Ecohydrology integrated to the water resources management in wetlands: the Taim Wetland case, RS, Brazil

ABSTRACT The ecohydrology aims at integrating the concepts of hydrology and ecology, creating a broader approach to understand the water resources’ dynamics, facilitating the plan and management of resources. One way to integrate hydrology with ecology is by developing Habitat Suitability Index (HSI), a process that stands out by providing relevant information on wetlands. HSI is obtained by relating the information about the bioindicators and ecohydrological conditions necessary to ensure these species’ survival, enabling to evaluate the impacts on them. The development of HSIs integrated with hydrodynamic modeling and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows us to obtain spatialized habitat suitability information, that provide information about the quality of a species’ (or group of species’) habitat, contributing to the improvement of water resources management strategies combined with the biodiversity conservation in wetlands. Regarding this, the present article presents the HSI’s development process and its application to evaluate the suitability of the Taim Basin, inserted in Taim Ecological Station, an important Southern Coastal wetland located in the State of Rio Grande do Sul.