DRYvER is a research & innovation project funded by Horizon 2020 focusing on drying rivers and the impact of climate change. The 4-years project started in September 2020 and brings together 25 partners from 16 countries in Europe and South America as well as from China and the USA. Its main goals are to collect, analyze and model data from 9 drying river networks (DRN) in Europe and South America to create a novel global meta-system approach that incorporates hydrology, socio-economics, ecology and biogeochemistry in order to craft strategies, tools and recommendations for adaptive management of river networks.
The first papers related to DRYvER’s work have been published and are accessible via the links below:
DRYvER already submitted three technical reports:
These reports will be available on the DRYvER website (https://www.dryver.eu/results/reports-and-documents).
DRYvER aims to promote a new generation of researchers working on drying rivers. The first call for interest for Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM) will support this goal. It will fund short mobility for young researchers (MSc, PhD & PostDoc) to perform activities related to DRYvER.
With the help of STSMs young researchers will visit DRYvER’s partner institutions to benefit from the host’s different technologies, analytical skills, knowledge/expertise, and methods, which are not available at their home institution. STSMs also aim to foster and facilitate collaborations within DRYvER’s partner institutions, by promoting mutual benefit towards joint publications and developing follow-up research proposals.
The first call for DRYvER STSM is open between 07 February 2022 and 14 March 2022. In order to be the safest from COVID point of view, the first call would support STSMs planned in the summer period, i.e., between 01 June 2022 and 30 September 2022.
Important deadline for sending all application documents: 14 March 2022, 24:00 (UTC). The DRYvER Steering Committee and the leaders of the Forum of Young Researchers (FYR) will evaluate the applications and will notify the applicants of the results until 04 April 2022, 24:00 (UTC). Last day for the implementation of the STSMs in the first call: 30 September 2022.
For more information and application, please visit https://www.dryver.eu/about/fyr.
One of the main goal of DRYvER is to collect and analyze data from 9 drying river networks (DRN) to create a novel global meta-system approach
The first 1.5 year of the project has been dedicated to intensive sampling campaigns in all DRNs:
The sampling campaign will end during the first quarter of 2022, with the last trip planned in March 2022 in Brazil.
Rubén del Campo tells us more about the sampling and challenges faced by DRYvER teams
Rubén del Campo: I am a PostDoc researcher working in the University of Innsbruck as a freshwater ecologist focusing on how organic matter is processed and decomposed in rivers. I have a double interest in this topic: my PhD was already on how intermittent rivers affect organic matter decomposition and processing. Since DRYvER, I am also trying to understand how flow intermittency affects large areas, considering the whole river network.
The University of Innsbruck is in charge of the WP on ecosystem functions. I am responsible for one specific function that is related to organic matter but also to decomposition and chemical characterization of the organic models standing stocks. As a PostDoc in the project, I am in charge of coordinating those functions related to organic matter in all the European case studies. I also help the other partners, notably in South America and Central America, to carry out their work in the WP3.
RC: The objective of the field campaigns is to visit drying river networks three times along the year to sample and measure the various functions. In 2021, DRYvER performed sampling in the six European river networks studied in DRYvER. Our team worked on two river networks: the Bükkösdi-viz network in Hungary and the Krka network in Croatia. In each country, we sampled 20 sites in rivers that are part of a single river network.
Each case study has a different flow regime and different spatial driving patterns. We want to understand how these differences impact organic matter dynamics at the river network scale.
From left to right : Bálint Pernecker (UP), Rubén del Campo, Hanna Pankaczi (UP), Edurne Estévez (UIBK).
RC: The field campaigns went well. Sampling was quite demanding and took a lot of time but the support from colleagues from the University of Innsbruck and local partners helped a lot!
In general, we are really happy with the results. It was my first time working in Hungary and Croatia, with rivers very different from what I am used to, and it was a great opportunity to learn more about river ecology in general but also intermittent rivers. These river networks have different climates, geologies, etc which creates different hydrology patterns and therefore different behaviors and different functions.
Left: Greenhouse Gas Analyzer Figure. Right: Rubén del Campo and Edurne Estévez (UIBK) during field activities.
RC: We were quite worried about the pandemic at first but we have been really lucky because we were able to drive from Austria to Hungary and Croatia.
Yet, there are always challenges during fieldwork. The main one is linked to the specificities of intermittent rivers. They are really unpredictable sometimes because of the weather changes and because of climate change impact. 2021 was a very dry year, with very low flows. During the last sampling campaigns, we were trying to catch the rivers once the flow returns. In some cases, this was impossible: some rivers that were dry in the summer were still not flowing at the beginning of winter because of lack of rain.
RC: The lab work is now starting and we still have a long year of laboratory analyses ahead of us before we get any results. We now have three objectives: 1) knowing how much organic matter is accumulated in the rivers, 2) analyzing the chemical composition and diversity of the standing stocks by measuring organic matter, chemical composition and diversity by various methods and 3) understanding decomposition rates of those standing stocks
By the end of the year, we will have a very good dataset about all aspects that are important to understand organic matter dynamics and of carbon cycling in rivers.
DRYvER studies 9 case studies (DRN) in the EU and South America which cover different climatic and biogeographical zones. Focus on the Croatian case study.
The Croatian DRN is the Butižnica river network which is a part of Krka catchment, in the Balkanic ecoregion, with a mix of humid subtropical and hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Koppen Cfa and Csa). In this region, most rivers are already drying and impacted by climate change.
DRYvER studies two main rivers with their tributaries:
The catchment has 2 gauging stations, with daily records.
Focal catchment with sampling sites and significant structures.
UZ / Marko Miliša, Luka Polović
The Croatian core team is composed of Marko Miliša, Associate professor at the Faculty of Science, and Luka Polović, a young researcher with great interest and knowledge in freshwater ecology. He is full time employee within DRYvER and a cotutelle PhD student at the University of Zagreb and Masaryk University (Brno). Field work in the DRN was done with the help of colleagues from the University of Zagreb, Tvrtko Dražina – assistant professor expert in meiofauna and biospeleology; Vesna Gulin; Marina Šumanović – young researchers, Mirjana Dimnjaković – technitian, Ivan Beno – student.
This region is particularly interesting because of the geological substrate complexity and geographical location:
The area is shifting from Humid subtropical to Hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Combined with porous limestone substrate, the underground and subsequently surface water dynamics are becoming less predictable.
The region has small to no human impact, making it almost pristine. The area is sparsely populated due to emigration during the armed conflict at the end of the 20th century. Industry in the area is completely abandoned and agriculture is scarce. The only notable human impact at 1 of the 20 sampling sites is the household sewage waters. Some negligible morphological changes are in the area: one weir, one paved streambed, several bridges, all downstream of the adjacent sampling sites.
Most of human activity takes place downstream of the sampling area and in the larger catchment. There are around 20 000 inhabitants in the large catchment and a few hundred inhabitants within the small catchment. The large catchment is under somewhat increased anthropogenic impact mostly due to tourism and agriculture which promote water abstraction, but also industry e. g. metallurgy as well as forestry activities.
One of the main risks for the sampling campaign is that part of it is situated on the border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The area can only be accessed with the permission of the local border police. Another problem that we faced was highly unmaintained road in the upstream area of Butižnica which was sometimes damaged by heavy rainfall. The inaccessibility of the terrain might be part of why it is still so preserved.
Left: Croatian young researchers Marina Šumanović and Luka Polović at dry Radljevac stream. Right: Flowing Radljevac stream.