Vicenç Acuña

Vicenç Acuña
ICRA Catalan Institute for Water Research | ICRA · Resources and Ecosystems Research Group

PhD

About

161
Publications
64,728
Reads
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6,613
Citations
Citations since 2017
70 Research Items
4972 Citations
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Introduction
Stream carbon metabolism and effects of non-flow events on temporary waterways. Field and lab experiments on the effects of multiple stressors on freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater related ecosystem services, main drivers and implementation in river basin management, and river restoration. Natural attenuation and dynamics of emerging contaminants in freshwater ecosystems. Management and legislation of freshwater ecosystems, with a focus on environmental policies tied to water.
Additional affiliations
May 2009 - January 2016
Universitat de Girona
Position
  • Researcher
May 2009 - February 2018
ICRA Catalan Institute for Water Research
Position
  • Researcher
April 2007 - April 2009
Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (161)
Article
Non-perennial rivers and streams are ubiquitous. Nonetheless, our understanding of their hydrological patterns is minimal. Hydrological models are powerful tools to study and characterise hydrological patterns, but few can simulate extremes such as non-flow events. We aimed to capture and accurately simulate the flow intermittency spatial and tempo...
Chapter
The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) ecological status classification of surface water bodies (SWBs) provides a synthetic assessment of how anthropogenic pressures impact on aquatic environments. In the evaluation of River Basins Management Plans of the second cycle (2015–2021), the EU commission reported the need for Spain: (i) to improve apport...
Article
River flow intermittency affects physical and biological processes in lotic ecosystems, including nutrient attenuation and therefore water purification. We investigated the effect of river flow intermittency, including its duration and occurrence frequency, on the attenuation of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and soluble reactive phosphorus (P‐...
Article
Full-text available
Increased duration and frequency of droughts under global change may affect both temporary and formerly permanent watercourses. Streambed desiccation, cooccurring solar radiation, and high temperature all may affect the composition and metabolism of photoautotrophic organisms in benthic biofilms. To test these effects, we characterized the composit...
Poster
Full-text available
Non-perennial rivers and streams are ubiquitous globally, especially in semi-arid and arid landscapes. Nonetheless, despite their prevalence worldwide, non-perennial systems have been under-represented in the hydrology research, and our understanding of their hydrology is minimal compared to perennial systems. Predicting the availability of freshwa...
Preprint
Full-text available
The concept of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) has emerged to foster sustainable development by transversally addressing social, economic, and environmental urban challenges. However, there is still a considerable lack of agreement on the conceptualization of NBS, especially concerning typologies, nomenclature, and performance assessments in terms of...
Research
Full-text available
Environmental policies fall short in protecting freshwater ecosystems, which are heavily threatened by human pressures and their associated stressors. One reason is that stressor effects depend on the context in which they occur and it is difficult to extrapolate patterns to predict the effect of stressors without these being contextualized in a ge...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established that a global sanitation crisis threatens humans. By comparison, much less attention has been given to address the effects of this crisis on the health of ecosystems. We provide examples of how sewage can affect natural ecosystems and where hotspots in sewage contamination commonly overlap with these habitats. We highlight th...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is altering the water cycle globally, increasing the frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts. An outstanding question is whether biodiversity responses to hydrological disturbance depend on background climatic context – and if so, which contexts increase vulnerability to disturbance. Answering this question requires comparison...
Article
Flow cessation affects river ecosystems submitted to low precipitation and increased water demand and creates unfavourable conditions to aquatic biological communities. Diatoms are amongst the most sensitive biological groups to hydric stress, making them good indicators of preceding hydrological conditions. We here analyse the response of diatom a...
Article
Full-text available
Human consumption of pharmaceuticals leads to high concentrations of pharmaceuticals in wastewater, which is usually not or insufficiently collected and treated before release into freshwater ecosystems. There, pharmaceuticals may pose a threat to aquatic biota. Unfortunately, occurrence data of pharmaceuticals in freshwaters at the global scale is...
Article
Urban pollution and hydrological stress are common stressors of stream ecosystems, but their combined effects on ecosystem functioning are still unclear. We measured a set of functional processes and accompanying environmental variables in locations upstream and downstream of urban sewage inputs in 13 streams covering a wide range of water pollutio...
Article
Full-text available
• Intermittent streams (IS) comprise a large proportion of the drainage network in many parts of the world. The non‐flow period of IS are known to impact stream biota because aquatic habitats dry out. However, less well understood are the relative effects of the temporal component of these drying events including their duration and frequency. • Her...
Article
Full-text available
1.Temporary streams are dynamic ecosystems in which mosaics of flowing, ponded and dry habitats support high biodiversity of both aquatic and terrestrial species. Species interact within habitats to perform or facilitate processes that vary in response to changing habitat availability. A natural capital approach recognizes that, through such proces...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater ecosystems are exposed to multiple stressors, but their individual and combined effects remain largely unexplored. Here, we investigated the response of stream biofilm bacterial communities to warming, hydrological stress, and pesticide exposure. We used 24 artificial streams on which epilithic (growing on coarse sediments) and epipsammi...
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...
Article
Full-text available
GLOBAL-FATE is the first open-source, multiplatform, user-friendly, and modular contaminant-fate model operating at the global scale linking human consumption of pharmaceutical-like compounds with their concentration in the river network. GLOBAL-FATE simulates human consumption and excretion of pharmaceuticals, the attenuation of the contaminant lo...
Article
In some regions, climate change is increasing the variability of rainfall and the frequency of extreme events such as drought. Consequently, non‐flow periods have grown in length and frequency, both in temporary and in formerly permanent streams. Water abstraction for human use may further prolong these dry periods. We analysed the resistance and r...
Article
Climate and land-use changes are posing increasing threats to freshwater-related ecosystem services, acting both on the supply and the demand side. A better understanding of the dynamics of these potential services, driven by the interactions between the factors mentioned above, could bring benefits to water resources management, the environment, a...
Article
Full-text available
Global change exposes ecosystems to a myriad of stressors differing in their spatial (i.e. surface of stressed area) and temporal (i.e. exposure time) components. Among freshwater ecosystems, rivers and streams are subject to physical, chemical and biological stressors, which interact with each other and might produce diverging effects depending on...
Article
The current knowledge on bioaccumulation of emerging contaminants (ECs) in aquatic invertebrates exposed to the realistic environmental concentrations is limited. Even less is known about the effects of chemical pollution exposure on the metabolome of aquatic invertebrates. We conducted an in situ translocation experiment with passive filter-feedin...
Article
Full-text available
Temporary streams make up the majority of river networks in many regions around the world. Although they are known to have non-flow periods, it is uncertain in what ways the temporal components of the non-flow period affect stream ecosystems. We analyzed how duration and frequency of the non-flow period influence the biofilm metabolism of 33 Medite...
Article
Urban wastewater effluents bring large amounts of nutrients, organic matter and organic microcontaminants into freshwater ecosystems. The effects of this complex mixture of pollutants on freshwater invertebrates have been studied mainly in temperate rivers and streams with high dilution capacities. In contrast, Mediterranean streams and rivers have...
Article
In-stream attenuation of dissolved and particulate forms of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus are a crucial ecosystem service, especially in watercourses downstream of chemical pollution point-sources (i.e. wastewater treatment plants). Most chemical-fate models assume that attenuation is directly proportional to the concentration of available dissol...
Article
While wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents have become increasingly recognized as a stressor for receiving rivers, their effects on river microbial communities remain elusive. Moreover, global change is increasing the frequency and duration of desiccation events in river networks, and we ignore how desiccation might influence the response of...
Article
Full-text available
GLOBAL-FATE is an open-source, multiplatform, and flexible contaminant fate model that links human consumption of pharmaceutical-like compounds with their concentration in the river network at the global scale. GLOBAL-FATE simulates human consumption and excretion of pharmaceuticals, the attenuation of the contaminant load in wastewater treatment p...
Article
Full-text available
River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to...
Article
Full-text available
River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to...
Article
Full-text available
River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to...
Article
Full-text available
River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to...
Article
Full-text available
Effluents from urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) consist of complex mixtures of substances that can affect processes in the receiving ecosystems. Some of these substances (toxic contaminants) stress biological activity at all concentrations, while others (e.g., nutrients) subsidize it at low concentrations and stress it above a threshold, ca...
Article
The Mediterranean region is anticipated to be (or, already is) one of the hot spots for climate change, where freshwater ecosystems are under threat from the effects of multiple stressors. Climate change is impacting natural resources and on the functioning of Ecosystem Services. The challenges about modelling climate change impact on water cycle i...
Article
An increasing amount of carbon-based nanomaterials (CNM) (mostly fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and graphene) has been observed in aquatic systems over the last years. However, the potential toxicity of these CNM on aquatic ecosystems remains unclear. This paper reviews the existing literature on the toxic effects of CNM in aquatic organisms as well...
Article
A huge variety of organic microcontaminants are presently detected in freshwater ecosystems, but there is still a lack of knowledge about their interactions, either with living organisms or with other contaminants. Actually, carbon nanomaterials like fullerenes (C60) can act as carriers of organic microcontaminants, but their relevance in processes...
Poster
Full-text available
Main results of 2 multiple-stressor studies dealing with the effects of anthropogenic pollution and climate change on river biofilms. The poster was presented during the 5th Biofilm Workshop, held between September 11th and 13th in Kristineberg (Sweden)
Article
Full-text available
Global change is severely impacting the biosphere that, through ecosystem services, sustains human well-being. Such impacts are expected to increase unless mitigation management actions are implemented. Despite the call from the scientific and political arenas for their implementation, few studies assess the effectiveness of actions on freshwater-r...
Article
Full-text available
Human appropriation of water resources may induce water stress in freshwater ecosystems when ecosystem needs are not met. Intensive abstraction and regulation cause river ecosystems to shift towards non-natural flow regimes, which might have implications for their water quality, biological structure and functioning. We performed a meta-analysis of...
Article
Full-text available
Organic micro-contaminants (OMCs) enter in freshwaters and interact with other contaminants such as carbon nanoparticles, becoming a problem of unknown consequences for river ecosystems. Carbon nanoparticles (as fullerenes C60) are good adsorbents of organic contaminants and their interaction can potentially affect their toxicity to river biofilms....
Article
Investments for upgrading wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with tertiary treatment to reduce microcontaminant loads in surface waters at a catchment scale can be daunting. These investments are highly sensitive to the selection of environmental quality standards (EQSs) for the target microcontaminants. Our hypothesis is that there is a balance b...
Presentation
Full-text available
Brief summary of the results obtained in an experimental study using artificial channels to assess the impact of a WWTP effluent gradient in sediment bacterial communities.
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at the SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, held in Rome (Italy) from 14th to 17th May 2018.
Article
Global change is dramatically altering flow regimes worldwide. Among the most important consequences are the transition of many permanent waterways to temporary waterways, the increase in duration and frequency of non-flow periods of temporary streams, and the increase in the severity (i.e. irradiance, temperature and humidity) of the non-flow peri...
Article
Wastewater effluents increase the nutrient load of receiving streams while introducing a myriad of anthropogenic chemical pollutants that challenge the resident aquatic (micro)biota. Disentangling the effects of both kind of stressors and their potential interaction on the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in bacterial communities requir...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Sustainable water basin management requires characterization of flow regime in river networks impacted by anthropogenic pressures. Flow regime in ungauged catchments under current, future, or natural conditions can be assessed with hydrological models. Developing hydrological models is, however, resource demanding such that decision makers...
Article
Full-text available
Natural disturbances are agents of natural selection that drive multiple biological adaptations along evolutionary time. Frequent, high magnitude disturbances are expected to select for morphological and behavioral traits to resist or to avoid them. In contrast, predictable and seasonal disturbances are expected to select for synchronized life cycl...
Article
Freshwater ecosystems are confronted with multiple chemical, biological and physical stressors. Co-occurring stressors commonly result in additive responses, but non-additive interactions may also occur, hindering our predicting capacity. Despite growing interest in multiple stressor research, the response of freshwater communities to co-occurring...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented on the international congress Ecotoxicomic 2017 and dealing with the effects of multiple stressors on artificially grown river biofilms.
Article
Full-text available
More than half of the global river network is composed of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES), which are expanding in response to climate change and increasing water demands. After years of obscurity, the science of IRES has bloomed recently and it is being recognised that IRES support a unique and high biodiversity, provide essential...
Article
Full-text available
River ecosystems are subject to multiple stressors that affect their structure and functioning. Ecosystem structure refers to characteristics such as channel form, water quality or the composition of biological communities, whereas ecosystem functioning refers to processes such as metabolism, organic matter decomposition or secondary production. St...
Article
Full-text available
Wastewater discharges introduce antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) into surface waters. Both inputs directly affect the streambed resistome, either by exerting a selective pressure that favor the proliferation of resistant phenotypes or by enriching the resident communities with wastewater-associated ARB. Here, we investiga...
Article
A mesocosm case study was conducted to gain understanding and practical knowledge on biofilm emerging contaminants biodegradation capacity under stressor and multiple stressor conditions. Two real life scenarios: I) biodegradation in a pristine intermittent stream experiencing acute pollution and II) biodegradation in a chronically polluted intermi...
Article
The growing awareness of the relevance of organic microcontaminants on the environment has led to a growing number of studies on attenuation of these compounds in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and rivers. However, the effects of the sampling strategies (frequency and duration of composite samples) on the attenuation estimates are largely unkno...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at the FEMS 2017 within the session of Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology.
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation exhibited at the SEFS 2017 within the regular session Impacts of Climate Change on Freshwater Ecosystems.
Article
Full-text available
Diel temperature patterns are changing because of global warming, with higher temperatures being predicted to be more pronounced at night. Biological reactions are temperature dependent, with some occurring only during the daylight hours (e.g., light photosynthesis) and other during the entire day (e.g., respiration). Consequently, we expect the mo...
Article
Temporary streams and rivers support biodiversity and provide valuable goods and services, especially in arid and semi-arid landscapes. However, temporary streams and rivers are being degraded at alarming rates owing to development, hydromorphological alteration, and disposal of waste water, among other stressors, and pressure will likely increase...
Article
Full-text available
Inland waters are significant sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. CO2 supersaturation and subsequent CO2 emissions from inland waters can be driven by internal metabolism, external inputs of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) derived from the catchment and other processes (e.g., internal geochemical reactions of calcite precipitation o...
Article
Full-text available
The loss and degradation of natural habitats is a primary cause of biodiversity decline. The increasing impacts of climate and land use change affect water availability, ultimately decreasing agricultural production. Areas devoted to irrigation have been increased to compensate this reduction, causing habitat and biodiversity losses, especially in...