Trends in aquatic ecology research associated with urbanization evolution during three decades in Santa Catarina Island/SC
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Abstract: This paper systematically assessed trends of aquatic ecology publications related to the urbanization growth during three decades (1990-2010) in Santa Catarina Island. The study was carried out in fifteen watersheds of Santa Catarina Island, located in Florianópolis city, Southern Brazil. Geoprocessing and scientometry tools were used to analyze the evolution of urban areas and publications, respectively, related to these watersheds during three decades. The QGIS software was used to
... ftware was used to delimitate the catchment area of each watershed and contrast those areas with the built-up area for each decade, therefore obtaining the percentage of area covered with buildings and impervious surfaces. A gradient was created allowing the classification of the watersheds related to the urbanized area percentage, resulting in 5 groups of urbanization (0-5%; 5-10%; 10-20%; 20-30%; >30% of urbanization). Aquatic ecology publications were obtained from several scientific and academic databases and used in the scientometric analysis. The number of publications by decade, document type, knowledge area and watershed of study were recorded. Growth of urbanized areas was mainly evidenced since the 2000s and showed a moderate positive relationship with the number of publications in ecology of aquatic systems in the Santa Catarina Island during the same period. However, differences between watersheds were observed, since the most urbanized watersheds were not necessarily the ones with the largest number of publications. Urban gradient evidenced in Santa Catarina Island offers an opportunity to investigate the impacts of human disturbance on aquatic ecology, water quality and stream communities. Furthermore, the low number of research projects might be contributing to the decline in biological integrity due to the lack of knowledge for evaluation and management in these environments.