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Open AccessReview

Biotic and Abiotic Factors Influencing Arsenic Biogeochemistry and Toxicity in Fluvial Ecosystems: A Review

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Grup de recerca en Ecologia aquàtica continental (GRECO), Departament de Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Girona, 17071 Girona, Spain
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LDAR24—Laboratoire Départemental d’Analyse et de Recherche du Département de la Dordogne, 24660 Coulounieix-Chamiers, Périgueux, France
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Instituto CRETUS, Departmento de Edafoloxía e Química Agrícola, Facultade de Farmacia, Campus Vida, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
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INRAE—Institut National de Recherche en Agriculture, Alimentation et Environnement, UR EABX—Equipe ECOVEA, 33612 Cestas Cedex, France
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INEDES—Instituto de Ecología y Desarrollo Sustentable (UNLu-CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Luján, 6700 Buenos Aires, Argentina
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CONICET—Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires C1425FQB CABA, Argentina
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School of Agroecology, Mongolian University of Life Sciences, Khoroo 11, Ulaanbaatar 17024, Mongolia
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CEAB—Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes, CSIC, Blanes, 17300 Girona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072331
Received: 2 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 30 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Environmental Science and Engineering)
This review is focused on the biogeochemistry of arsenic in freshwaters and, especially, on the key role that benthic microalgae and prokaryotic communities from biofilms play together in through speciation, distribution, and cycling. These microorganisms incorporate the dominant iAs (inorganic arsenic) form and may transform it to other arsenic forms through metabolic or detoxifying processes. These transformations have a big impact on the environmental behavior of arsenic because different chemical forms exhibit differences in mobility and toxicity. Moreover, exposure to toxicants may alter the physiology and structure of biofilms, leading to changes in ecosystem function and trophic relations. In this review we also explain how microorganisms (i.e., biofilms) can influence the effects of arsenic exposure on other key constituents of aquatic ecosystems such as fish. At the end, we present two real cases of fluvial systems with different origins of arsenic exposure (natural vs. anthropogenic) that have improved our comprehension of arsenic biogeochemistry and toxicity in freshwaters, the Pampean streams (Argentina) and the Anllóns River (Galicia, Spain). We finish with a briefly discussion of what we consider as future research needs on this topic. This work especially contributes to the general understanding of biofilms influencing arsenic biogeochemistry and highlights the strong impact of nutrient availability on arsenic toxicity for freshwater (micro) organisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; biofilm; microalgae; bacteria; phosphate; biogeochemistry; speciation; toxicity; ecotoxicology; trophic interactions arsenic; biofilm; microalgae; bacteria; phosphate; biogeochemistry; speciation; toxicity; ecotoxicology; trophic interactions
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Barral-Fraga, L.; Barral, M.T.; MacNeill, K.L.; Martiñá-Prieto, D.; Morin, S.; Rodríguez-Castro, M.C.; Tuulaikhuu, B.-A.; Guasch, H. Biotic and Abiotic Factors Influencing Arsenic Biogeochemistry and Toxicity in Fluvial Ecosystems: A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2331.

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