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      The last peri-urban rivers of the Mexico Basin: establishment of potential reference conditions through the evaluation of ecological quality and biological indicators Translated title: Los últimos ríos periurbanos de la cuenca de México: establecimiento de las condiciones de referencia potenciales a través de su calidad ecológica e indicadores biológicos


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          Abstract: In assessing the health of rivers, the standardization of environmental and biological information as a baseline is essential in order to determine the set of conditions that are closest to the natural state of ecosystems. This is the case especially in peri-urban rivers where anthropogenic transformations occur rapidly and constantly. The objective of this work was to determine hydromorphological, physicochemical and biological parameters in 10 mountain rivers of the Mexico Basin, in order to establish a network of potential reference conditions and to validate the regional ecological quality. The potential reference conditions in this study are defined as oligotrophic water bodies with well-oxygenated concentrations and low ion concentrations. These conditions were recorded in 4 sub-basins with high hydromorphological quality. These results were corroborated through a base assembly composed of the macroinvertebrate families Baetide, Chrironomidae, Dugesiidae, Heptageniidae, Limnephilidae, Tipulidae and the class Arachnida (Acarina). The algal community was represented by Nostoc parmelioides, Placoma regulare, Batrachospermum gelatinosum, Paralemanea mexicana, Draparnaldia mutabilis, Prasiola mexicana and Vaucheria bursata. The major disturbances were structural changes in the riverbed that affect the structure and function of rivers.

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          Resumen: El establecimiento de líneas base de información biológica y ambiental son fundamentales para la determinación de la salud actual de los ríos y las condiciones que se acercan a su naturalidad, en especial en sistemas periurbanos donde la transformación antrópica es rápida y constante. El objetivo del estudio fue evaluar un conjunto de parámetros hidromorfológicos, fisicoquímicos y biológicos en 10 ríos de montaña de la cuenca de México, para reconocer las características que definen las condiciones de referencia potenciales y el estatus de calidad ecológica en la región. Las condiciones de referencia potenciales fueron definidas por aguas oligotróficas, bien oxigenadas y de baja concentración iónica, condiciones registradas en 4 subcuencas que mantienen características hidromorfológicas naturales. Estos resultados fueron corroborados a través del ensamble base de macroinvertebrados, integrado por las familias Baetide, Chironomidae, Dugesiidae, Heptageniidae, Limnephilidae, Tipulidae y la clase Arachnida (Acarina). La comunidad algal característica estuvo representada por las especies resilentes Nostoc parmelioides, Placoma regulare, Batrachospermum gelatinosum, Paralemanea mexicana, Draparnaldia mutabilis, Prasiola mexicana y Vaucheria bursata. Las alteraciones más importantes son modificaciones estructurales del caudal que afectan la estructura y función de los ríos.

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          Most cited references24

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          Using the ecosystem services approach for better planning and conservation of urban green spaces: a Finland case study

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            The European reference condition concept: A scientific and technical approach to identify minimally-impacted river ecosystems.

            One objective of the European Union (EU)'s Water Framework Directive (WFD: Directive 2000/60/EC) is for all European surface waters to achieve 'good status' by 2015. In support of this objective, the EU has facilitated an intercalibration exercise to ensure harmonized definitions of the status of water bodies, reflecting the deviation of their properties (mainly biotic assemblages) from a minimally disturbed state, termed the "reference condition". One of the major challenges of the WFD has been to find common approaches for defining reference conditions and to define the level of anthropogenic intervention allowed in reference sites. In this paper we describe how river reference sites were selected in the Central-Baltic region of Europe. A list of pressure criteria was provided and 14 Member States (MSs) categorized each criterion according to the method (i.e. measured, field inspection, etc.) used for reference site screening. Additionally, reference land-use and water-chemistry thresholds were agreed among countries in order to base reference site selection on objective criteria. For land-use criteria, a reference threshold and a rejection threshold were established. Sites with all criteria below the reference threshold were considered to be reference sites; sites having most criteria below the reference threshold and only some parameters between the reference and rejection threshold were "possible reference sites". These sites were retained only after carefully checking the cumulative effects of the pressures using local expertise, and a posteriori water-chemistry evaluation was necessary. In general, the most widespread method for defining a reference site was the measurement of pressures, followed by field inspections and expert judgment. However, some major pressures (e.g. hydromorphological alteration) were evaluated in a number of different ways (e.g. measured, field inspection, expert judgment). Our meta-analyses reveal a need to reinforce standardization in the application of pressure criteria by Member States. The pressure criteria identified in this exercise should be refined and tested with biological data to help in the further validation of minimally disturbed sites (i.e. the WFD "reference condition") and to provide a firm foundation for ecological status assessment. This in turn would ensure that there is pan-European comparability when evaluating the achievement of environmental objectives.
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              Mountain river restoration measures and their success(ion): Effects on river morphology, local species pool, and functional composition of three organism groups


                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Revista mexicana de biodiversidad
                Rev. Mex. Biodiv.
                Instituto de Biología (México, DF, Mexico )
                June 2017
                : 88
                : 2
                : 425-436
                [1] Ciudad de México orgnameUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México orgdiv1Facultad de Ciencias orgdiv2Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales Mexico

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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