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Special Issue "Aquatic Ecosystem Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Wade L. Hadwen

Australian Rivers Institute | Griffith Climate Change Response Program | International Water Centre, Room 4.12 Sir Samuel Griffith Building (N78), Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61 7 3735 3987
Interests: aquatic ecology; ecosystem health; human impacts; water resources management; water security; water sanitation and hygiene (WaSH); climate change adaptation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As there is growing recognition of the need to maintain healthy environments to sustain healthy communities, this Special Issue is dedicated to studies examining aspects of aquatic ecosystem health. Related topics include, but are not limited to, ecosystem health assessment, disturbance ecology, aquatic food web ecology, invasive species monitoring and impacts, novel monitoring tools, assessments of aquatic ecosystem responses to climate and extreme weather events and links between ecosystem and human health. All of the research outcomes are intended to contribute to the development of best management practices in aquatic ecosystem health assessment and reporting. This Special Issue is open to any subject area relating to aquatic ecosystem health. Research papers, analytical reviews, case studies, conceptual frameworks, and policy-relevant articles are welcome.

Dr. Wade L. Hadwen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Aquatic ecosystem health assessment
  • Monitoring and modelling
  • Assessing impacts of extreme events
  • Disturbance ecology
  • Ecosystem resilience
  • Environmental stressors and ecosystem response

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Transcriptomic Profiles in Zebrafish Liver Permit the Discrimination of Surface Water with Pollution Gradient and Different Discharges
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081648
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
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Abstract
The present study aims to evaluate the potential of transcriptomic profiles in evaluating the impacts of complex mixtures of pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations on aquatic vertebrates. The changes in gene expression were determined using microarray in the liver of male zebrafish (
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The present study aims to evaluate the potential of transcriptomic profiles in evaluating the impacts of complex mixtures of pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations on aquatic vertebrates. The changes in gene expression were determined using microarray in the liver of male zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to surface water collected from selected locations on the Hun River, China. The numbers of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in each treatment ranged from 728 to 3292, which were positively correlated with chemical oxygen demand (COD). Predominant transcriptomic responses included peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) signaling and steroid biosynthesis. Key pathways in immune system were also affected. Notably, two human diseases related pathways, insulin resistance and Salmonella infection were enriched. Clustering analysis and principle component analysis with DEGs differentiated the upstream and downstream site of Shenyang City, and the mainstream and the tributary sites near the junction. Comparison the gene expression profiles of zebrafish exposed to river surface water with those to individual chemicals found higher similarity of the river water with estradiol than several other organic pollutants and metals. Results suggested that the transcriptomic profiles of zebrafish is promising in differentiating surface water with pollution gradient and different discharges and in providing valuable information to support discharge management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Open AccessArticle Mercury Contamination in Riverine Sediments and Fish Associated with Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Madre de Dios, Peru
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081584
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 8 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Madre de Dios, Peru, continues to expand rapidly, raising concerns about increases in loading of mercury (Hg) to the environment. We measured physicochemical parameters in water and sampled and analyzed sediments and fish from multiple sites
[...] Read more.
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Madre de Dios, Peru, continues to expand rapidly, raising concerns about increases in loading of mercury (Hg) to the environment. We measured physicochemical parameters in water and sampled and analyzed sediments and fish from multiple sites along one ASGM-impacted river and two unimpacted rivers in the region to examine whether Hg concentrations were elevated and possibly related to ASGM activity. We also analyzed the 308 fish samples, representing 36 species, for stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) to estimate their trophic position. Trophic position was positively correlated with the log-transformed Hg concentrations in fish among all sites. There was a lack of relationship between Hg concentrations in fish and either Hg concentrations in sediments or ASGM activity among sites, suggesting that fish Hg concentrations alone is not an ideal bioindicator of site-specific Hg contamination in the region. Fish Hg concentrations were not elevated in the ASGM-impacted river relative to the other two rivers; however, sediment Hg concentrations were highest in the ASGM-impacted river. Degraded habitat conditions and commensurate shifts in fish species and ecological processes may influence Hg bioaccumulation in the ASGM-impacted river. More research is needed on food web dynamics in the region to elucidate any effects caused by ASGM, especially through feeding relationships and food sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Impacts of Coal Mining in the Region of Sydney, Australia on the Aquatic Environment Using Macroinvertebrates and Chlorophyll as Indicators
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071556
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Coal and coal seam gas mining have impacts on the water and sediment quality in the proximity of the mining areas, increasing the concentrations of heavy metals downstream of the mine discharge points. The objective of this study was to assess the impact
[...] Read more.
Coal and coal seam gas mining have impacts on the water and sediment quality in the proximity of the mining areas, increasing the concentrations of heavy metals downstream of the mine discharge points. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of coal mining on the environment in the Sydney region, by investigating macroinvertebrates and chlorophyll as indicators of industrial pollution and environmental impairment. The study revealed changes in abundance, taxonomic richness, and pollution sensitive macroinvertebrate groups. A statistical evaluation of the aquatic life was performed and a correlation of the contaminants with the presence of a community in the ecosystem were studied. The environmental sustainability of the investigated rivers and streams with water chemistry affecting the biological system was assessed. A non-uniformity in the changes were observed, indicating a difference in the tolerance level of different invertebrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Open AccessArticle Abundances of Clinically Relevant Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Bacterial Community Diversity in the Weihe River, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040708
Received: 3 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
The spread of antibiotic resistance genes in river systems is an emerging environmental issue due to their potential threat to aquatic ecosystems and public health. In this study, we used droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) to evaluate pollution with clinically relevant antibiotic
[...] Read more.
The spread of antibiotic resistance genes in river systems is an emerging environmental issue due to their potential threat to aquatic ecosystems and public health. In this study, we used droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) to evaluate pollution with clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) at 13 monitoring sites along the main stream of the Weihe River in China. Six clinically relevant ARGs and a class I integron-integrase (intI1) gene were analyzed using ddPCR, and the bacterial community was evaluated based on the bacterial 16S rRNA V3–V4 regions using MiSeq sequencing. The results indicated Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Bacteroidetes as the dominant phyla in the water samples from the Weihe River. Higher abundances of blaTEM, strB, aadA, and intI1 genes (103 to 105 copies/mL) were detected in the surface water samples compared with the relatively low abundances of strA, mecA, and vanA genes (0–1.94 copies/mL). Eight bacterial genera were identified as possible hosts of the intI1 gene and three ARGs (strA, strB, and aadA) based on network analysis. The results suggested that the bacterial community structure and horizontal gene transfer were associated with the variations in ARGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Open AccessArticle Antibiotics in Crab Ponds of Lake Guchenghu Basin, China: Occurrence, Temporal Variations, and Ecological Risks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030548
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Antibiotics are widely used in aquaculture, however, this often results in undesirable ecological effects. To evaluate the occurrence, temporal variations, and ecological risk of antibiotics in five crab ponds of Lake Guchenghu Basin, China, 44 antibiotics from nine classes were analyzed by rapid
[...] Read more.
Antibiotics are widely used in aquaculture, however, this often results in undesirable ecological effects. To evaluate the occurrence, temporal variations, and ecological risk of antibiotics in five crab ponds of Lake Guchenghu Basin, China, 44 antibiotics from nine classes were analyzed by rapid resolution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (RRLC-MS/MS). Twelve antibiotics belonging to six classes were detected in the aqueous phase of five crab ponds, among which sulfonamides and macrolides were the predominant classes, and six compounds (sulfamonomethoxine, sulfadiazine, trimethoprim, erythromycin-H2O, monensin, and florfenicol) were frequently detected at high concentrations. In general, the antibiotic levels varied between different crab ponds, with the average concentrations ranging from 122 to 1440 ng/L. The antibiotic concentrations in crab ponds exhibited obvious seasonal variations, with the highest concentration and detection frequency detected in summer. Multivariate analysis showed that antibiotic concentrations were significantly correlated with environmental variables, such as total organic carbon, phosphate, ammonia nitrogen, and pH. Sulfadiazine, clarithromycin, erythromycin-H2O, and ciprofloxacin posed a high risk to algae, while the mixture of antibiotics could pose a high risk to aquatic organisms in the crab ponds. Overall, the usage of antibiotics in farming ponds should be comprehensively investigated and controlled to preserve a healthy aquaculture ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Open AccessArticle Water Bacterial and Fungal Community Compositions Associated with Urban Lakes, Xi’an, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030469
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
Urban lakes play a vital role in the sustainable development of urbanized areas. In this freshwater ecosystem, massive microbial communities can drive the recycling of nutrients and regulate the water quality. However, water bacterial and fungal communities in the urban lakes are not
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Urban lakes play a vital role in the sustainable development of urbanized areas. In this freshwater ecosystem, massive microbial communities can drive the recycling of nutrients and regulate the water quality. However, water bacterial and fungal communities in the urban lakes are not well understood. In the present work, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was combined with community level physiological profiles (CLPPs) and Illumina Miseq sequence techniques to determine the diversity and composition of the water bacterial and fungal community in three urban lakes, namely Xingqing lake (LX), Geming lake (LG) and Lianhu lake (LL), located in Xi’an City (Shaanxi Province, China). The results showed that these three lakes were eutrophic water bodies. The highest total nitrogen (TN) was observed in LL, with a value of 12.1 mg/L, which is 2 times higher than that of LG. The permanganate index (CODMn) concentrations were 21.6 mg/L, 35.4 mg/L and 28.8 mg/L in LG, LL and LX, respectively (p < 0.01). Based on the CLPPs test, the results demonstrated that water bacterial communities in the LL and LX urban lakes had higher carbon source utilization ability. A total of 62,742 and 55,346 high quality reads were grouped into 894 and 305 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for bacterial and fungal communities, respectively. Water bacterial and fungal community was distributed across 14 and 6 phyla. The most common phyla were Proteobacteriaand Cyanobacteria. Cryptomycota was particularly dominant in LL, while Chytridiomycota and Entomophthormycota were the most abundant fungal phyla, accounting for 95% of the population in the LL and 56% in the LG. Heat map and redundancy analysis (RDA) highlighted the dramatic differences of water bacterial communities among three urban lakes. Meanwhile, the profiles of fungal communities were significantly correlated with the water quality parameters (e.g., CODMn and total nitrogen, TN). Several microbes (Legionella sp. and Streptococcus sp.) related to human diseases, such as infectious diseases, were also found. The results from this study provides useful information related to the water quality and microbial community compositions harbored in the aquatic ecosystems of urban lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Bacterial and Fungal Communities during the Outbreak and Decline of an Algal Bloom in a Drinking Water Reservoir
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020361
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5997 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The microbial communities associated with algal blooms play a pivotal role in organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in freshwater ecosystems. However, there have been few studies focused on unveiling the dynamics of bacterial and fungal communities during the outbreak and decline of
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The microbial communities associated with algal blooms play a pivotal role in organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in freshwater ecosystems. However, there have been few studies focused on unveiling the dynamics of bacterial and fungal communities during the outbreak and decline of algal blooms in drinking water reservoirs. To address this issue, the compositions of bacterial and fungal communities were assessed in the Zhoucun drinking water reservoir using 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene Illumina MiSeq sequencing techniques. The results showed the algal bloom was dominated by Synechococcus, Microcystis, and Prochlorothrix. The bloom was characterized by a steady decrease of total phosphorus (TP) from the outbreak to the decline period (p < 0.05) while Fe concentration increased sharply during the decline period (p < 0.05). The highest algal biomass and cell concentrations observed during the bloom were 51.7 mg/L and 1.9×108 cell/L, respectively. The cell concentration was positively correlated with CODMn (r = 0.89, p = 0.02). Illumina Miseq sequencing showed that algal bloom altered the water bacterial and fungal community structure. During the bloom, the dominant bacterial genus were Acinetobacter sp., Limnobacter sp., Synechococcus sp., and Roseomonas sp. The relative size of the fungal community also changed with algal bloom and its composition mainly contained Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Chytridiomycota. Heat map profiling indicated that algal bloom had a more consistent effect upon fungal communities at genus level. Redundancy analysis (RDA) also demonstrated that the structure of water bacterial communities was significantly correlated to conductivity and ammonia nitrogen. Meanwhile, water temperature, Fe and ammonia nitrogen drive the dynamics of water fungal communities. The results from this work suggested that water bacterial and fungal communities changed significantly during the outbreak and decline of algal bloom in Zhoucun drinking water reservoir. Our study highlights the potential role of microbial diversity as a driving force for the algal bloom and biogeochemical cycling of reservoir ecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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