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The impact of land use and spatial mediated processes on the water quality in a river system
Vrebos, D.; Beauchard, O.; Meire, P. (2017). The impact of land use and spatial mediated processes on the water quality in a river system. Sci. Total Environ. 601-602: 365-373.
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697; e-ISSN 1879-1026, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Fresh water
Author keywords
    Water quality; Land use; River management; Spatial process; Asymmetric Eigenvector Maps (AEM); Moran's Eigenvector Maps (MEM)

Authors  Top 
  • Vrebos, D., more
  • Beauchard, O.
  • Meire, P., more

    River systems are highly complex, hierarchical and patchy systems which are greatly influenced by both catchment surroundings and in-stream processes. Natural and anthropogenic land uses and processes affect water quality (WQ) through different pathways and scales. Understanding under which conditions these different river and catchment properties become dominant towards water chemistry remains a challenge. In this study we analyzed the impact of land use and spatial scales on a range of WQ variables within the Kleine Nete catchment in Belgium. Multivariate statistics and spatial descriptors (Moran's and Asymmetric Eigenvector Maps) were used to assess changes in water chemistry throughout the catchment. Both land use and complex mixes of spatial descriptors of different scales were found to be significantly associated to WQ parameters. However, unidirectional, upstream-downstream changes in water chemistry, often described in river systems, were not found within the Kleine Nete catchment. As different sources and processes obscure and interact with each other, it is generally difficult to understand the correct impact of different pollution sources and the predominant pathways. Our results advocate for WQ management interventions on large and small scales where needed, taking the predominate pathways in to account.

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