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The research carried out at the URL involves several scientific disciplines and seeks to generate new knowledge to better understand the functioning of streams and rivers within the current context of global change. The goal of our research is to improve the quality of highly modified streams and rivers as well as to develop new tools and management strategies for freshwater resources. The dissemination of the obtained results not only to scientific community but also to the society is a major aim for the URL team.



Treatment of nursery leachates by combining slow sand filtration and horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands.



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Interfaces Urban River Lab

Ecohydrological interfaces as critical hotspots for transformations of ecosystem exchange fluxes.




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Improving water resource management in Mediterranean watersheds characterized by a high demand and water scarcity under the perspective of One Health.



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Dirty drain, Water pollution in river

Lights and shadows of the nitrogen cycle in urban streams and rivers.






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Assessment of the nitrification capacity of sediments in streams receiving effluents of a urban wastewater treatment plant.




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Hyporheic Zone Processes – A training network for enhancing the understanding of complex physical, chemical and biological process interactions.



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N_cycling 2

How do changes in surface to sub-surface hydrological interactions influence the relative abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in biofilms of the hyporheic zones of WWTP-receiving streams?



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Urban River Lab

Effect of different species of helophytes, used for river restoration, on the reduction of nutrient loads.






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Urban River Lab lixiviats

The effect of leachates from helophyte on the denitrification process.






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Urban River Lab

Characterization of above- and belowground biomass of different helophyte species commonly used in river restoration to assess their nutrient retention capacity.




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Urban River Lab

Denitrification in streams receiving an effluent from a wastewater treatment plants may be limited by the low quality of the carbon from the effluent.



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Efecte del substrat utilitzat en tècniques de bioenginyeria i del cicle biològic dels helòfits sobre la capacitat de retenció de nutrients procedents de l’efluent d’una EDAR.


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Baranov, V., D. Milošević, M. J. Kurz, J. P. Zarnetske, F. Sabater, E. Marti, A. Robertson, T. Brandt, A. Sorolla, J. Lewandowski, and S. Krause. 2017. Helophyte impacts on the response of hyporheic invertebrate communities to inundation events in intermittent streams. Ecohydrology:e1857-n/a.

Ribot, M., S. Bernal, M. Nikolakopoulou, T. N. Vaessen, J. Cochero, E. Gacia, A. Sorolla, A. Argerich, F. Sabater, M. Isnard, and E. Martí. 2017. Enhancement of carbon and nitrogen removal by helophytes along subsurface water flowpaths receiving treated wastewater. Science of the Total Environment 599–600:1667-1676.

Under review:

Nikolakopoulou, M., A. Argerich, J. D. Drummond, E. Gacia, E. Martí, A. Sorolla, and F. Sabater. Emergent macrophyte root architecture controls subsurface solute transport. Water Resources Research.


The Urban River Lab

Explanatory panel of the Urban River Lab.

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Supporting institucions