Rationale & Sub-topics

Ecohydrology’ 2015 - The conference rationale & sub-topics


Ecohydrology, as defined by the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, is an operational principle based on the premise that overland, underground and surface waters flowing in a watershed area is the main driving force which connects flows of nutrients and heat with microbial biota at varying scales of time and space. This concept has operational applications by acting where this is relevant on the dual management of water flow and biotic processes. The ecological engineering developments looking to restore, protect or enhance natural biochemical processes are tools for Ecohydrology. The use of natural biotic processes in the development of a territory policy needs to connect the decision-making process, based on a better consideration of human values and human needs regarding related ecosystem services that the ecohydrology approach can provide to the society.

The implementation of the principle of Ecohydrology however requires modeling of the temporal and spatial distribution of water flow pathways in a catchment area along with the ability of ecosystems to store and transform carried nutrients and pollutants. There is also a strong need to couple the distributed hydrological modeling with the microbial processes occuring in land and water systems including dry and wet periods alternation which condition the processes dynamics. The dedicated models should reproduce the overland runoff circulations and the transport and transformation of carried substances, wetland as accumulation points and ground water circulations to efficiently implement  Ecohydrology principle. The hot-spots and hot-moments of biochemical activities must be identified in the natural environment and enhanced in the built environment to increase the overall resilience of water related ecosystem services. There is therefore a clear need for new technologies dedicated to the measurement of natural processes on the ground, for a low cost and implementation across large territories to be coupled with remote sensing data.

The issue of environmental flows, which was developed in Ecohydraulics field of research for rivers and estuaries in recent decades, aims to define the needs of aquatic ecosystems in competition with human activities. This is a good working basis for development aspect of the ecohydrology and learning about the conflicting requirements between socio-economic driving forces and the aspiration for more natural based and sustainable solutions. In turn the principle of ecohydrology provides spatial and temporal framework to which environmental flows could be connected.

Today the development project of the eco-hydrological engineering requires a better understanding and therefore a better measuring and modeling of the natural microbial processes that follow one another in the space of a watershed under the effect of water flow. In this line the hyporheic system, where regeneration of the water quality can take place into the substrates of a water course remains difficult to model all along a river system. Researches developed by hydrogeologists , microbiologists, hydrologists, biochemists and ecologists working in the field should be gathered to address such a challenge and are welcome to the conference.

All space and time scales of the natural metabolism conditioned by water flows are of interest for this conference. The presentations of related ecosystem services – the way they are assessed and quantified, but also the way they are identified, perceived, valued and communicated by the different stakeholders – are especially relevant for the conference.

Ecohydrology’ 2015 is intended for ecologists, hydrologists, hydrogeologists, hydraulicians, biochemists, microbiologists, biotechnologists, social scientists, economists, water resource managers, landscape and urban planners, and as well developers and providers of new environmental monitoring techniques are welcomed.



Topic 1: Approaches to modeling and management of eco-hydrological processes


  • 1.1 Hydrological dimension of catchment– identification of potential threats and opportunities for a sustainable development.
  • 1.2 Shaping of the catchment ecological structure for ecosystem potential enhancement ─ biological productivity and biodiversity
  • 1.3 Ecohydrology system solution and ecological engineering for the enhancement of water and ecosystem resilience and ecosystem services
  • 1.4 Urban Ecohydrology – storm water purification and retention in the city landscape, potential for improvement of health and quality of life
  • 1.5 Ecohydrological regulation for sustaining and restoring continental to coastal connectivity and ecosystem functioning including groundwater ecosystems management and   hydrogeology of groundwater wetlands


Topic 2: Methods and models for the determination of environmental flows in rivers and estuaries


  • 2.1 Longitudinal and lateral connectivity for sediment erosion, transfer and deposition, as a support for sustainable aquatic and riparian ecosystem health
  • 2.2 Reach vs. catchment applications
  • 2.3 Potential and limits of the natural flow paradigm
  • 2.4 Integration all aspects of ecosystem functioning
  • 2.5 Applications in particular river types (eg mountain streams, braided rivers, intermittent rivers, channelized rivers)
  • 2.6 Aquatic communities to evaluate environmental flows relevance
  • 2.7 Environmental flows assessment tools & strategies


Topic 3: Social and economic values of water-related ecosystem services


  • 3.1 Monetary and non-monetary approaches for the evaluation of water-related ecosystem services. Proposals relating to non-monetary approaches are especially welcome
  • 3.2 Stakeholder's perceptions of water related ecosystem services
  • 3.3 Use of ecosystem service assessment in decision making - collection of evidence
  • 3.4 Contributions of the ecosystem services approach to international and European regulations for water management
  • 3.5 Water related ecosystem services – case studies in the urban and rural contexts


Topic 4: Environmental monitoring and measuring of water-related natural processes


  • 4.1 Physical-chemical & biological sensors
  • 4.2 Nanotechnology and bio-nanotechnology for water monitoring
  • 4.3 Microbiological monitoring (blooming, pathogens and toxins) and health risk
  • 4.4 Biomarkers & bio-logging
  • 4.5 Real Time monitoring & smart monitoring
  • 4.6 Data processing, modelling and hot spot mapping


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