Soil and nutrient loss play a vital role in eutrophication of water bodies. Several simulated rainfall experiments have been conducted to investigate the effects of a single controlling factor on soil and nutrient loss. However, the role of precipitation and vegetation coverage in quantifying soil and nutrient loss is still unclear. We monitored runoff, soil loss, and soil nutrient loss under natural rainfall conditions from 2004 to 2015 for 50-100 m2 runoff plots around Beijing. Soil erosion was significantly reduced when vegetation coverage reached 20 and 60%. At levels below 30%, nutrient loss did not differ among different vegetation cover levels. Minimum soil N and P losses were observed at cover levels above 60%. Irrespective of the management measure, soil nutrient losses were higher at high-intensity rainfall (Imax30>15 mm/h) events compared to low-intensity events (p < 0.05). We applied structural equation modelling (SEM) to systematically analyze the relative effects of rainfall characteristics and environmental factors on runoff, soil loss, and soil nutrient loss. At high-intensity rainfall events, neither vegetation cover nor antecedent soil moisture content (ASMC) affected runoff and soil loss. After log-transformation, soil nutrient loss was significantly linearly correlated with runoff and soil loss (p < 0.01). In addition, we identified the direct and indirect relationships among the influencing factors of soil nutrient loss on runoff plots and constructed a structural diagram of these relationships. The factors positively impacting soil nutrient loss were runoff (44-48%), maximum rainfall intensity over a 30-min period (18-29%), rainfall depth (20-27%), and soil loss (10-14%). Studying the effects of rainfall and vegetation coverage factors on runoff, soil loss, and nutrient loss can improve our understanding of the underlying mechanism of slope non-point source pollution.
In this study, we introduce datasets that include both hydrological and meteorological records at the Nučice experimental catchment (0.53 km2) which is representative for an intensively farmed landscape in the Czech Republic. The Nučice experimental catchment was established in 2011 for the observation of rainfall-runoff processes, soil erosion processes, and water balance of a cultivated landscape. The average altitude is 401 m a.s.l., the mean land slope is 3.9%, and the climate is humid continental (mean annual temperature 7.9 °C, annual precipitation 630 mm). The catchment is drained by an artificially straightened stream and consists of three fields covering over 95 % of the area which are managed by two different farmers. The typical crops are winter wheat, rapeseed, and alfalfa. The installed equipment includes a standard meteorological station, several rain gauges distributed across the basin, and an H-flume that monitors stream discharge, water turbidity, and basic water quality indicators. Additionally, the groundwater level and soil water content at various depths near the stream are recorded. Recently, large-scale soil moisture monitoring efforts have been introduced with the installation of two cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors. The datasets consist of measured precipitation, air temperature, stream discharge, and soil moisture and are available online for public use. The cross seasonal, open access runoff generation datasets at this small-scale agricultural catchment will benefit not only hydrologists but also local farmers.
The present dataset is related to the Arc-Isère long-term environmental research part of the Rhône Basin Long Term Environmental Research Observatory. This alpine watershed located in the French Alps is characterized by high Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) in very anthropogenized valleys. Suspended Sediment Concentrations (SSC) naturally observed in the river are very high, ranging from a few tens of milligrams per litre at low flow to tens of grams per litre during major natural hydrological events (floods, debris flows) or river dam hydraulic flushes. One research objective related to this site aims at better understanding the SSC dynamics along the river using a system of nested watersheds (Arvan, Arc, and Isère) in order to access to both temporal and spatial dynamics. Studies using this dataset are on the quantification of fine sediment fluxes but also on the related morphological changes due to fine sediment deposition or resuspension. Additionally, the observatory database can support studies on contaminants (either dissolved or particulate contaminant). Six hydro sedimentary stations monitor SSC with high frequency via turbidity sensors associated to automatic samplers. Discharge is measured via classical water level measurements and a rating curve. The oldest station (Grenoble-campus) started recording data from 2006 while others hydro-sedimentary stations were built from 2009 to 2011. Data are available in an online data website called “Base de Données des Observatoires en Hydrologie” (Hydrological observatory database, https://bdoh.irstea.fr/ARC-ISERE/) with DOI references for each site. The hydrological and sediment transport time series are stored, managed and made available to a wide community in order to be used at their full extent. This database is used as a data exchange tool for both scientists and operational end-users and as an online tool to compute integrated fluxes.
Beasley Lake Watershed is an agriculturally influenced drainage basin in western Mississippi that has been intensively studied for 25 years. As part of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), the watershed has archived hydrology, precipitation, and water quality data in order to measure the effects of multiple USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practices on lake water quality. The long-term database is available to researchers using a web-based application, Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data System (STEWARDS). STEWARDS is a GIS-based data retrieval application that encompasses spatial and temporal data collected from multiple sites within the watershed. This data note describes information located in the STEWARDS Beasley Lake Watershed database, including hydrology, precipitation, and water quality data. This information is valuable to researchers and agencies beyond the USDA as an available and useful database to improve the understanding of how land-use practices affect the water quality of shallow lake systems.
Internal erosion is one of the most common causes of failure in hydraulic engineering structures, such as embankments and levees. It also plays a vital role in the geohazards (such as landslides and sinkhole developments) and more importantly, the earth landscape evolution, which has a broad environmental and ecosystem impacts. The groundwater seepage is multi-directional, and its multi-dimensional nature could affect the initiation and the progression of internal erosion. With a newly developed apparatus, we carry out nine internal erosion experiments under five different seepage directions. The results reveal that the critical hydraulic gradient increases as the seepage direction varies from the horizontal to the vertical. After a global erosion is triggered, preferential erosion paths distribute randomly from the bottom to the top of the specimen. If the seepage direction is not vertical, small preferential erosion paths merge into a large erosion corridor, in which the loss of fine particles is significant but negligible outside. Results of experiments manifest that the erosion is heterogeneous and three-dimensional, even in the unidirectional seepage flow. The particles are rapidly eroded at the early stage of the erosion, indicating a high erosion rate. With the erosion time increasing, the particle loss slows down and even ceases if the time is long enough. The erosion rate increases if the seepage direction approaches a vertical direction. Overall, the erosion rate approximately decreases with erosion time exponentially. We proposed exponential equations to illustrate the variation of the erosion rate in the erosion process.
Evaporation is the key to the basin’s water cycle. Agricultural irrigation has resulted in a significant variation of regional potential evaporation (Epen). The spatiotemporal variation of Epen and the influencing factors in the natural, agricultural, and desert areas in different developmental stages of irrigation in the Heihe River Basin (HRB) from 1970 to 2017 are comparatively analyzed in this study. This work focused on the correction effect of irrigation on the variation of Epen. The agricultural water consumption in HRB significantly varied around 1998 due to the agricultural development and water policy. Under the influence of irrigation, the annual variation of Epen in the agricultural, natural, and desert areas was significantly different. From 1970 to 1998, the annual trend slope of Epen in the natural area only reduced by 1 mm decade-1, while that in the agricultural area significantly decreased by 39 mm decade-1. After the implementation of water-saving irrigation, the Epen in the natural and agricultural areas increased by 11 and 54 mm decade-1, respectively, from 1998 to 2017. In contrast with the natural and agricultural areas, Epen in the desert area decreased by 80 mm decade-1 from 1970 to 1998 and continuously decreased by 41 mm decade-1 from 1998 to 2017. However, the regulatory effect of irrigation on Epen in the desert area started to manifest due to the expansion of the cultivated land area in the desert area from 2010 to 2017. Irrigation has a significant regulatory effect on the variation of Epen in HRB. The regulatory effect is mainly reflected on the aerodynamic term (Eaero). The analytical results of the main meteorological factors affecting Epen in different regions indicated that the main meteorological factors influencing the variation of Epen in each region are the wind speed 2 m above the surface (U2) and the water vapor pressure difference (VPD).
Subalpine forests are hydrologically important to the function and health of mountain basins. Identifying the specific water sources and the proportions used by subalpine forests is necessary to understand potential impacts to these forests under a changing climate. The recent ‘Two Water Worlds’ hypothesis suggests that trees can favour tightly bound soil water instead of readily available free-flowing soil water. Little is known about the specific sources of water used by subalpine trees Abies lasiocarpa (Subalpine fir) and Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce) in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In this study, stable water isotope (δ18O and δ2H) samples were obtained from Subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce trees at three points of the growing season in combination with water sources available at time of sampling (snow, bound soil water, saturated soil water, precipitation). Using the Bayesian Mixing Model, MixSIAR, relative source water proportions were calculated. In the drought summer examined, there was a net loss of water via evapotranspiration from the system. Results highlighted the importance of tightly bound soil water to subalpine forests, providing insights of future health under sustained years of drought and net loss in summer growing seasons. This work builds upon concepts from the ‘Two Water Worlds’ hypothesis, showing that subalpine trees can draw from different water sources depending on season and availability. In our case, water use was largely driven by a tension gradient within the soil allowing trees to utilize tightly bound soil water and saturated soil water at differing points of the growing season.
Wildfires are a cause of soil water repellency (hydrophobicity), which reduces infiltration while increasing erosion and flooding from post-fire rainfall. Post-fire soil water repellency degrades over time, often in response to repeated wetting and drying of the soil. However, in mountainous fire-prone forests such as those in the Western USA, the fire season often terminates in a cold and wet winter, during which soils not only wet and dry, but also freeze and thaw. Little is know about the effect of repeated freezing and thawing of soil on the breakdown of post-fire hydrophobicity. This study characterized the changes in hydrophobicity of Sierra Nevada mountain soils exposed to different combinations of wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycling. Following each cycle, hydrophobicity was measured using the Molarity of Ethanol test. Hydrophobicity declined similarly across all experiments that included a wetting cycle. Repeated freezing and thawing of dry soil did not degrade soil water repellency. Total soil organic matter content was not different between soils of contrasting hydrophobicity. Macroscopic changes such as fissures and cracks were observed to form as soil hydrophobicity decayed. Microscopic changes revealed by scanning electron microscope imagery suggest different levels of soil aggregation occurred in samples with distinct hydrophobicities, although the size of aggregates was not clearly correlated to the change in water repellency due to wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycling. A nine year climate and soil moisture record from Providence Critical Zone Observatory was combined with the laboratory results to estimate that hydrophobicity would persist an average of 144 days post-fire at this well-characterized, typical mid-elevation Sierra Nevada site. Most of the breakdown in soil water repellency (79%) under these climate conditions would be attributable to freeze-thaw cycling, underscoring the importance of this process in soil recovery from fire in the Sierra Nevada.
In this study, we characterize the snowmelt hydrological response of nine nested headwater watersheds in southeast Wyoming by separating streamflow into three components using a combination of tracer and graphical approaches. First, continuous records of specific conductance (SC) from 2016 to 2018 were used to separate streamflow into direct runoff and baseflow components. Then, diurnal streamflow cycles occurring during the snowmelt season were used to graphically separate direct runoff into quickflow, representing water with the shortest residence time, and throughflow, representing water with longer residence time in the soil column and/or regolith layers before becoming streamflow. On average, annual streamflow was comprised of between 22% to 46% baseflow, 7% to 14% quickflow, and 46% to 55% throughflow across the watersheds. We then quantified hysteresis at both annual and daily timescales by plotting SC versus discharge. Annually, most watersheds showed negative, concave, anti-clockwise hysteretic direction suggesting faster flow pathways dominate streamflow on the rising limb of the annual hydrograph relative to the falling limb. At the daily timescale during snowmelt-induced diurnal streamflow cycles, hysteresis was negative, but with a clockwise direction implying that quickflow peaks generated from the concurrent daily snowmelt, with shorter residence times and lower specific conductance, arrive after throughflow peaks and preferentially contribute on the falling limb of diurnal cycles. Slope aspect and surficial geology were highly correlated with the partitioning of streamflow components. South-facing watersheds were more susceptible to early season snowmelt at slower rates, resulting in less direct runoff and more baseflow contribution. Conversely, north-facing watersheds had longer snow persistence and larger proportions of direct runoff and quickflow. Watersheds with surficial and bedrock geologies dominated by glacial deposits had a lower proportion of quickflow compared to watersheds with large percentages of metasedimentary rocks and glaciated bedrock.
The water agreements between Mexico and the United States have been crucial to restore and preserve the wetlands of the Colorado River Delta. Nowadays, the increase of water demand and climate change in the northwest of Mexico could threaten the conservation of the Cienega de Santa Clara, a coastal wetland composed of 4,709 ha of marsh area in the limits of the Sonoran Desert. This ecosystem was recognized internationally by the international Ramsar convention for playing vital ecological roles, including the habitat service for endemic, endangered and migratory species. Since the inflow reductions by the trial run of the Yuma Desalting Plant during 2010-2011, and earlier events, the hydrology of the wetland has not been completely understanding due to accessibility. Therefore this study was conducted to obtaining the hydrological elements to conserve the wetland, analyzing three scenarios: 1] normal inflow conditions of the Wellton-Mohawk canal; 2] inflow reductions, and; 3] an increase of temperature in consequence of global warming. Water and mass balances were conducted every month during one year; in-situ measurements of inflows were carried out on Wellton-Mohawk, Riíto Drain, groundwater, and precipitation; also were including evapotranspiration outputs estimated using local weather registers and Penman-Monteith formulations. The implications of the increase in temperature considered include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections for the one hundred years. Finally, the results showed superficial water disconnections between the hydrological system of the wetland and the Gulf of California. This behavior was observed in the three scenarios, mainly in the summer months. A continuous disconnection reduced the wetland area and the water storage. Therefore, the hydrological functionality of the wetland depends on the water supply thru Wellton-Mohawk canal, which was determinate that at least a continuous discharge of 5.10 m3 s-1 during summer months is needed to maintain its functionality.
Particle selectivity plays an important role in clarifying sediment transport processes in vegetative filter strips (VFS). 10-m long grass strips at slopes of 5○ and 15○were subjected to a series of silt-laden inflows experiments with different particle sizes to investigate the sediment transport and its response to overland flow hydraulics. The inflow sediments came from local soil, river-bed sand, and mixed, with median particle size d50 of 39.9, 207.9, and 77.4 μm, respectively. Three independent repeated experiments were carried for each treatment. The results show that when the sediment trapping lasted for a certain length of time, the re-entrainment of some small-sized particles was greater than the deposition; that is, negative deposition occurred, which was not erosion of the original soil. Negative deposition of particles is mainly determined by the particle diameter. The coarser the inflow sediment particles and/or the steeper the slope, the coarser the particles can be negatively deposited. Deposited sediment causes the VFS bed surface to become smooth and hydraulic resistance decrease exponentially. Stream power P is more suitable than shear stress τ of overland flow to be used to describe the process of sediment particle transport in VFS. The relationship between P and d50 of outflow sediment is very consistent with the form of power function with a constant term. These results are helpful to understand the physical process of sediment transport on vegetation hillslopes.
With the increasing demand for water resources, the utilization of marginal water resources of poor-quality has become a focus of attention. The brackish water developed in the Loess Plateau is not only salty but also famous for its “bitterness”. In the present work, multi-isotope analysis (Sr, B) was combined with geochemical analysis to gain insight into the hydrogeochemical evolution and formation mechanisms of brackish water. These results demonstrate that groundwater in the headwater is influenced by carbonate weathering. After the confluence of several tributaries in the headwater, the total dissolved solids (TDS) of water is significantly increased. The dissolution of evaporates is shown to be the main source of salinity in brackish water, which also greatly affects the Sr isotopic composition of water. This includes the dissolution of Mg-rich minerals, which is the main cause of the bitterness. Furthermore, the release of calcium from the dissolution of gypsum may induce calcite precipitation and incongruent dissolution of dolomite, which also contributes to the enrichment of magnesium. The highly fractionated boron isotopic values observed in the upstream groundwater were explained by boron interacting with clays, illustrating the important role played by the cationic exchange reaction. The inflow of brackish groundwater is the source of the observed quality of the river water. River water with relatively enriched 11B contents reflects the occurrence of evaporation along the flow path of the river. This process further aggravates the salinization of river water, with water quality evolving to saline conditions in the lower reach. When the river reaches the valley plain, the 87Sr/86Sr ratios decreases significantly, which is primarily related to erosion of the riverbanks during runoff. These results indicate that water resource sustainability could be enhanced by directing focus to mitigating salinization in the source area of the catchment.
Earth system models synthesize the science of interactions among multiple biophysical and, increasingly, human processes across a wide range of scales. Ecohydrologic models are a subset of earth system models that focus particularly on the complex interactions between ecosystem processes and the storage and flux of water. Ecohydrologic models often focus at scales where direct observations occur: plots, hillslopes, streams, and watersheds, as well as where land and resource management decisions are implemented. These models complement field-based and data-driven science by combining theory and data to create virtual laboratories. Ecohydrologic models are tools that managers can use to ask “what if” questions and domain scientists can use to explore the implications of new theory or measurements. Recent decades have seen substantial advances in ecohydrologic models, building on both new domain science and advances in software engineering and data availability. The increasing sophistication of ecohydrologic models however, presents a barrier to their widespread use and credibility. Because they are “black boxes,” what the models actually do is rarely clear—even to those who design and use them—and this opacity leads to mistrust and complicates the interpretation of model results. For models to effectively advance our understanding of how plants and water interact, we must improve how we visualize not only model outputs, but also the underlying theories that are encoded within the models. In this paper, we outline a framework for increasing the usefulness of ecohydrologic models through better visualization. We outline four complementary approaches, ranging from simple best practices that leverage existing technologies, to ideas that would engage novel software engineering and cutting edge human-computer interface design. Our goal is to open the ecohydrologic model black box in ways that will engage multiple audiences, from novices to model developers, and support learning, new discovery, and environmental problem solving.
Proglacial aquifers are an important water store in glacierised mountain catchments that supplement meltwater-fed river flows and support freshwater ecosystems. Climate change and glacier retreat will perturb water storage in these aquifers, yet the climate-glacier-groundwater response cascade has rarely been studied and remains poorly understood. This study implements an integrated modelling approach that combines distributed glacio-hydrological and groundwater models with climate change projections to evaluate the evolution of groundwater storage dynamics and surface-groundwater exchanges in a temperate, glacierised catchment in Iceland. Focussed infiltration along the meltwater-fed Virkisà River channel is found to be an important source of groundwater recharge and is projected to provide 14-20% of total groundwater recharge by the 2080s. The simulations highlight a mechanism by which glacier retreat could inhibit river recharge in the future due to the loss of diurnal melt cycling in the runoff hydrograph. However, the evolution of proglacial groundwater level dynamics show considerable resilience to changes in river recharge and, instead, are driven by changes in the magnitude and seasonal timing of diffuse recharge from year-round rainfall. The majority of scenarios simulate an overall reduction in groundwater levels with a maximum 30-day average groundwater level reduction of 1 m. The simulations replicate observational studies of baseflow to the river, where up to 15% of the 30-day average river flow comes from groundwater outside of the melt season. This is forecast to reduce to 3-8% by the 2080s due to increased contributions from rainfall and meltwater runoff. During the melt season, groundwater will continue to contribute 1-3% of river flow despite significant reductions in meltwater runoff inputs. Therefore it is concluded that, in the proglacial region, groundwater will continue to provide only limited buffering of river flows as the glacier retreats.
Interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere play essential roles in hydrological variations at local scales. Variations of regional climate patterns over preceding years have key effects on the seasonal water and moisture conditions in the following year. The linkage between regional climate and local hydrology is challenging due to scale differences, both spatially and temporally. In this study, multiple hydroclimatic phases were identified to relate climatic teleconnection patterns to hydrological processes in a small headwater basin within Reynolds Creek Experiment Watershed, Idaho, USA. A singular spectrum analysis and a combination of hydrological observations and outputs from a physically based hydrological model were used for this purpose. Results showed that a positive phase of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is more influential than a positive phase of the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern on the observed annual runoff and the modeled rain on snow runoff in the study area. Specifically, we found a 43% and 26% shift below normal in annual runoff and rain on snow runoff from NAO and a 29% and 9% below normal from PNA. More frequent rain on snow events were observed under a positive phase of Antarctic Oscillation, leading to a 45% increase in the rain on snow runoff, which accounts for one-third of the mean annual runoff. A high runoff-to-precipitation ratio was observed in the study area under negative phases of Arctic Oscillation and Sea Surface Temperature in the Niño 3.4 region of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. A switch in the phase of the teleconnection patterns of NAO and PNA in 2012 was concomitant with a transition from wet to dry conditions in the basin, suggesting the importance of the regional teleconnections in affecting snow and runoff regimes at local scales. The identified hydroclimatic phases can be implemented in operational models to improve uncertainties in hydrological forecasts, climate projections, and water resources planning.
Runoff and erosion can increase after wildfires, but little is known about the effects of wildfire plus post-fire salvage logging, or mitigating these effects. Past research has identified soil compaction and reduced surface cover as controls on runoff and erosion, but the relative contributions of these changes are not clear. Two years after high severity burning by the 2015 Valley Fire in California, replicated rainfall simulations were carried out in four soil conditions across compaction and cover factors: uncompacted/compacted by logging machinery and bare soil/60% wood slash-cover. Runoff after 71 mm of rainfall totaled 27 mm in the uncompacted bare plots and 39 mm in the compacted bare plots. Runoff in the slash-covered plots decreased by 50% and 33% as compared to the uncompacted and compacted bare plots, respectively, although none of the differences in runoff were significant. Rainsplash averaged 30 g for the bare plots, regardless of compaction, and decreased significantly by 70% on slash-covered plots. Sediment yield totaled 460 and 818 g m-2 for the uncompacted and compacted bare plots, respectively, and slash significantly reduced these amounts by 72% and 69%, respectively. Our results showed that post-fire soil erosion in high severity burned unlogged areas was still very high two years after the wildfire. The combination of wildfire and salvage logging doubled soil erosion by increases in both runoff amount and sediment concentration. Antecedent soil moisture (dry or wet) was the dominant factor for runoff, while surface cover was the dominant factor for erosion and sediment delivery. Covering the soil with slash reduced both runoff and erosion, suggesting this treatment would reduce long‐term sediment delivery from burned areas and skid trails. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and interrill erodibility (Ki) calculated from these simulations confirmed previous research and will support modeling efforts related to wildfire and post-fire salvage logging.
To study the hyporheic exchange driven by a single peak flood-induced water level fluctuation (i.e. flood wave), a method combining numerical simulation with theoretical derivation was proposed based on the Inbuk Stream, Korea, where flooding occurs frequently. The hyporheic exchanges induced by different flood waves were investigated by varying amplitude (A), duration (T), wave type parameter (r), and rising duration (tp), which were adopted from the real-time stream stage fluctuations. Additionally, the idea of constant upstream flood volume (CUFV) condition for flood waves was put forward, and the effects of “Botan” (T/A) and peak number (N) on hyporheic exchange were studied. The results showed that the hyporheic exchange flux (q) was controlled by the water level h (sine-type) and its change rate v (cosine-type), and was proportional to the polynomial of them q“∝” (ω∙h+v), where ω is the angular frequency of the flood wave. Based on this mechanism, the influence principles on hyporheic exchanges of the typical flood wave parameters (A, T, r and tp) as well as T/A and N under CUFV condition were clarified. The main characteristic variables of hyporheic exchange, which were maximum aquifer storage and residence time, were positively correlated. They also had positive relations to the integral of the flood wave over time, which increased when the wave became higher, wider, rounder and less skewed. However, when CUFV condition was imposed, the residence time was positively correlated with T/A, whereas the maximum aquifer storage was negatively correlated with T/A. With the increase in N, water exchanged more frequently and some water returned to the stream early, leading to the slight decrease in maximum aquifer storage and residence time. These findings enriched the theory of hyporheic exchange driven by surface water fluctuation and be of great significance to enhance pollutant degradation in the hyporheic zone downstream of reservoirs.
Macrophyte community diversity and composition respond to ecosystem conservation and local environmental factors. In this study, we developed a multidimensional diversity framework for macrophyte communities, including the taxonomic and functional alpha and beta diversity. We used the framework to explore the relationships among water level regimes and these diversity parameters in a case study of China’s Baiyangdian Lake. Analysis of indicators of hydrologic alteration divided the water level from 1959 to 2019 into four regimes (dry, <6.42 m; low, 6.42 to 7.23 m; medium, 7.23 to 8.19 m; high, >8.19 m). Alpha and beta diversity were significantly higher in the medium regime than in the low and high regimes. Redundancy analysis indicated that the maximum water depth significantly affected taxonomic alpha diversity, and total nitrogen (TN) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration significantly affected functional alpha diversity, respectively. Mantel tests showed that TN, Secchi depth, and water depth in the high water level regime significantly increased the total beta diversity and turnover components. TN was the main factor that increased total taxonomic beta diversity. Interspecific competition decreased with the decreasing range (variation) of TN values and differed opposite with the variation of COD values in response to increasing water level, and reached its maximum in the medium regime. Ecosystem stability was promoted by maintaining high species richness and evenness and high differences among communities, and by reducing competition. Based on our results, the water level should be maintained between the medium and high water level regimes to promote restoration of the macrophyte community and improve ecosystem stability.