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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Abstract. Groundwater table dynamics extensively modify the volume of the hyporheic zoneand the rate of hyporheic exchange processes. Understanding the effects ofdaily groundwater table fluctuations on the tightly coupled flow and heattransport within hyporheic zones is crucial for water resourcesmanagement. With this aim in mind, a physically based model is used to explorehyporheic responses to varying groundwater table fluctuationscenarios. The effects of different timing and amplitude of groundwater tabledaily drawdowns under gaining and losing conditions are explored in hyporheiczones influenced by natural flood events and diel river temperaturefluctuations. We find that both diel river temperature fluctuations and dailygroundwater table drawdowns play important roles in determining thespatiotemporal variability of hyporheic exchange rates, temperature ofexfiltrating hyporheic fluxes, mean residence times, and hyporheicdenitrification potentials. Groundwater table dynamics present substantiallydistinct impacts on hyporheic exchange under gaining or losing conditions. Thetiming of groundwater table drawdown has a direct influence on hyporheicexchange rates and hyporheic buffering capacity on thermaldisturbances. Consequently, the selection of aquifer pumping regimes hassignificant impacts on the dispersal of pollutants in the aquifer and thermalheterogeneity in the sediment.
  4. Hyporheic exchange is a crucial control of the type and rates of streambed biogeochemical processes, including metabolism, respiration, nutrient turnover, and the transformation of pollutants. Previous work has shown that increasing discharge during an individual peak‐flow event strengthens biogeochemical turnover by enhancing the exchange of water and dissolved solutes. However, due to the non‐steady nature of the exchange process, successive peak‐flow events do not exhibit proportional variations in residence time and turnover, and in some cases, can reduce the hyporheic zones' biogeochemical potential. Here, we used a process‐based model to explore the role of successive peak‐flow events on the flow and transport characteristics of bedform‐induced hyporheic exchange. We conducted a systematic analysis of the impacts of the events' magnitude, duration, and time between peaks in the hyporheic zone's fluxes, penetration, and residence times. The relative contribution of each event to the transport of solutes across the sediment‐water interface was inferred from transport simulations of a conservative solute. In addition to temporal variations in the hyporheic flow field, our results demonstrate that the separation between two events determines the temporal evolution of residence time, and that event time lags longer than the memory of the system result in successive events thatmore »can be treated independently. This study highlights the importance of discharge variability in the dynamics of hyporheic exchange and its potential implications for biogeochemical transformations and fate of contaminants along river corridors.« less
  5. Disturbances fundamentally alter ecosystem functions, yet predicting their impacts remains a key scientific challenge. While the study of disturbances is ubiquitous across many ecological disciplines, there is no agreed-upon, cross-disciplinary foundation for discussing or quantifying the complexity of disturbances, and no consistent terminology or methodologies exist. This inconsistency presents an increasingly urgent challenge due to accelerating global change and the threat of interacting disturbances that can destabilize ecosystem responses. By harvesting the expertise of an interdisciplinary cohort of contributors spanning 42 institutions across 15 countries, we identified an essential limitation in disturbance ecology: the word ‘disturbance’ is used interchangeably to refer to both the events that cause, and the consequences of, ecological change, despite fundamental distinctions between the two meanings. In response, we developed a generalizable framework of ecosystem disturbances, providing a well-defined lexicon for understanding disturbances across perspectives and scales. The framework results from ideas that resonate across multiple scientific disciplines and provides a baseline standard to compare disturbances across fields. This framework can be supplemented by discipline-specific variables to provide maximum benefit to both inter- and intra-disciplinary research. To support future syntheses and meta-analyses of disturbance research, we also encourage researchers to be explicit in how they definemore »disturbance drivers and impacts, and we recommend minimum reporting standards that are applicable regardless of scale. Finally, we discuss the primary factors we considered when developing a baseline framework and propose four future directions to advance our interdisciplinary understanding of disturbances and their social-ecological impacts: integrating across ecological scales, understanding disturbance interactions, establishing baselines and trajectories, and developing process-based models and ecological forecasting initiatives. Our experience through this process motivates us to encourage the wider scientific community to continue to explore new approaches for leveraging Open Science principles in generating creative and multidisciplinary ideas.« less