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Maria João Feio

Maria João Feio
University of Coimbra & Marine and Envrionmental Sciences Centre · Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology

PhD

About

107
Publications
29,365
Reads
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2,429
Citations
Citations since 2016
62 Research Items
1679 Citations
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Introduction
I am interested in understanding the ecological condition of rivers and streams worldwide and contribute to their recovery and preservation. I continue working on the development of new approaches to assess fresh waterbodies with a higher precision and efficiency, namely through the use of molecular-based approaches. I am also particularly interested in urban freshwater ecosystems and how they can contribute to enhance the world sustainability.

Publications

Publications (107)
Presentation
One of the keys for the rehabilitation or restoration of urban freshwater ecosystems is to promote citizen awareness and their engagement in nature preservation. The environmental educational project CresceRio was created in 2018 in the city of Coimbra, Portugal, assuming the urgency to promote the preservation and rehabilitation of urban streams,...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers suffer from multiple stressors acting simultaneously on their biota, but the consequences are poorly quantified at the global scale. We evaluated the biological condition of rivers globally, including the largest proportion of countries from the Global South published to date. We gathered macroinvertebrate‐ and fish‐based assessments from 72...
Article
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Globalization has led to the introduction of thousands of alien species worldwide. With growing impacts by invasive species, understanding the invasion process remains critical for predicting adverse effects and informing efficient management. Theoretically, invasion dynamics have been assumed to follow an “invasion curve” (S-shaped curve of availa...
Article
Full-text available
Blue and green ecosystems are considered a key for the improvement of cities sustainability , providing numerous ecosystem services and habitat for many species. However, urban streams are still neglected and degraded, specially in southern European countries. One important step towards the rehabilitation of these ecosystems is the awareness of the...
Article
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This study aimed to investigate the relative importance of abiotic factors and biotic resistance (expressed as species richness of native macroinvertebrates), through a correlative niche-based model, to explain the abundance of the non-native mollusk Melanoides tuberculata. A total of 478 sites were sampled in six reservoirs in a Brazilian semi-ari...
Book
Full-text available
Rivers of Europe, Second Edition, presents the latest update on the only primary source of complete and comparative baseline data on the biological and hydrological characteristics of more than 180 of the highest profile rivers in Europe. With even more full-color photographs and maps, the book includes conservation information on current patterns...
Chapter
Rivers of the Iberian Peninsula have been influenced for a long time by intensive human use. This, together with a largely unpredictable climate and scarce water resources, resulted in a large number of hydraulic infrastructures, with more than 1000 large reservoirs spread throughout Iberian watercourses. Although climatic variation is high, most o...
Article
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Conferences are ideal platforms for studying gender gaps in science because they are important cultural events that reflect barriers to women in academia. Here, we explored women’s participation in ecology conferences by analyzing female representation, behavior, and personal experience at the 1st Meeting of the Iberian Society of Ecology (SIBECOL)...
Article
Major threats of freshwater systems are river damming and habitat degradation, further amplified by climate change, another major driver of biodiversity loss. This study aims to understand the effects of climate change, and its repercussions on hydropower production, on the instream biota of a regulated river. Particularly, it aims to ascertain how...
Article
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Urbanisation alters the natural hydromorphology of streams, affecting aquatic communities and ecological quality. Increasing efforts have been put into the rehabilitation of urban streams due to their importance for urban sustainability. Despite these efforts, many projects fail to achieve the improvement of aquatic communities. This study aims to...
Article
Freshwater macroinvertebrates provide valuable indicators for biomonitoring ecosystem change in relation to natural and anthropogenic drivers. DNA metabarcoding is an efficient approach for estimating such indicators, but its results may differ from morphotaxonomic approaches traditionally used in biomonitoring. Here we test the hypothesis that des...
Article
Dams modify geomorphology, water quantity, quality and timing of stream flows affecting ecosystem functioning and aquatic biota. In this study, we addressed the structural and functional macroinvertebrate community alterations in different instream mesohabitats of two Portuguese rivers impaired by dams. We sampled macroinvertebrates in riffles, run...
Article
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We analysed the relationship between functional and structural variables (leaf litter decomposition, biofilms growth, primary productivity, invertebrate communities’ taxonomic structure, and biological traits) and environmental conditions from headwaters into the estuary, which remains under-investigated. Six river sections (headwaters, middle reac...
Article
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The biological assessment of rivers i.e., their assessment through use of aquatic assemblages, integrates the effects of multiple-stressors on these systems over time and is essential to evaluate ecosystem condition and establish recovery measures. It has been undertaken in many countries since the 1990s, but not globally. And where national or mul...
Article
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Benthic macroinvertebrates are among the most used biological quality elements for assessing the condition of all types of aquatic ecosystems worldwide (i.e., fresh water, transitional, and marine). Current morphology-based assessments have several limitations that may be circumvented by using DNA-based approaches. Here, we present a comprehensive...
Article
This work assesses the effects of river regulation on the diversity of different instream and riparian biological communities along a relieve gradient of disturbance in regulated rivers. Two case studies in Portugal were used, with different river regulation typology (downstream of run-of-river and reservoir dams), where regulated and free-flowing...
Article
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Urban streams and ecosystems are highly affected by the intense development of cities and an increase of impervious surfaces. If these environments are close to their pristine state, they can be considered a nature-based solution promoting the integration of both green and blue elements in the cities, while providing a wide range of services (e.g....
Article
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DNA metabarcoding from the ethanol used to store macroinvertebrate bulk samples is a convenient methodological option in molecular biodiversity assessment and biomonitoring of aquatic ecosystems, as it preserves specimens and reduces problems associated with sample sorting. However, this method may be affected by errors and biases, which need to be...
Article
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Background: Thermal springs provide extreme ecological conditions for aquatic communities owing to their high water temperature and particular water chemistry. The thermal springs and their connected watercourses provide a thermal laboratory by offering a wide range of temperatures within short spatial distances. To date, the information on how the...
Article
Reservoirs are ecosystems that provide important services and reserves of aquatic biodiversity, especially in arid and semiarid regions. However, they are also highly vulnerable to pollution, water abstraction and land use change. Here, we aimed to develop a “dirty‐water” predictive model that could be used to create recovery scenarios and analyze...
Article
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Effect of environmental filters on Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) assemblages of neotropical watersheds Environmental filters act at different spatial scales, selecting species with characteristics that allow them to successfully establish and survive under local environmental conditions. We sought to evaluate how environmental filters (physical/c...
Article
Diatoms are a compulsory biological quality element in the ecological assessment of rivers according to the Water Framework Directive. The application of current official indices requires the identification of individuals to species or lower rank under a microscope based on the valve morphology. This is a highly time-consuming task, often susceptib...
Article
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Land‐use changes such as conversion of natural forest to rural and urban areas have been considered as main drivers of ecosystem functions decline, and a large variety of indicators has been used to investigate these effects. Here, we used a replicated litter‐bag experiment to investigate the effects of land‐use changes on the leaf‐litter breakdown...
Article
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Conservation and sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems is a priority in environmental programs worldwide. However, these aims are highly dependent on the efficiency, accuracy and cost of existent methods for the detection of keystone species and monitoring of biological communities. Rapid advances in eDNA, barcoding and metabarcoding promote...
Article
Freshwaters are constantly facing ecosystem functioning alterations and loss of biodiversity driven by multiple anthropogenic and natural stressors, that by acting simultaneously create complex interactions, affecting the quantity and quality of water resources. Stream biofilms are complex communities, which are exposed to these alterations and, in...
Article
Full-text available
Urban streams provide important ecosystem services to cities’ population, from the maintenance of urban biodiversity, temperature, humidity and air quality to improving aesthetics and provision of natural areas for recreation. However, these streams are under multiple-stressors, including artificialization of the channel and flow, poor water qualit...
Article
Litter breakdown is an important ecological process at the bottom of food webs in streams. Previous studies have been based only on a temporal interval of a single season, thus ignoring seasonal variation in litter input and community structure. We investigated organic matter input in a Brazilian savanna stream and the influence of its associated h...
Article
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One of the most common anthropogenic impacts on river ecosystems is the effluent discharge from wastewater treatment plants. The effects of this contamination on stream biota may be intensified in Mediterranean climate regions, which comprise a drought period that leads to flow reduction, and ultimately to stagnant pools. To assess individual and c...
Poster
Full-text available
What are the effects of urbanization on the biological communities and ecosystems processes in island streams?
Article
Benthic diatom communities are used in the ecological assessment of Portuguese rivers through the calculation of an autecological index, the IPS (Indice de Polluosensibilite Specifique), officially adopted for Portugal. This index requires a high level of taxonomic expertise for morphological identification of individuals at species level. Advances...
Book
Full-text available
O livro Rios de Portugal: Comunidades, Processos e Alterações surge num contexto em que se reconhece a grande importância dos rios para a sociedade e em que há um intenso desenvolvimento científico e técnico sobre os ecossistemas aquáticos em Portugal. Em 17 capítulos da autoria de mais de 60 investigadores portugueses pretendeu-se cobrir as várias...
Book
O livro Rios de Portugal: Comunidades, Processos e Alterações surge num contexto em que se reconhece a grande importância dos rios para a sociedade e em que há um intenso desenvolvimento científico e técnico sobre os ecossistemas aquáticos em Portugal. Em 17 capítulos da autoria de mais de 60 investigadores portugueses pretendeu-se cobrir as várias...
Chapter
Full-text available
Os invertebrados aquáticos são importantes elementos dos ecossistemas ribeirinhos. Possuem adaptações e estratégias diversificadas para fazer face à multiplicidade de condições que se fazem sentir nestes ambientes, nomeadamente de velocidade de corrente, oxigénio dissolvido, tipo e quantidade de alimento disponível, entre outros. Desempenham import...
Article
In the present study, we assessed the potential of dipterans as functional indicators of extreme drought. Dipteran assemblages were sampled four times in 2014 and 2015 at 141 sites, from six reservoirs located in two semi-arid watersheds. Our results showed that dipteran functional traits changed over an extreme drought period (p < 0.0001) and were...
Chapter
Full-text available
A Diretiva Quadro da Água veio obrigar todos os estados membros a procederem a uma monitorização ecológica dos seus rios tendo em vista a avaliação da sua qualidade. Esta classificação deve refletir a qualidade de diversos compo-nentes de um ecossistema ribeirinho, tais como os elementos biológicos, físico-químicos e hidromorfológicos. Com base nes...
Chapter
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As águas termo-minerais apresentam diferentes quantidades de sais minerais que dependem do tempo e da natureza das rochas com as quais a água esteve em contacto. Dentro destas, as águas termais são aquelas cuja temperatura é mais elevada que a temperatura ambiente, em pelo menos 5°C. Portugal é um dos países da Europa mais rico neste tipo de ocorrê...
Article
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The definition of conservation strategies and ecological assessment schemes requires understanding ecosystem patterns over multiple spatial scales. This study aimed to determine if macro-scale structural and functional (processes) patterns associated with stream ecosystems differed among three neotropical biomes (Cerrado, Amazon, Atlantic Forest)....
Article
Full-text available
High quality water is vital for human life, and ensuring its availability is a basic requirement and a major societal aim. The Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) is a key piece of legislation for the protection and sustainable use of water in the European Union. In this work we briefly review the WFD directive and the current status of Eur...
Article
Full-text available
Current biomonitoring approaches are widely used but have some limitations. • DNA metabarcoding provides a new complementary tool for biomonitoring. • Metabarcoding allows extending the range of taxa used as bioindicators. • Metabarcoding data could be used to establish molecular metrics and indices. • Future work should standardise procedures and...
Article
River ecosystems are most often subject to multiple co-occurring anthropogenic stressors. Mediterranean streams are particularly affected by water scarcity and organic loads that commonly lead to a simultaneous reduction in flow and increasing depletion of dissolved oxygen. In the present study, the single and combined effects of water scarcity (fl...
Article
Full-text available
In freshwater ecosystems, Chironomidae are currently considered indicators of poor water quality because the family is often abundant in degraded sites. However, it incorporates taxa with a large ecological and physiological diversity and different sensitivity to impairment. Yet, the usual identification of Chironomidae at coarse taxonomic levels (...
Article
Full-text available
Coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) inputs from riparian vegetation into streams and CPOM benthic stock vary naturally in space and time, but most studies in the tropical savannah (Cerrado) have been done over a small temporal scale (<1 year), which does not allow for the determination of inter-annual patterns. We found that CPOM collected ove...
Article
Full-text available
Chironomidae (Diptera) are widespread, abundant, diverse and ubiquitous, and include genera and species that are distributed across the Holarctic region. However, the geographical barriers between continents should have resulted in intraspecific population differentiation with reflection on individual biological and ecological traits. Our aim was t...
Article
Contemporary large-scale river ecology is grounded on the existence of patterns in the distribution of aquatic communities, structured by prevailing abiotic conditions. Here, we investigated the existence of functional consistent associations of traits (i.e., traits appearing consistently together at different sites and the same river type) between...
Article
In Mediterranean rivers, water scarcity is a key stressor with direct and indirect effects on other stressors, such as water quality decline and inherent oxygen depletion associated with pollutants inputs. Yet, predicting the responses of macroinvertebrates to these stressors combination is quite challenging due to the reduced available information...
Article
Full-text available
Although diatoms are important bioindicators of ecological quality, their ecological traits are still not well understood. A major issue is that of substrate preferences, which may result in differences in production, and assemblage structure and composition, and which should therefore be taken into account for ecological quality assessment studies...
Article
Full-text available
Chironomidae are diverse and present a wide variety of ecological preferences. Thus, they have high potential in establishing reference conditions for river bioassessment and in providing functional information, especially when other macroinvertebrates are poorly represented. However, because of taxonomic difficulties and poor knowledge of traits,...
Article
A great investment has been done in the last decades in the development of numerical and qualitative assessment methods to classify the ecological quality of water bodies. Yet, in spite of all attempts to avoid subjectivity, expert judgment is still used at numerous steps of the ecological classification and is considered by some authors as indispe...
Article
Contemporary bioassessment methods for water bodies require the description of "reference conditions" representing an absence or only "very minor" presence of human impacts on hydromorphological, physical and chemical properties. However, minimally disturbed reference sites are lacking in many European regions and other parts of the world because o...
Article
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Gender biases in science have received increasing attention in recent years. Underrepresentation at the highest academic levels and bias in publication are some of the factors affecting women in science. In this study, we assessed the situation of women in Limnology, a specific field of natural sciences, within the geographic context of the Iberian...
Article
Modern ecological assessments of running waters are based on the a priori definition of ecological benchmarks, given by reference-quality sites. Such benchmarks are established at the level of ecoregions, typologies, or site. Yet, in highly disturbed regions, such as coastal areas of European countries, the assessment of streams’ water quality base...