Impacts of hydroelectric power stations on Trichoptera assemblages in four rivers in NW Spain

Publication date: Available online 23 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Romina Álvarez-Troncoso , Cesar João Benetti , Amadou Babacar Sarr , Amaia Pérez-Bilbao , Josefina Garrido
In this work, we studied Trichoptera assemblages in different rivers in NW Spain affected by hydroelectric power stations, and assessed the influence of environmental variables on the distribution of species. Twenty sites in four rivers were sampled during eight sampling campaigns (2001-2002). The fauna was collected with a quantitative Surber sampler. In addition, several physical, chemical and habitat variables were measured at each site. A distance-based redundancy analysis (dbRDA) was done to investigate the relationship between the assemblages and the environmental variables. Assemblage composition was analyzed by non-metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling (NMDS) and differences between groups were tested using the analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) considering two grouping variables, the river basin and the position of the site (location). The SIMPER routine was used to verify species contribution to dissimilarity. A total of 53 taxa of Trichoptera belonging to 16 families were found, 52% of which were Iberian endemics. The dbRDA revealed that altitude, conductivity, total suspended solids, temperature and location were the variables that most influenced the studied fauna. According to the NMDS analysis, significant differences in faunal composition were recorded between up and downstream sites and between river basins. The fauna seems to respond to a longitudinal gradient, but also to the impact of hydropower stations. The main effects we observed were variations in water temperature and changes in fauna composition, which may be due to the presence of hydropower stations.

These Twenty Young People Are Changing the Food System in Huge Ways – The Women’s International Perspective

These Twenty Young People Are Changing the Food System in Huge Ways
The Women’s International Perspective
There, she taught students about agroecology, nutrition, community organizing, and political theory. Stronzake continues to advocate for land rights as she pursues her master's degree in Spain. Who are some other young people shaking up the food system?

Perma-Fun-K Permaculture Classes and Workshops – Spring 2014 – A News Cafe

Perma-Fun-K Permaculture Classes and Workshops – Spring 2014
A News Cafe
Today my guest is Rosa Maicas, a a certified permaculture designer and is the founder of the educational non-profit Perma-Fun-K. Perma-Fun-K offers hands on permaculture workshops and lectures for children and adults in California and Spain. Today Rosa 

Perma-Fun-K Permaculture Classes and Workshops – Spring 2014 | anewscafe … – A News Cafe

Perma-Fun-K Permaculture Classes and Workshops – Spring 2014 | anewscafe
A News Cafe
Today my guest is Rosa Maicas, a certified permaculture designer and the founder of the educational non-profit Perma-Fun-K. Perma-Fun-K offers hands on permaculture workshops and lectures for children and adults in California and Spain. Today Rosa 

Spain: Kiwi producers in Tomiño and Valença do Minho test sulphur as fertiliser – FreshPlaza

Spain: Kiwi producers in Tomiño and Valença do Minho test sulphur as fertiliser
Areeiro's Phytopathological Station conducted close to 40,000 analyses last year in order to control pests and improve the agroforestry production. A total of 24,000 edaphologic studies, 8,000 phytopathological analyses and 3,936 fruit analyses were

Population traits of invasive bleak Alburnus alburnus between different habitats in Iberian fresh waters

Publication date: Available online 24 December 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): David Almeida , Paris V. Stefanoudis , David H. Fletcher , Carlos Rangel , Eduardo da Silva
The bleak Alburnus alburnus (L.) is a cyprinid native to most of Europe, mainly inhabiting lentic environments. This fish species is a successful invader in the Iberian Peninsula, where it was first introduced to reservoirs as forage fish during the 1990s. Bleaks threaten the highly endemic Iberian fish fauna by means of trophic competition and hybridization. Yet, little is known about the environmental biology of bleaks in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly far from impounded waters. Thus, the aim of this work was to compare seasonal and gender variation of size structure, body condition and reproductive investment of bleaks between different habitats. Only sexually mature bleaks were seasonally collected and examined from the River Gévora and the Sierra Brava Reservoir (southwestern Spain) to assess more in-depth the adaptive capacity at the population level and the subsequent invasiveness. Bleak was an abundant species in the fish assemblages of both habitat types (i.e. river and reservoir). The proportion of smaller mature bleaks was lower in the river than the reservoir during spring and the opposite pattern was observed during winter. Both male and females were larger in the river during the breeding season in the study areas (i.e. spring), as well as with higher body condition and reproductive investment. These findings suggest that bleaks enhance their reproduction rate in the river to compensate for higher mortality in this habitat, where environmental conditions may be harsher due to the winter floods and summer droughts typical of Mediterranean water courses. Overall results highlight the high degree of plasticity in population traits of the bleak in the Iberian Peninsula, which will surely aid its ability to adapt to a wide variety of Mediterranean ecosystems, including lentic and lotic environments. Consequently, this invasive fish may pose a serious risk for the highly valuable fauna of Mediterranean Europe.

Spain: NEIKER-Tecnalia offers support to create urban orchards – FreshPlaza

Spain: NEIKER-Tecnalia offers support to create urban orchards
The third stage has to do with the installation and monitoring, making use of sustainable agricultural practices and offering, if necessary, training activities regarding soil health and agroecology. Source: Publication date: 9/26

From the Field | CAN’s 13th Annual International Shortcourse

January 14, 2013: Quintana Roo, Mexico: Today CAN’s 13th Annual International Shortcourse kicked off here at the Intercultural Maya University of Quintana Roo (UIMQRoo)! Normally the course is held in July, but given how hot the Yucatan Peninsula can be in July, we decided to do it here in January.  Alas, we did not escape the heat even with this clever planning – it is 90 degrees here in Jose Maria Morelos!

An amazing group of 36 participants and 10 facilitators and teachers — agroecology students, practitioners, and researchers from Argentina, Colombia, Spain, the United States, and many regions of Mexico — has come together to explore the intersections of interculturality and agroecology over the next two weeks. 

The course program includes presentations discussing experiences with traditional Maya milpa agriculture and other experiences with agroecology. Together we will explore what we can learn from these experiences and what we can apply to our own work to transform the dominant agricultural model to an agroecologically-based one — one where the environment and food systems are healthy and sustainable.

The Rector of the Universidad Intercultural Maya de Quintana Roo (UIMQRoo) opened the Shortcourse by urging participants to recognize the advantages and limitations of our current efforts — and the efforts of the state — to promote food security and sovereignty, and to look for new examples and new ways of thinking about solutions as well. 

Next, Dr. Steve Gliessman of CAN, lead professor of the Shortcourse, encouraged students to remember that agroecology is a science, a practice, and a social change process. Rounding out the opening presentations was Victor Acerreca Sanchez, Director of the Quintana Roo Science and Technology Council. He made sure that all of the participants knew it was their responsibility to take what they will learn in the course and apply it in a positive way upon their return to their communities and countries.

Presentations and discussions throughout the rest of the day centered on a full and fascinating exploration of agroecology (what it is), how agricultural systems relate to biodiversity, and different ideas of how to measure the sustainability of food systems.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we will continue to deepen our explorations of all the elements involved in creating and managing healthy food systems.


Save the Date! | 14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse | July 7-21, 2013

14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse

Agroecological Approaches for Climate Change
and Food Systems Resilience

When: July 7-21, 2013

Where: The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont


  • Instructors include pioneers from the field of agroecology and other experts from the United States, Spain, and Mexico.
  • Learn concepts and techniques for Participatory Action Research (PAR).
  • Consider the opportunities and risks within our food systems related to the changing climate and extreme weather events.

Organized by V. Ernesto Mendez, University of Vermont and the Community Agroecology Network (CAN)

Click here for more information or email Martha Caswell.


Students get unique environmental research experience in Spain

Several students from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently studied the potential effects of global climate change in Spain. For the last two years, eight students journeyed from central Pennsylvania to Madrid to conduct research in the field of global climate change ecology. Enrolled in the Ecological Research in Spain course, at …

Benthic invertebrate communities in regulated Mediterranean streams and least-impacted tributaries

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
David Almeida, Raquel Merino-Aguirre, David G. Angeler
Flow regulation is generally perceived to negatively influence fluvial ecosystems through alterations of natural habitat conditions, particularly in highly variable Mediterranean streams. However, the detection of impact may depend on chosen metrics, requiring a multiple-lines-of-evidence approach for ecologically relevant impact assessment. In this study, we compare the community structure, the trophic function, the microhabitat influence and the body condition of benthic invertebrates between the regulated Bullaque River and unregulated tributaries (Guadiana River basin, central Spain). Invertebrates and physical microhabitats were studied seasonally in 2010. Total abundance, EPT abundance, Rheoindex and LIFE metrics were higher in the regulated river during summer, whereas Shannon diversity was lower. Rheoindex and LIFE were higher in the tributaries during winter. Filterers were very abundant in spring and summer in the tributaries and the regulated stream, respectively. Deposit feeders dominated during summer in the tributaries. Despite these differences, ANOSIM revealed similar community structure and feeding groups characteristics in both fluvial system types. In addition, body condition, measured as fluctuating asymmetry level, indicated that daming created favourable developmental conditions for several invertebrate species in the Bullaque River. This suggests that daming surprisingly buffered from the adverse environmental conditions inflicted by seasonal summer drougths, which occur recurrently in Mediterranean areas. Results also suggest that the application of fluctuating asymmetry could therefore be promising for revealing integral ecological responses to different and often combined forms of anthropogenic and natural disturbance.

Microbial activity and biogeochemical cycling in a nutrient-rich meromictic acid pit lake

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 3
Katrin Wendt-Potthoff, Matthias Koschorreck, Marta Diez Ercilla, Javier Sánchez España
Microbial activity, abundance and biomass, and biogeochemical cycling of iron, sulphur and carbon were studied in the extremely acidic (pH 2.5–4.3), meromictic, nutrient-rich pit lake Cueva de la Mora in Spain. The goal was to find out (1) if the relatively high nutrient content influenced plankton abundance in the water column and alkalinity-producing microbial processes in the sediments compared to other acid pit lakes, and (2) if sediments in the shallow, mixed and the deep, stagnant parts of the lake exhibited differences in microbial activities and geochemical sediment composition related to meromixis. We hypothesised that redox cycling was more intense in the mixed part and higher amounts of reduced components would accumulate in the stagnant part. Especially phytoplankton biomass, CO 2 production, and sulphate reduction were indeed higher than reported from typical acid pit lakes and were rather within the range of neutral or weakly acidic lakes, which can be attributed to the relatively high nutrient contents of Cueva de la Mora. Even in the monimolimnion, anaerobic processes occurred mainly in the sediments. Sediments from the mixed and stagnant parts of the lake differed markedly in their biogeochemistry. Mixolimnetic sediments showed high iron and sulphate reduction rates, and they appeared to undergo substantial recycling, as supported by reactive Fe, relation between gross sulphate reduction rate and net accumulation of reduced sulphur, and viable counts of iron and sulphur bacteria. Monimolimnetic sediments exhibited lower anaerobic microbial activities, and surprisingly they accumulated more Fe(II) than mixolimnetic sediments, but less reduced sulphur and carbon. This might be explained by a strong separation of the two water bodies, resulting in comparably less input of energy (light) and allochthonous matter into the monimolimnion. Regarding the total extent of alkalinity-generating microbial processes, their net effect is not sufficient to neutralise the lake within decades.