Paolo Vezza

Paolo Vezza
Politecnico di Torino | polito · DIATI - Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering

Professor in Hydraulics at Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Ecohydraulics, hydrology, aquatic ecology

About

73
Publications
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Publications

Publications (73)
Article
River ecosystems worldwide are affected by altered flow regimes, and an advanced science and practice of environmental flows has developed to understand and reduce these impacts. But most environmental flows approaches ignore flow intermittency, which is a natural feature of 30% of the global river network length. Ignoring flow intermittency when s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The distribution of phreatophyte riparian vegetation can be described by a stochastic model for vegetation growth. According to this, vegetation dynamics are influenced by the topography of the riparian transect and the randomness of hydrological fluctuations, acting as a dichotomous Markov noise. Also, the response of vegetation to this forcing, i...
Article
Full-text available
Conceptual models underpin river ecosystem research. However, current models focus on continuously flowing rivers and few explicitly address characteristics such as flow cessation and drying. The applicability of existing conceptual models to nonperennial rivers that cease to flow (intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams, IRES) has not been evalu...
Article
Full-text available
Systematic experiments on European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in their juvenile, early life stage (glass eel), were conducted to provide new insights on the fish swimming performance and propose a framework of analysis to design swimming-performance experiments for bottom-dwelling fish. In particular, we coupled experimental and computational fluid dy...
Article
Full-text available
Study region Albaida Valley, Spain. Study focus Rivers are experiencing a rapid biodiversity loss largely due to water quality degradation imposed by anthropogenic activities. To show the capability of modeling to inform water management at watershed scales, this research develops an eco-hydrological model of the Albaida Valley (Spain). SWAT (Soil...
Article
Full-text available
Application of meso‐scale habitat models in gravel‐bed rivers is increasingly common for a variety of purposes, from ecological flow design, impact assessment and conservation programs. Integration with 2D hydraulic modeling offers the potential for broader applicability of meso‐scale habitat models, extending applications to larger streams and non...
Article
Rivers are among the most threatened ecosystems worldwide and are experiencing rapid biodiversity loss. Flow alteration due to climate change, water abstractions and augmentation is a severe stressor on many aquatic communities. Macroinvertebrates are widely used for biomonitoring river ecosystems although current taxonomic approaches used to chara...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic activity and climate change. The changes in flow regimes in Lithuanian lowland rivers due to the operation of hydropower plants (HPPs) and the impact of altered flow on some fish species have already been studied. The impact of climate change on future natural river runoff and the stru...
Chapter
The modification of sediment and flow regimes caused by damming and river regulation has deleterious effects on the ecological and morphological river processes. This alteration of river systems triggered the implementation of safeguarding environmental flows (e-flows) defined as “the quantity, timing, and quality of water flows required to sustain...
Article
Full-text available
Satellite data are very useful for the continuous monitoring of ever-changing environments, such as wetlands. In this study, we investigated the use of multispectral imagery to monitor the winter evolution of land cover in the Albufera wetland (Spain), using Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 datasets. With multispectral data, the frequency of observation is...
Article
Full-text available
The MesoHABitat SImulation Model (MesoHABSIM) is the preferred method to calculate spatio-temporal variation in the fish habitat availability in Italian rivers. With the aim of improving the applicability of the MesoHABSIM approach in the Italian territory, we carried out a systematic review of physical habitat preferences for 31 freshwater fish sp...
Article
Full-text available
Floodplains include unique environments shaped over a long time horizon along rivers and smaller streams and formed by alluvial sediments. As floodplains are flat, often with highly fertile and well-accessible land, they have become the intrinsic focus of human society—while providing a variety of goods and ecosystem services. Intensive land use of...
Article
Habitat modelling aims to predict changes in the structure of aquatic communities as a function of habitat availability. It is a primary tool to inform management actions and to search for the best compromise between biodiversity conservation and water supply. The construction of these models requires in-depth knowledge about the main hydrological...
Chapter
Only 38% of the United Nations' member countries have established legal frameworks to facilitate the implementation of environmental flows. Only 14% of the world’s longest rivers is hydrologically protected by regularly receiving environmental flows. We review global historical-political developments in environmental flows management, the environme...
Article
Full-text available
Recruitment of temperate eel species Anguilla anguilla, A. rostrata & A. japonica has declined over the last few decades due to human activities, such as overfishing and construction of migratory barriers (e.g. dams, weirs and sluices) and hazardous energy infrastructure (e.g. turbines, intakes and outfalls). Numerical models, substantiated with da...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We propose a methodology to calibrate a stochastic model for riparian vegetation dynamics that is based on real data. The methodology integrates various tools that are often used individually in fluvial investigations and it is here applied to the case of the Cinca river (Spain), aiming to explore how its riparian vegetation responds to changing cl...
Article
Full-text available
The meso-scale habitat simulation model MesoHABSIM was applied in three Lithuanian lowland rivers to study the effect of low-head hydropower plants (HPPs) on the fish habitats. Stream flow time series on a daily scale for the period 1970–2015 were used to describe flow regime downstream of HPPs for periods before and after their installation. Condi...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Riparian environments are highly dynamic ecosystems that support biodiversity and numerous services and that are conditioned by anthropogenic activities and climate change. In this work, we propose an integrated methodology that combines different research approaches—field studies and numerical and analytical modeling—in order to calibrate...
Article
Floods and droughts are key driving forces shaping aquatic ecosystems. Climate change may alter key attributes of these events and consequently health and distribution of aquatic species. Improved knowledge of biological responses to different types of floods and droughts in rivers should allow the better prediction of the ecological consequences o...
Article
Full-text available
Hydraulic habitat simulation models were designed for the quantitative determination of environmental flows that consider the needs of aquatic fauna in rivers and streams. In the past 50 years, the modeling techniques were significantly developed, but expectations associated with model utility also increased. Nowadays, the tools are expected to be...
Article
Full-text available
Application of instream habitat models such as the Mesohabitat Simulation Model (MesoHABSIM) is becoming increasingly popular. Such models can predict alteration to a river physical habitat caused by hydropower operation or river training. They are a tool for water management planning, especially in terms of requirements of the Water Framework Dire...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing number of water abstractions and water-use conflicts in alpine regions represents a significant threat for these fragile aquatic ecosystems. The use of tools, like multicriteria analysis (MCA), can support related decision-making processes towards sustainable solutions. In this paper, an innovative approach to assess water withdrawal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent times, habitat models at the meso-scale have become widely accepted techniques to quantify the impact of hydro-morphological pressures on rivers. However, several limitations limit a broader applicability of such models: 1) field-based mesohabitat mapping is difficult in large non-wadable streams; 2) obtaining a reliable habitat-streamflo...
Article
Preservation of a good ecological status in riverine habitats emerged as a priority for water management policies in Europe since the negative impact caused by the construction and operation of dams on the ecohydrology and habitat availability became more evident. Ecological flows, as reported in the recently published European guidance, represent...
Article
Geomorphic units are the elementary spatial physical features of the river mosaic at the reach scale that are nested within the overall hydromorphological structure of a river and its catchment. Geomorphic units also constitute the template of physical habitats for the biota. The assessment of river hydromorphological conditions is required by the...
Article
The impacts of invasive species are recognised as a major threat to global freshwater biodiversity. The risk of invasion (probability of presence) of two avowed invasive species, the northern pike (Esox Lucius, L.) and bleak (Alburnus alburnus, L.), was evaluated in the upper part of the Cabriel River (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Habitat suitabilit...
Article
This paper demonstrates the use of a multiplex habitat model for flow management criteria development compliant with the natural flow paradigm using the Upper Delaware River (NY/PA—USA) as an example. The goal of this study was to identify strategies to protect and support the recovery of the dwarf wedgemussel populations in the mainstem Delaware R...
Chapter
Crayfish are the largest mobile freshwater invertebrates and are keystone species in European aquatic ecosystems particularly in small streams and rivers. The white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes (a species complex) is currently classified by the IUCN Red List as an endangered species (EN), because its populations have decreased signific...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The spatial scales of geomorphic and smaller (hydraulic, river element) units are the most appropriate to assess the presence and diversity of physical habitats. Geomorphic units (e.g., riffles, pools, etc.) constitute distinct habitats for aquatic fauna and flora, including temporary habitats (e.g., refugia from disturbance or predation, spawning,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La valutazione delle condizioni idromorfologiche di un corso d’acqua è richiesta dalla Direttiva Quadro sulle Acque (2000/60/CE) per la classificazione e il monitoraggio dei corpi idrici. Seppure la scala di tratto rimanga quella più appropriata per la valutazione delle caratteristiche morfologiche e delle condizioni del corso d’acqua, la scala del...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Al fine di applicare la metodologia MesoHABSIM (Mesohabitat simulation model) sono stati sviluppati due plugin in ambiente QGIS in grado di accompagnare nell intero work-flow. Il plugin Map-Stream nasce come strumento per la descrizione delle unità morfologiche mediante tecniche di mobile mapping. Il plugin Sim-Stream elabora i dati raccolti con Ma...
Article
The invasion of freshwater ecosystems is a particularly alarming phenomenon in the Iberian Peninsula. Habitat suitability modelling is a proficient approach to extract knowledge about species ecology and to guide adequate management actions. Decision-trees are an interpretable modelling technique widely used in ecology, able to handle strongly nonl...
Article
The invasion of freshwater ecosystems is a particularly alarming phenomenon in the Iberian Peninsula. Habitat suitability modelling is a proficient approach to extract knowledge about species ecology and to guide adequate management actions. Decision-trees are an interpretable modelling technique widely used in ecology, able to handle strongly nonl...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat suitability models (HSM) are concerned with the abundance or distribution of species as a consequence of interactions with the physical environment. Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) were used to model brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) density as a function of environmental variables at the scale of river reach and hydromorphological units (HM...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Fluvial communities and their ecological integrity are the result of their evolutionary adaptation to river habitats. Flowing water is the main driver for development and maintenance of these habitats, which is why environmental flows (e-Flows) are needed where societal demands are depleting water resources. Fluvial habitats are not only the result...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Fluvial communities and their ecological integrity are the result of their evolutionary adaptation to river habitats. Flowing water is the main driver for development and maintenance of these habitats, which is why environmental flows (e-Flows) are needed where societal demands are depleting water resources. Fluvial habitats are not only the result...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Objective The aim of this Deliverable is to provide a flexible, open-ended framework of procedures and tools through which practitioners can summarise river conditions, set monitoring activities, support the selection of appropriate and sustainable restoration actions. Methods and Results The overall assessment framework presented in this Deliverab...
Article
Full-text available
Pest management requires the development of robust monitoring tools. In Italy, coypu Myocastor coypus (nutria) have been controlled since the early 1990s, but the effectiveness of these measures has never been tested. With the aim of developing a reliable and volunteer-based method for the long-term monitoring of coypu abundance in agricultural lan...
Article
Full-text available
Luciobarbus guiraonis (Eastern Iberian barbel) is an endemic fish species restricted to Spain, mainly distributed in the Júcar River Basin District. Its study is important because there is little knowledge about its biology and ecology. To improve the knowledge about the species distribution and habitat requirements, nonlinear modelling was carried...
Poster
Full-text available
Soil erosion is currently menacing the availability of arable land in various countries worldwide. In particular the countries located in the Sahel area of Sub-Saharan Africa are extremely prone to this type of environmental degradation. The same countries rely traditionally upon subsistence farming, which makes the population more vulnerable to en...
Chapter
Full-text available
Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) measures have been regularly employed in the Sahelian area to reduce soil erosion and reservoir siltation. However, a proper cost-effectiveness analysis of the impact of SWC interventions on the catchment sediment budget is rarely carried out. In this paper, a semi-quantitative model is proposed to evaluate the cos...
Chapter
Full-text available
Gabion check dams (GCDs) are among the most diffused soil and water conservation practices in Burkina Faso, used to cope with soil loss and reservoir siltation. Specifically, CGDs are flexible, permeable structures built in gullies to create a sedimentation bench that decreases the average upstream slope. The consequent slowing-down of the flowing...
Conference Paper
Base cartography at proper scale for land and water management is rarely available in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Despite the massive presence of international cooperation programs and projects carried out in various LDCs, a low budget is usually allocated for base data retrieval, which could be helpful for a wide range of on-site actions. A...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nel 2010, è stato annunciato il raggiungimento dell'Obiettivo di Sviluppo del Millennio (MDG, Millenium Development Goals) per l'accesso all'acqua e ai servizi igienici. L'obiettivo (MDG-Target 7.C) si prefiggeva di dimezzare, entro il 2015, la percentuale di popolazione senza un accesso idoneo all'acqua potabile e ai servizi igienici di base. Su s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Habitat simulation models are effective tools which can be used to estimate spatial and temporal habitat availability for aquatic organisms, and to design and evaluate habitat restoration actions. Based on the meso-scale resolution, the present work proposes two indices to evaluate the spatial and temporal alteration of instream habitats. Firstly,...
Article
This study aimed to set out a new methodology for habitat modeling in high-gradient streams. The methodology is based on the mesoscale approach of the MesoHABSIM simulation system and can support the definition and assessment of environmental flow and habitat restoration measures. Data from 40 study sites located within the mountainous areas of the...
Article
The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a critically endangered species, and one major threat is the survival of silver eels migrating downstream towards the sea from lake and river rearing areas. During this migration, many eels are impinged and die on intake racks, or are injured or killed when passing through turbines.Intake racks at a hydroelec...
Poster
Full-text available
In the last few years the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) concerning access to water and sanitation has been announced. Even though this can be reasonably accepted on the basis of a global average, entire nations are still facing significant water issues. Furthermore a considerable gap between rural and urban water and sanitati...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of water resources planning and management, the prediction of fish distribution related to habitat characteristics is fundamental for the definition of environmental flows and habitat restoration measures. In particular, threatened and endemic fish species should be the targets of biodiversity safeguard and wildlife conservation acti...
Article
This study aimed to set out a new methodology for habitat modeling in high-gradient streams. The methodology is based on the mesoscale approach of the MesoHABSIM simulation system and can support the definition and assessment of environmental flow and habitat restoration measures. Data from 40 study sites located within the mountainous areas of the...
Article
The ecological effectiveness and success of river restoration strongly depend on the resources invested in planning. Unfortunately, this trend of restoration engineering is frequently compromised by the application of qualitative assessment and resource intensive adaptive management processes. Habitat simulation models are effective tools for selec...
Conference Paper
Hydropeaking induced by storage hydropower plants can modify the natural flow regime at different time scales, with severe impacts on the biodiversity of the downstream river ecosystems. In this research, a case study on the Noce River (NE Italy) is presented, where habitat simulation models and habitat time series were used to compare restoration...
Chapter
Full-text available
The changing spatial distribution of a river's physical attributes due to flow variations and the aquatic species' biological response to these changes is the cornerstone for simulating habitat alterations and designing the respective restoration measures. MesoHABSIM is a modification of micro-scale models to support effective simulation of large s...