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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Nov 2020

13 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A European map of groundwater pH and calcium

Michal Hájek1,, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro1,2,, Ondřej Hájek1, Lisa Brancaleoni3, Marco Cantonati4, Michele Carbognani5, Anita Dedić6, Daniel Dítě1,7, Renato Gerdol3, Petra Hájková1, Veronika Horsáková1, Florian Jansen8, Jasmina Kamberović9, Jutta Kapfer10, Tiina Kolari11, Mariusz Lamentowicz12, Predrag Lazarević13, Ermin Mašić14, Jesper Erenskjold Moeslund15, Aaron Pérez-Haase16,17, Tomáš Peterka1, Alessandro Petraglia5, Eulàlia Pladevall-Izard17, Zuzana Plesková1, Stefano Segadelli18, Yuliya Semeniuk19, Patrícia Singh1, Anna Šímová1, Eva Šmerdová1, Teemu Tahvanainen11, Marcello Tomaselli5, Yuliya Vystavna20,21, Claudia Biţă-Nicolae22, and Michal Horsák1 Michal Hájek et al.
  • 1Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 2Research Unit of Biodiversity (CSIC/UO/PA), University of Oviedo, Spain
  • 3Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Corso Ercole I d’Este 32, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
  • 4MUSE – Museo delle Scienze, Limnology & Phycology Section, Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, Trento, 38123, Italy
  • 5Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 11/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
  • 6Faculty of Science and Education, University of Mostar, Rodoč bb, 88 000 Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 7Plant Science and Biodiversity Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 84523 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • 8Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock, Germany
  • 9Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Tuzla, 75 000, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 10Department of Landscape Monitoring, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Holtvegen 66, 9016 Tromsø, Norway
  • 11Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus, Yliopistokatu 7, 80101 Joensuu, Finland
  • 12Climate Change Ecology Research Unit, Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Bogumiła Krygowskiego 10, 61-680 Poznaň, Poland
  • 13lnstitute of Botany and Botanical Garden “Jevremovac”, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Takovska 43, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • 14Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Sarajevo, Zmaja od Bosne 33-35, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 15Section of Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Grenaavej 14, 8410 Roende, Denmark
  • 16Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Vic ‐ Central University of Catalonia, Vic, Spain, EU
  • 17Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 18Geological, Seismic and Soil Service, Emilia-Romagna Region, Bologna, Italy
  • 19Stanislaw Leszczycki Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, Poland
  • 20Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre CAS, Na Sadkach 7, 37005, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
  • 21Isotope Hydrology Section, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria
  • 22Institute of Biology Bucharest, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Water resources and associated ecosystems are becoming highly endangered due to ongoing global environmental changes. Spatial ecological modelling is a widely used tool for understanding the past, present and future distribution and diversity patterns in groundwater-dependent ecosystems, such as fens, springs, streams, reed beds or wet grasslands. Still, the lack of detailed water chemistry maps prevents their reasonable use on continental and global scales. Being major determinants of biological composition and diversity of groundwater-dependent ecosystems, groundwater pH and calcium are of utmost importance. Here we developed the up-to-date European map of groundwater pH and Ca, based on 7,577 measurements of near-surface groundwater pH and calcium distributed across Europe. In comparison to the existing European groundwater maps, we included a several times larger number of sites, especially in the regions rich in spring and fen habitats, and filled the apparent gaps in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. We used Random Forest models and regression kriging to create continuous maps of water pH and calcium at the continental scale, which is freely available also as a raster map (Hájek et al. 2020; Lithology had higher importance than climate for both pH and calcium. The previously recognised latitudinal and altitudinal gradients were rediscovered with much refined regional patterns, as associated with bedrock variation. For ecological models of distribution and diversity of groundwater-dependent, but also other terrestrial, ecosystems, the new map is more suitable than previously used maps of soil pH, unlike which it mirrors bedrock chemistry more than vegetation-dependent soil processes.

Michal Hájek et al.

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Status: open (until 08 Jan 2021)
Status: open (until 08 Jan 2021)
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Michal Hájek et al.

Data sets

Data from: European map of groundwater pH and calcium (under review) Hájek, M., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Hájek, O., Brancaleoni, L., Cantonati, M., Carbognani, M., Dedić A., Dítě, D., Gerdol, R., Hájková, P., Horsáková, V., Jansen, F., Kamberović, J., Kapfer, J., Kolari, T., Lamentowicz, M., Lazarević, P., Mašić, E., Moeslund, J. E., Pérez-Haase, A., Peterka, T., Petraglia, A., Pladevall-Izard, E., Plesková, Z., Segadelli, S., Semeniuk, Y., Singh, P., Šímová, A., Šmerdová, E., Tahvanainen, T., Tomaselli, M., Vystavna Y., Biţă-Nicolae, C., and Horsák, M.

Michal Hájek et al.


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Latest update: 27 Nov 2020
Short summary
We developed the up-to-date European map of groundwater pH and Ca (the major determinants of diversity of wetlands) based on 7,577 measurements. In comparison to the existing maps, we included much larger data set from the regions rich in endangered wetland habitats, filled the apparent gaps in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and applied geospatial modelling. The latitudinal and altitudinal gradients were rediscovered with much refined regional patterns, as associated with bedrock variation.
We developed the up-to-date European map of groundwater pH and Ca (the major determinants of...