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Article

An Integrative Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining Contamination in the Amazon

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Facultad de Ciencias de La Tierra y Agua, Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam, Tena 150150, Ecuador
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Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología-Estación El Carmen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad del Carmen 24157, Mexico
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Laboratorio Nacional de Referencia Del Agua, Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam, Tena 150150, Ecuador
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IMDEA Water Institute, Science and Technology Campus of the University of Alcalá, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
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Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, 46980 Paterna, Spain
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Facultad de Ciencias de La Vida, Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam, Tena 150150, Ecuador
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Departamento de Recursos Hídricos y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010202, Ecuador
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Departamento de Biociencias, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca 010202, Ecuador
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Grupo de Investigación en Quimiometría y QSAR, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca 010204, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Octavio Pérez Luzardo and Katrin Vorkamp
Toxics 2021, 9(7), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9070149
Received: 16 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 23 June 2021 / Published: 26 June 2021
As the number of legal and illegal gold mining sites increases in the Andes–Amazonia region, integrative methods to evaluate the effects of mining pollution on freshwater ecosystems are of paramount importance. Here, we sampled water and sediments in 11 sites potentially affected by gold mining activities in the Napo province (Ecuador). The environmental impacts were evaluated using the following lines of evidence (LOEs): water physicochemical parameters, metal exposure concentrations, macroinvertebrate community response (AAMBI), and toxicity by conducting bioassays with Lactuca sativa and Daphnia magna. Dissolved oxygen and total suspended solids were under (<80%) and above (>130 mg/Ls) quality standards 65% of the sites. Ag, Al, As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, and Zn in water and V, B, and Cr in sediments were detected above quality standards at sampled sites. Nine out of eleven sites were classified as having bad environmental quality based on the AAMBI. L. sativa seed germination in both water (37% to 70%) and sediment (0% to 65%) indicate significant toxicity. In five sites, neonates of D. magna showed a 25% reduction in survival compared to the control. Our integrated LOEs index ranked sites regarding their environmental degradation. We recommend environmental impact monitoring of the mining expansion at the Andes–Amazonia region using multiple LOEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: metals; environmental monitoring; bioassays; Amazon River; Amazonia; mining metals; environmental monitoring; bioassays; Amazon River; Amazonia; mining
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MDPI and ACS Style

V. Capparelli, M.; Cabrera, M.; Rico, A.; Lucas-Solis, O.; Alvear-S, D.; Vasco, S.; Galarza, E.; Shiguango, L.; Pinos-Velez, V.; Pérez-González, A.; Espinosa, R.; M. Moulatlet, G. An Integrative Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining Contamination in the Amazon. Toxics 2021, 9, 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9070149

AMA Style

V. Capparelli M, Cabrera M, Rico A, Lucas-Solis O, Alvear-S D, Vasco S, Galarza E, Shiguango L, Pinos-Velez V, Pérez-González A, Espinosa R, M. Moulatlet G. An Integrative Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining Contamination in the Amazon. Toxics. 2021; 9(7):149. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9070149

Chicago/Turabian Style

V. Capparelli, Mariana, Marcela Cabrera, Andreu Rico, Oscar Lucas-Solis, Daniela Alvear-S, Samantha Vasco, Emily Galarza, Lady Shiguango, Veronica Pinos-Velez, Andrés Pérez-González, Rodrigo Espinosa, and Gabriel M. Moulatlet. 2021. "An Integrative Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining Contamination in the Amazon" Toxics 9, no. 7: 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9070149

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