and diffusion of substances through the river bed in both live and clear water conditions. References: Bradley. J. in-channel sediment availability and channel stability. flocculation. is important for the estimation of sediment transport and channel stability. J.) or vegetation. USA Description In rivers and torrents. Fractional dispersion in a sand bed river. i. Ganti.. Parker (2010). Benson (2010). and D.1029/2009JF001268.. Res. Res. Achim Schulte. infiltration. Italy Secondary University: Freie Universität Berlin.
D. M. This topic can be developed either from a process analysis or from a mathematical modelling point of view. Steiger. 2007. A. E. In spite of the increasing recognition of the relevance of this topic. P. riparian and aquatic plants frequently act as physical ecosystem engineers.. colour air photographs and ground measurements. namely i) bank erosion (and the role of vegetation roots in bank reinforcement). Guido Zolezzi Primary and/or Secondary University: University of Trento and Queen Mary University of London Research Area: B Description Vegetation dynamics across river margins are governed by hydromorphological processes that can both promote riparian vegetation growth and disturb and destroy riparian and aquatic vegetation.. where vegetation can play a relevant role in determining the river evolution trajectory. In particular. Once established. Crosato.. 2011. actively driving the development of new landscape elements. . Reciprocal interactions and adjustments between fluvial landforms and vegetation dynamics in river corridors: A review of complementary approaches. P.Research topic (QU1) Investigating and modelling vegetation – fluvial morphology interactions: bank erosion and accretion Supervisors: Walter Bertoldi.. Gurnell.. Water Resources Research 47: W06525. Savina. Tabacchi. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 36(6): 711–720. vegetation colonization and growth along river corridors is not an entirely passive process.M. Corenblit. A. and ii) bank accretion (as a result of fine sediment deposition and vegetation colonization). a numerical model that reproduces these effects decoupling opposite bank evolution is still lacking... Angela Gurnell. Water Resources Research 45: W09418.. 2011. An observation-based stochastic model for sediment and vegetation dynamics in the floodplain of an Alpine braided river.. A.. Gurnell. N. Drake. Perona. Gemma Harvey. This research topic aims to investigate sediment and vegetation dynamics at patch and reach scale in rivers characterised by different energy and flow regimes and to develop a mathematical model able to reproduce the observed processes. The topographic signature of vegetation development along a braided river: results of a combined analysis of airborne lidar..M. References Bertoldi. the research will focus on the bank related processes. J. 2009. Earth-Science Reviews 84(1–2): 56–86. P.. Molnar. W. Saleh..S. Although heavily dependent upon flow regime. The development of such a tool is fundamental for modelling the evolution of restored river reaches. Burlando. Numerical study on the effects of floodplain vegetation on river planform style. M.
(in review) An assessment of the degree to which Landsat TM data can support the assessment of fluvial dynamics.Research topic (QU2) Exploring interrelationships between floods and morphodynamics in braided rivers using multispectral satellite data Supervisors: Alex Henshaw. W. the Fiume Tagliamento. References Henshaw. as revealed by changes in vegetation extent and channel position. broad spatial coverage and open-access nature of Landsat TM data. in review). A. hydrological data and field survey methods (including dendrochronology). suggest that this data source and methodology has the potential to deliver further process insights. A. potentially allowing the influence of flood frequency and magnitude on channel and island dynamics to be investigated.M. Bertoldi. Submitted to Geomorphology .. Gurnell. N. to explore these relationships on a near-natural braided river in north-east Italy.. Drake. This project will seek to utilise multi-spectral satellite images in combination with high resolution aerial photography. James Brasington (QMUL) and Walter Bertoldi (UniTN) Primary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Secondary University: University of Trento (Italy) Research Area: B Description Recent research has demonstrated the potential of Landsat Thematic Mapper data in quantifying interrelated changes in vegetation and channel planform in large braided rivers (Henshaw et al.A... along a large river. The high temporal frequency.J. Gemma Harvey. The Landsat archive now stretches back over 30 years.
. P. SE England.E. 63 (3): 509-521. s ince April 2011 it has become a licensable activity under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. References Spencer. River Thames. changes to contaminant bioavailability in bottom sediments and fate of contaminated sediment in the estuarine and river environment. this type of dredging was exempt from licensing as the dredged material did not leave the water column and was not considered as ‘waste’. Potential impacts of water injection dredging on water quality and ecotoxicity in Limehouse Basin. This project will focus on understanding the environmental impacts of hydrodynamic dredging. Previously. Dewhurst. This is an effective and economically attractive dredging technique and has been used widely in estuaries. However.L. Applicants should have a good understanding of aquatic pollution and sediment transport behavior. there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the potential environmental impacts of this technique. R. ports and harbours. including the Thames Estuary.Research topic (QU3) Environmental impacts of hydrodynamic dredging Supervisors: Kate Spencer (QMUL) and Marco Toffolon (UniTN) Primary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Secondary University: University of Trento (Italy) Research Area: A Description Hydrodynamic dredging (including agitation and water injection techniques) involves the injection of large volumes of water under low pressure into bottom sediment in situ. as part of a maintenance dredging regime. Chemosphere. Therefore. and Penna. It is suitable for fine material including clays and fine silts and breaks the cohesive forces that bind sediment allowing the sediment to move under the influence of gravity and/or tidal and river flows. UK. 2006. . K. in particular the impacts on contaminant/nutrient release to the water column.
which will in turn be used to parameterize . active tectonics and the reworking of extensive Pleistocene valley floor deposits (Hicks et al. disentangling local responses due. to small-scale bar reconfiguration can easily be linked erroneously to catchment scale changes in sediment supply associated. 2008). in the headwaters. 2008). 2010). for example. This research proposal aims to investigate the consequences of unsteady sediment supply from this large valley-side sediment store. The elevation of the bed near the lakeside township of Glenorchy has compromised historic flood defences and the community is now at risk of serious inundation from floods with return periods as low as 1:10. Supervisors: James Brasington. associated with episodic supply from Muddy Creek along the full 25 km braided reach of the river downstream of the mountain front to the delta. which has acquired a unique set of digital elevation models capturing the storm scale morphodynamics of a 3 km braided study reach of the Rees (Brasington. The braided Rees River in Central Otago. with deforestation or mining. 2008) which is hypothesized to be linked to supply from a large mass-movement catchment. The Rees is a labile. rapidly evolving analogue for alpine fluvial systems worldwide. High rates of sediment delivery have resulted in and significant bed aggradation along the lower reaches of the river and progradation of the Rees delta by over 150 m in the last 80 years. The proposal builds on results from a recent UK NERC funded project. using a combination of 1d and 2d numerical simulation modelling. The Rees however. ReesScan. Alex Hensham and Walter Bertoldi Primary University: Queen Mary University of London Secondary University: University of Trento Research Area: B Description: Channel aggradation presents significant river management challenges including the loss of flood conveyance and an enhanced threat of sudden channel switches or avulsions. has created a major fan complex that has undergone multiple phases of incision and reconstruction. In practice... The cause of localized river responses is however. High rates of sediment supply are common to the rivers of the Southern Alps of NZ and reflects the combination of intense precipitation forcing. Muddy Creek. This research aims to upscale this study to investigate the dynamics of large-scale bed pulses or waves. not always easy to identify due to the discontinuous pattern of sediment transport. NZ offers a well-resourced case study to investigate the controls on channel bed response associated with a range of sediment supply processes and provides a useful.Research topic (QU4) Modelling the response of braided rivers and deltas to unsteady sediment supply. appears to have an anomalously high rate of sediment delivery (Wild et al. storage and remobilization occurring downstream through the fluvial system. for example. gravel-bed piedmont braided river that forms the major left bank tributary of the Rees-Dart delta that discharges into Lake Wakatipu. which may in turn have led to an oscillating pattern of supply or transport limited sediment flux conditions in the downstream trunk channel. This landslide dominated tributary catchment. Modelling will be undertaken using a 1d sediment routing framework similar to SEDROUTE (Ferguson and Church.
4 2010..45:W11424 Hicks. 2011. 2009. Et al. 2011). doi:10. UAV-based remote sensing of the Super-Sauze landslide: Evaluation and results.03. NIWA. . Niethammer. U. Ferguson. Water Resources Research. Water and Atmosphere. R. Journal of Hydraulic Research. 11. D.. who have extensive experience working on the dynamics of alpine braided rivers in NZ and Europe. An accompanying field campaign will be used to derive detailed digital elevation models of the lower reaches of the Rees using novel Structure-from-Motion photogrammetric methods (Neithammer et al. References: Brasington.nested applications of a 2d hydrodynamic model (Delft3d) to investigate the detailed response of the braided planform under supply limited and transported limited conditions. Sediment estimates: a GIS tool.enggeo. J. 2003. Expert guidance will be provided by supervisors Brasington and Bertoldi. A critical perspective on 1-D modeling of river processes: Gravel load and aggradation in lower Fraser River. & Church. Engineering Geology.M. 2010. From grain to floodplain: hyperscale models of braided rivers. M.2011. et al.. 2627.1016/j.012. 48 (4): 52-53 Suppl.
Research topic (QU5) Next generation models for urban flood management. Maths. 2008. spatial resolution and solution schemes will be examined using an experimental design incorporating both ‘idealized. b) the technical difficulties of modelling flow through urban areas. through to shallow water wave solvers) in a range of different flood scenarios. End-to-end flood forecasting under uncertainty. By comparison advances in predicting the pattern and frequency of inundation in urban areas. McMillan. 4 2010 McMillan. Building on recent research (McMillan and Brasington. J. Brasington 2010). where the hazards posed by flooding are most acute. are how this wealth of terrain information should be best used to support urban flood forecasting and what degree of physical complexity is required of hydrodynamic models to predict urban flood hazards effectively. This slow rate of progress is partly attributable to: a) a lack of high resolution terrain data to parameterize the topographic boundary condition for applications in large city areas. including the need for stable solutions to the governing conservation and momentum equations. and Brasington.K. Doi: 10. Much of this research has focused on applications in rural or semi-developed floodplains where the details of the built environment can be largely ignored or parameterized as surface friction. to zero-inertia solutions. synthetic’ and real urban floodplain topographies. the emergence of hyperscale geospatial technologies such as terrestrial laser scanning and structure-frommotion photogrammetry now offers the opportunity to parameterize the form and structure of urban floodplains at unprecedented detail (Brasington. Alex Henshaw and Walter Bertoldi. However. Supervisors: James Brasington. The project will suit a numerate graduate with some experience of programming and a background in Civil Engineering.1029/2007WR005995 . These will include: 1) pluvial flooding including overloading of urban drains. H. Water Resources Research. These idealized problems will be used to compare a hierarchy of increasingly complex simulation models (from simple basin fill models. J. and Brasington. Physics. H. 90. Journal of Hydraulic Research. has received rather less attention. 2007. 2010. 2) flooding from overtopping of embankments. 2007. J. this project will investigate the necessary complexity required in hydraulic models for simulating different forcing scenarios and severities of urban flooding. 2010). 226-243. References Brasington. dimensionality. and 3) catastrophic flooding from overtopping and breaching of defences.Guido Zolezzi Primary University: Queen Mary University of London Secondary University: University of Trento Research Area: C Over the last decade advances in numerical methods and remote sensing have facilitated the development of computational hydrodynamic models as key tools for strategic and operational flood management. Reduced Complexity Strategies for Modelling Urban Floodplain Inundation. McMillan and Brasington 2008. Computer Science as well as the Earth Sciences and Physical Geography. From grain to floodplain: hyperscale models of braided rivers.K. Key outstanding questions now. Model sensitivity to process complexity. 48 (4): 52-53 Suppl. Geomorphology.
.. Wilcock (2000) suggested provocatively that our ability to predict the rate of sediment transport through a cross-section of a river could.g. have enabled the development of precision digital elevation models of fluvial systems.g. in particular terrestrial laser scanning.g. 2011.Research topic (QU6) Quantifying the methodological uncertainty in empirical estimates of gravel sediment transport. gravel aggregates). the advent of high precision survey tools. through land-use or climate change) and the downstream impacts. this project aims to quantify the basis in morphologically-derived sediment transport rates that arise from incomplete knowledge of compensating cycles of cut-and-fill and uncertainties in boundary sediment flux. sediment-related hazards (e. highly hazardous. from which transport rates may be quantified by comparing terrain models before and after floods (Brasington et al. and will offer novel insights into the links between sediment flux and the magnitude and frequency of the driving hydrological events. such as airborne and terrestrial lidar. the poor precision of transport estimates also makes the identification of causal links between upstream catchment modifications (e. bed-mounted impact sensors to determine the point of incipient transport. with radio-tagged tracers capable of sensing their trajectory. In-stream methods have also advanced rapidly. such as bed aggradation or degradation and channel instability. Supervisors: James Brasington. More subtlety. 2011). 2003. . for fisheries). Alex Henshaw and Walter Bertoldi Primary University: Queen Mary University of London Secondary University: University of Trento Research Area: B Just over a decade ago. Switzerland) where sediment fluxes are managed as part of a regional hydropower project. 2012).. Using a combination of remote sensing and in-stream methods. Brasington et al. In this project we aim to deploy a battery of methodological approaches to gauge the uncertainty in empirical transport rates in a small alpine catchment (the Borgn d’Arolla. Williams et al. ‘be placed at order of magnitude or two’! Such uncertainty poses serious difficulties for the management of sediment resources (e. flood risks associated with bed aggradation) and our ability to quantify in-stream habitat quality (i... In particular. the last decade has also witnessed significant advances in the technological armoury now at the disposal of geomorphologists and practitioners to address this issue. radio-particle tracing and acoustic bottom track observations.e. optimistically... Other novel remote sensing methods include the calculation of bottom-track bias from acoustic Doppler current profilers which provides direct insight into the magnitude and distributed patterns of bed velocity (Brasington et al. The results will have important implications for the practice of sediment transport measurement in coarse-bedded streams. This creates a natural laboratory where multiple competent events with constrained sediment loads are released daily. and geophones that record an acoustic signal of the transport itself. While Wilcock’s challenging statement arguably still holds true..
J. et al. 507-532 pp. R. 2010. S. Brasington. (2001). Williams. In. (eds. 299-316. (eds.) Proceedings of the 34th World Congress of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Research and Engineering: 33rd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium and 10th Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering. Wheaton. In. 136-156... Monitoring Braided River Morphodynamics with an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler.T. In. Et al. et al. Water Resources Research. Gravel-bed Rivers V. Mosley. WileyBlackwell. Three-dimensional channel sediment budgets: methodological sensitivity of remote survey methods.) Geomorphological Mapping.R. The flow. et al. and Rumsby. J. E. Langham. Smith.E. Engineers-Australia. P.. and the transport: Interaction in flume and field. the bed.M. J. Accounting for uncertainty in DEMs from repeated topographic survey: improved sediment budgets.D. Brasington. Brisbane. 53.. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. et al. New Zealand Hydrological Society. Geomorphology. Valentine. 2012.. 3396-3403. Monitoring braided river change using terrestrial laser scanning and optical bathymetric mapping. M. 35. Brasington. 2011. P. 2003.. J. Darby..References Brasington. Sear. B. et al. . Wilcock. J. roughness and surface sedimentology using high resolution terrestrial laser scanning. J. 2011. D. Modelling river bed morphology.. in press.
J. Analysis of second-order moments in the surface layer turbulence in an Alpine valley. In this project both field measurements (using air towers and unmanned air vehicles) along dynamic floodplain rivers (Tagliamento River. mating. etc. Alexander Sukhodolov..-Layer Meteor.. D.Research topic (FU1) 3D riverscapes: An airscape perspective of river landscapes Supervisors: Klement Tockner. Met..) with processes occurring over and within water bodies (lakes.. rivers.. Adige River. etc. D. and in particular local. Tagliazucca. 68. dust. Italy) and numerical modelling will be combined to predict the effect of thermally driven atmospheric processes over complex terrain (valley winds. R. S.. 135. and plant seeds. F. and D. and oviposition of flying insects. 129.to micro-scale flows. P.) that make the environment of those regions very peculiar. slope winds.. Hence. 2009. 2128-2141. ponds. it is a key challenge to develop coupled vegetation-aerodynamic flow models that predict areas most suitable for resting. Interactions of local atmospheric circulations and boundary layer processes over complex terrain with river/lake environments and ecosystems shall account for the combination of diurnal atmospheric thermally-driven processes. and O. Dino Zardi Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: University of Trento (Italy) Research Area: B Description The “airscape” above the water and sediment surface can horizontally and vertically extent over hundreds of meters and most likely is a very critical but unexploited habitat for adult aquatic insects as well as a melting pot of aquatic. 2008: Modelling the interaction between a river surface and the atmosphere at the bottom of a valley. References Bitencourt. . occurring over complex terrain (mountains. etc. riparian and terrestrial flying organisms. Q. de Franceschi. M.. 309-321. Bound. Zardi. Acevedo. an important prerequisite for guiding future restoration and management strategies. valleys. Soc. M. marshes. Sci.) on the dispersal of flying insects. basins. 2010: Daytime development of the convective and mountain boundary layers under fair weather conditions: a comparison by means of idealized numerical simulations J Atmos. Tampieri. Zardi. C. 1750–1765 Serafin. Osvald Fischer.
scour pools. 2003. Understanding reference processes: linkages between river flows. Preferential field site will be the Tagliamento River. 2009. Tockner K. leading to rapid changes in their ecological communities. sediment dynamics and vegetated landforms along the Tagliamento River. Freshwater Biology. automated photographic data. Gurnell A. backwaters. Habitat change in braided floodplains (Tagliamento. Italy.. Surian N. 501-516. .. where two fixed automatic cameras survey the river with an hourly temporal resolution.V. Edwards P. References Bertoldi W. River Research and Applications. Zolezzi G. as side channels. Zanoni L. Different landscape elements. 25. 1799-1812...Research topic (FU2) Critical landscape elements along river corridors Supervisors: Michael Monaghan..J.. The project will investigate the morphological structure and the functional ecology of these landscape elements through field characterisation and remote. Walter Bertoldi Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin Secondary University: University of Trento Associate Partner: Tohoku University Research Area: C Description Regular flooding both destroys and renews much of the physical habitat in the active corridor of floodplain rivers. Ziliani L. & Ward J.. vegetated islands provide critical habitats for a wide range of organisms. Italy. Van der Nat D. Active river corridors are characterised by rapid physical development of these habitats. Tockner K. Klement Tockner.. NE-Italy). 48. The temporal dynamics and persistency will be investigated as a function of the flow regime and the spatial location of the elements.
Franz Hölker. Light pollution as a biodiversity threat. parameter sensitivity and the importance of external. investigations in so called mesocosms with artificially simplified food webs often provide first data on interactions between the different species. Perkin.. Wolter.. Guido Zolezzi Primary University: University of Trento Secondary University: Freie Universität Berlin Associate Partner: IGB Description Ecological processes in rivers are strongly influenced by the composition and structure of aquatic food webs since trophic interactions represent energy and matter conversion. But it is also useful to support the experimental efforts by modelling approaches which allow for a deeper analysis of interconnections within the food web. J. How does the species’ availability predicted by habitat models change w hen accounting for food web modelling? And how is the species composition affected by hydraulic conditions and light pollution? References: Hölker. Wolter. a physical habitat hydraulic model shall be combined with food web modelling in aquatic systems to analyse mutual feedback interactions.Research topic (FU3) Food web modeling in aquatic systems Supervisors: Christiane Zarfl. Ecosphere.. Field experiments can help to complete the ecological picture. even small food webs consisting of only a few species may already show a complex behaviour. F. C. The influence of artificial light on freshwater and riparian ecosystems: Questions. E. J. 2010.. and Tockner. K.. A food web usually includes all trophic levels from producer to consumer and decomposer. Therefore. K. F. Michael Monaghan.. and Tockner. C. Richardson. Hölker. K. in press. Nevertheless... environmental factors like hydraulics and stressors such as artificial light at night. and perspectives. . Sadler. Perkin. P. A dataset on food webs in a ditch system will be soon available. challenges. E. Therefore. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 681-682. S. K.
. Today. function. 2007. and biodiversity Supervisors: Klement Tockner. Guido Zolezzi. Steffen.Research topic (FU4) Domesticated freshwaters: structure. we will use large-scale field experiments to investigate the role of altered flow conditions on biodiversity and ecosystem processes. ecosystems to maximize their services for human use. possibly integrated with mathematical modelling of the key hydrodynamic properties of the investigated systems such to allow increased quantitative assessments References: Kareiva P. Furthermore. we will use a range of domesticated ecosystem types. Watts S. Bruno Maiolini Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin Secondary University: University of Trento Associate Partner: Edmund Mach Foundation (Italy) Research Area: C Description Humans have modified natural. This domestication of nature is a particularly common phenomenon for freshwater ecosystems. ditches. In this project. 2007. J. The Anthropocene: Are humans now overwhelming the great forces of Nature? Ambio 2007. J. W. 36. McNeill. P. little information is available to which extent they play a critical role as habitat for aquatic species and in providing ecosystems services such as nutrient uptake. and created new. to investigate their role in maintaining biodiversity and providing ecosystem services. artificial ponds. Domesticated nature: Shaping landscapes and ecosystems for human welfare. 614–621... Crutzen. and created wetlands are among the most abundant freshwaters. however. McDonald R. R. Science 316: 1866–1869. single and in combination. Boucher T.
. I. in geologically relative old landscapes and loess areas.cmsngl. similar studies will be conducted upstream and downstream of a large dam present in the Prut (Stânca-Costesti dam) in order to assess the consequences of such modifications. Teodosiu. Hence. Similarly. M. Dascalescu. and their downstream extension..geoecomar. S. A. Georgescu. Romania/Moldava). Romania. the river channel exhibits a characteristic trapezoid cross-section with low habitat diversity. (2009): Assessment of human and natural impacts over water quality in the Prut River basin. C..Research topic (FU6) River-floodplain connectivity in a lowland clay river corridor (Prut River. Caldararu..A. Musteret.g. but a high productivity in the many shallow lakes present in the floodplain.P. Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology 12: 16-24 . Natural History Museum Galati/Romania (www. but which significantly increased by riparian trees falling into the channel from undercut steep river margins. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 8: 1439-1450 Voiculescu. formation of oxbow and shallow lakes. as meander migration. lateral hydrological connectivity. and the implications of the construction of a large dam on such systems. Dragan. Timofti..G. Results will allow to describe for the first time the coupling of hydrological and ecological processes in a lowland clay river system. also accelerating bank erosion rate. Cojocariu.ro). riverfloodplain connectivity seems to be most crucial for the functioning of these systems.ro). C. habitat formation around fallen trees. and thus may relatively easily be studied. (2011): Study of anthropogenic effects on the quality of the Lower Prut River. Guido Zolezzi Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: University of Trento (Italy) Associate Partner: IGB. M.. University Iasi/Romania Description The dynamics and ecology of lowland rivers meandering in floodplains mostly made up of clay have hardly been studied so far. Planned research will provide first evidence on the functioning of hydrodynamic and ecological key processes in a clay river system (Prut. GeoEcoMar Constanta/Romania (www.. C. Those river corridors are also most interesting from a theoretical point of view. sediment transport. References: Ene.. even that this river type is very widespread worldwide e. For comparison. utilization of food resources from floodplain lakes by riverine biota (using stable isotope technique of food web analysis). I. Teodosiu. Caraene. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 8: 1461-1469. (2009): Water footprint and challenges for its application to integrated water resources management in Romania. as they probably exhibit a low productivity in the river channel due to permanent turbidity of river water. P. C.. and on adaptive timing of life cycles of riverine biota. Romania/Moldova): Governing factors of hydrodynamics and productivity Supervisors: Martin Pusch. S. L.
Kate Spencer Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin Secondary University: Queen Mary. agriculture and urban development. legislative requirements for sustainable coastal defence and wetland restoration/creation. Once coastal defences are breached land will be quickly inundated by tidal waters resulting in the deposition of marine sediment on top of the previous land surface. University of London Associated Partner: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (Berlin) Research Area: C Description Predicted climate change and associated sea-level rise may result in the inundation of low-lying coastal regions with significant loss of coastal habitat and impact on populations on a global scale. This will include an evaluation of concentration data and parameter values with special focus on an uncertainty analysis to elucidate to what extent the sea water is exposed to metals remobilized from the sediments. managed realignment (MR). de-embankment or controlled reduced tide (CRT) schemes). resulting in spatially complex sediment structures.Research topic (FQ1) Remobilization of contaminants out of estuarine sediments Supervisors: Christiane Zarfl. or no longer maintained to allow tidal inundation of previously protected areas. In Europe. This project will develop a dynamic model describing the chemical fate of contaminants (metals) in the structurally complex flooded sediments. . Much of this low-lying land is currently defended and has been heavily modified by drainage. Much of this low-lying land may be contaminated by heavy metals. and the high economic costs of flood protection have led to the adoption of a range of management approaches whereby coastal defences are either deliberately removed (e.g. nutrients and organic contaminants from previous land-use activities and as yet little is known of the mechanisms by which contaminants may be released to the overlying water column. Experimental data on metal concentrations in the sediments and on distribution behaviour are available and can be combined with mathematical models in order to gain more insight into the underlying processes of contaminant release.
Compositional divergence and convergence in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities. Riess K. Dickie IA. darkseptate endophytes. Barto EK. Trappe JM (1998) Dark septate endophytes: a review of facultative biotrophic root-colonizing fungi. Biological Invasions 12: 1481-1490. and the functional consequences of any such changes. Rooting theories of plant ecology in microbial interactions. While a lot of work is focused on arbuscular mycorrhiza. Sýkorová Z. New Phytologist 140: 295–310. Weiß M. et al. possibly complemented by herbaceous species. Tibbett M. different depths). Harner MJ. Zobel M.. Martos F. 2012. References Bever JD. Moora M. Ecology 93: 1115-1124. Rillig MC. Caruso T. Facelli E. Powell JR.g. Possible organismic targets are the enigmatic group of Sebacinales (Basidiomycota with broadly symbiotic traits). Using trees as the focal plants. 2010. 2010. Klironomos JN. . These include studying possible changes in the composition of root endophyte communities over successional time or in different ecological settings (e. Facelli JM. Garnica S. Jumpponen A. (2011) Sebacinales everywhere: Previously overlooked ubiquitous fungal endophytes. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi enhance spotted knapweed growth across a riparian chronosequence. Hempel S. Mummey DL. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25: 468-478. Stanford JA. even less so in riparian systems. Such studies could combine molecular ecology tools with efforts to isolate these fungi and bring them into culture for functional study. Rillig MC. Rillig MC.Research topic (FQ2) Ecology of root-endophytic fungi in riparian plants Supervisors: Matthias Rillig. We envision that an observational component at Tagliamento (Italy) or another field site would be complemented with controlled studies in the laboratory. Angela Gurnell Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: IGB Research Area: A Description Root endophytes are a diverse and functionally divergent group of fungi. Stock WD. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16793. different floodplain contexts. or parasitic fungi. this research theme can be addressed in a number of possible projects. other groups of Eumycota tend to be much less well studied.
Hydrological Processes 25: 3244-3255. J. This PhD student will determine such pathways in selected river reaches in Germany and the United Kingdom. H. the small scale investigations will be upscaled based on innovative measurement methods such as distributed temperature sensing or airborne thermal infrared radiation studies. the complex coupling of hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry needs to be further explored in small scale process studies in order to comprehensively understand and facilitate the management of nutrient dynamics in disturbed riverine ecosystems (Lewandowski & Nützmann 2010). References Lewandowski. 2012) it is now possible to identify dominant flow paths and measure flow velocities in the stream bed and hyporheic zones. & Nützmann. Although the role of riparian and hyporheic zones in nutrient retention has been extensively recognized.. J. J. L.. There is much heterogeneity in the pathways of water through the hyporheic zone caused by differences in hydraulic conductivities of the streambed. (2012): A 3D analysis algorithm to improve interpretation of heat pulse sensor results for the determination of small-scale flow directions and velocities in the hyporheic zone. G. Thus. With a novel heat pulse device developed at the IGB (Lewandowski et al. the resultant flow paths in real river systems have never been measured systematically in situ. we are looking for a PhD student interested in applying complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical field methods. Angermann. 2011. Kate Heppell Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Research Area: B Description The transition zone between surface water and groundwater is called hyporheic zone. L. the consequences of the heterogeneity for biogeochemistry will be investigated. Angermann. by upwelling groundwater. We regard it as hydrodynamically driven bioreactor responsible for the impressive selfpurification capacity of streams. and Fleckenstein. Although these drivers of subsurface flow are in principal known (and have been studied in the laboratory and integrated into models). (2010): Nutrient retention and release in a floodplain's aquifer and in the hyporheic zone of a lowland river. After identifying and quantifying the drivers of the hydrodynamic heterogeneity. G.Research topic (FQ3) Hyporheic reactors: Coupling of hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes in the bed of permeable lowland rivers Supervisors: Jörg Lewandowski. J. Ecological Engineering 36: 11561166. Nützmann. G. (2011): A heat pulse technique for the determination of small-scale flow directions and flow velocities in the streambed of sand-bed streams. with the focus on nitrogen. Lewandowski. Changes in geochemical composition and biogeochemical turnover along the previously identified flow paths will be studied. J. Lewandowski. Angermann et al. Journal of Hydrology. & Nützmann. Fleckenstein.. phosphorus and carbon fluxes and transformations.. Finally. H. accepted. by riffles and by pressure differences in water as it moves around obstacles such as woody debris and macrophyte beds. by ripples. .
sorting and quality. river fish communities by environmental triggers will decrease as the typical riverine species well adapted to environmental stochastic fluctuations. depth and width variability as well as diversity of flow patterns all contributing to complex. invertebrates and fish to changing hydromorphologic conditions in rivers Supervisors: Christian Wolter. this change to more biologically. while biotic interactions are controlled via the food web by nutrients. With ongoing succession emergent or floating leaved vegetation and organic substrates become a dominant habitat factor and interactions between aquatic plants. food web structured communities might oppose successful rehabilitation of typical fish assemblages in regulated rivers. River regulation typically cuts the extremes of the hydrograph. structural complexity. and on the rejuvenation on habitats in general by infrequent set back of natural succession during major floods. Research hypothesis Flow regulation moves the primary trigger of environmental stressors as structuring factors of fluvial communities toward biotic interactions with unforeseeable consequences for riverine biodiversity. The combination and variability of environmental factors determine the availability of substrates. on the periodic rejuvenation of emergent. the primary structuring of. . there might be a potential for macrophytes to alter hydrologic conditions in a way providing hydromorphologic habitat structures both through their hydraulic effects on velocity and depth patterns. but also ultimately on the adjustment of channel form through sediment retention and landform building by the macrophytes. for example. If riverine communities are mainly determined by hydromorphology. In general. Angela Gurnell Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: IGB Research Area: A Description Riverine systems are triggered by their hydrographs and stochastic events such as high floods and droughts. Accordingly. diverse habitat patters and thus. and impacts. reduces discharge variations and homogenizes flow patterns. on bank erosion and bedload transport and thus. habitat availability for and diversity of aquatic taxa. on gravel cleaning. for example.Research topic (FQ4) Interactive response of macrophytes. the reduction of the hydrograph’s extremes is inversely related to habitat and species diversity. Alexander Sukhodolov. bank and floodplain vegetation. invertebrates and fish via the food web become the most important structuring factor for aquatic communities. all impacting on habitat complexity and diversity. In regulated rivers.
(2011).g. .Research topic (FQ5) Microplastics in the river system Supervisors: Matthias Rillig.. Gerdts G. bio-fouling. 19. Sci. highly efficient method for the quantification of plastic particles in sediments of aquatic environments. A novel. Schmid J.. Microplastic in terrestrial ecosystems and the soil? Environmental Science & Technology 46. 6453-6454. and the degree to which it is accumulating in different types of rivers and organisms. Matthies M. and/or their effects in the river itself. their chemical fate. 1589-1591. Angela Gurnell Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Associate Partner: IGB Research Area: A Description Microplastic pollution has been primarily examined in marine systems. Imhof H. (2012). Doctoral candidates could develop methods for detection. 60. Nevertheless. uptake by organisms) may happen on a totally different timescale and to a much higher extent. Niessner R. Fleet D. (2010): Are marine plastic particles transport vectors for organic pollutants to the Arctic? Marine Pollution Bulletin. Galgani F. Res. their environmental fate. References Fries E. 62. but rather limited knowledge is available on the occurrence of microplastics in rivers. and where. Zarfl C. Rillig MC.. P. and their effects on processes and organisms. Zarfl... Laforsch C. 1810-1840. rather than being transferred to the sea. Fries E. Christiane Zarfl. (2012)... fragmentation. Simon Carr.. sedimentation.. Environ. Therefore. Marine Pollution Bulletin.. Limnology and Oceanography Methods (in press). M. Microplastics in oceans.. In addition. studies could target the abundance of microplastics. or could investigate how much of this material is accumulating. in the hyporheic zone or in the riparian soil. Ivleva N. rivers may contribute significantly as a transport vector for plastics debris into the oceans. Hanke G. (2011): Sorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to low and high density polyethylene (PE). Pollut. Matthies. could pursue testing of biological effects. K. Zarfl C. C. many processes which were already described for marine environments (e. 1296-1304.
L. as a reference and validation of theses findings he/she will apply local techniques such as the HPS or temperature depth profiles. Selker. and Parlange. (2006): Characterization of spatial heterogeneity of groundwater-stream water interactions using multiple depth streambed temperature measurements at the reach scale. Thevenaz. He/She will conduct DTS measurements. J.. L. M. and Schirmer. N. M... and Fleckenstein. B. Fleckenstein. A major task of the PhD student will be to develop. improve and apply upscaling techniques. Huwald. M.. Also.. and Nützmann. (2012): A 3D analysis algorithm to improve interpretation of heat pulse sensor results for the determination of small-scale flow directions and velocities in the hyporheic zone. 2006) and active Heat Pulse Sensors (HPS) (Lewandowski et al. References Angermann. S. Gemma Harvey. 2006) with a fibre-optic cable. J. V. 2011. Lewandowski. H. Angermann. and modelling are promising techniques. J. A. Zeman. Gunnar Nützmann Primary University: Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) Secondary University: Queen Mary University of London (UK) Research Area: B Description For the sustainable management of river systems it is essential to understand groundwater-surface water interactions. Journal of Hydrology. Westhoff. Bayer-Raich. For that purpose it is essential to determine the exfiltration pattern with high spatial resolution since most groundwater-surface water systems are characterized by extreme heterogeneity. On a local scale temperature depth profiles at the sediment-water interface are a well-established technique to quantify exfiltration pattern (Schmidt et al. For that purpose ground-based techniques such as Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) (Selker et al. (2006): Distributed fiber-optic temperature sensing for hydrologic systems. de Giesen.Research topic (FQ6) Airborne and ground-based upscaling of findings on groundwatersurface water interactions Supervisors: Jörg Lewandowski.. Hauke Dämpfling.. the ecological impacts of the groundwater-surface water exchange on local and larger scale should be evaluated and compared at different field sites based on the findings of the upscaling studies. Furthermore. H. Water Resources Research 42 (12). M. . Luxemburg. Mallet.. Though local findings are an important key for process understanding the overall ecological effect of groundwatersurface water interactions requires an upscaling of local findings. G. accepted. J. Nützmann. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 10: 849-859. L.. J. 2012) have been recently introduced as a powerful technique for a detailed process understanding.. H. TIR campaigns and modelling exercises. C.. Angermann et al. M. Lewandowski. Hydrological Processes 25: 3244-3255. G. Stejskal. Schmidt. Temperature is an important tracer to detect and quantify groundwater-surface water exchange. J.. airborne and satellite measurements of Thermal Infrared Radiation (TIR). W. (2011): A heat pulse technique for the determination of small-scale flow directions and flow velocities in the streambed of sand-bed streams..