Special Issue "Monitoring and Assessment of Environmental Quality in Coastal Ecosystems"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 May 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sílvia C. Goncalves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
MARE–Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal
Interests: coastal ecosystems, with an emphasis on sandy beaches; environmental quality monitoring and assessment; human impacts; contamination by trace metals; macrobenthos ecology; ecological indicators

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal ecosystems are dynamic, complex, and often fragile transition environments between land and oceans. They are exclusive habitats for a broad range of living organisms, function as havens for biodiversity and provide several important ecological services that link terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments.

Humans living in coastal zones have been strongly dependent on these ecosystems as a source of food, physical protection against storms and the advancing sea, and a range of human activities that generate economic income (e.g., tourism and water sports). Notwithstanding, the intensification of human activities in coastal areas of the last decades, as well as the global climatic changes and coastal erosion processes of the present, have introduced detrimental impacts on these environments. Organic and inorganic pollution, marine anthropogenic litter, destruction, and fragmentation and modification of habitats for multiple purposes, overexploitation of natural resources, introduction of invasive species and loss of biodiversity are among the most common impacts. Maintaining the structural and functional integrity of these environments, as well as recovering an ecological balance or mitigating disturbances in systems under the influence of such stressors, are complex tasks, only possible through the implementation of monitoring programs and by assessing their environmental quality.

In this Special Issue, I invite colleagues to contribute original research papers and review articles on all aspects of environmental quality monitoring and assessment of coastal ecosystems, with a focus on biotic or abiotic compartments (or both) and using tools that may range between ecological levels of organization from individuals to the ecosystem.

Dr. Sílvia C. Goncalves
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. Environments 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 1400 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

  • coastal ecosystems
  • environmental quality and environmental indexes
  • monitoring and/or assessment programs
  • environmental disturbances
  • pressures and stressors
  • anthropogenic impacts
  • bioindicators
  • biomonitors
  • ecotoxicology and biomarkers
  • populations
  • communities and ecosystem responses

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
An In Silico and In Vitro Study for Investigating Estrogenic Endocrine Effects of Emerging Persistent Pollutants Using Primary Hepatocytes from Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus)
Environments 2021, 8(6), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8060058 - 18 Jun 2021
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Abstract
There is growing concern about the environmentally relevant concentrations of new emerging persistent organic pollutants, such as perfluorinated compounds and pharmaceuticals, which are found to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms at concentrations suspected to cause reproductive toxicity due to the activation of estrogen receptor [...] Read more.
There is growing concern about the environmentally relevant concentrations of new emerging persistent organic pollutants, such as perfluorinated compounds and pharmaceuticals, which are found to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms at concentrations suspected to cause reproductive toxicity due to the activation of estrogen receptor (ER) α and β subtypes. Here, we use a combined in silico and in vitro approach to evaluate the impact of perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and Enalapril (ENA) on grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) hepatic estrogen signaling pathway. ENA had weak agonist activity on ERα while PFNA showed moderate to high agonist binding to both ERs. According to these effects, hepatocytes incubation for 48 h to PFNA resulted in a concentration-dependent upregulation of ER and vitellogenin gene expression profiles, whereas only a small increase was observed in ERα mRNA levels for the highest ENA concentration. These data suggest a structure–activity relationship between hepatic ERs and these emerging pollutants. Full article
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Communication
An Investigation of Takagi-Sugeno Fuzzy Modeling for Spatial Prediction with Sparsely Distributed Geospatial Data
Environments 2021, 8(6), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8060050 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 786
Abstract
Fuzzy set theory has shown potential for reducing uncertainty as a result of data sparsity and also provides advantages for quantifying gradational changes like those of pollutant concentrations through fuzzy clustering based approaches. The ability to lower the sampling frequency and perform laboratory [...] Read more.
Fuzzy set theory has shown potential for reducing uncertainty as a result of data sparsity and also provides advantages for quantifying gradational changes like those of pollutant concentrations through fuzzy clustering based approaches. The ability to lower the sampling frequency and perform laboratory analyses on fewer samples, yet still produce an adequate pollutant distribution map, would reduce the initial cost of new remediation projects. To assess the ability of fuzzy modeling to make spatial predictions using fewer sample points, its predictive ability was compared with the ordinary kriging (OK) and inverse distance weighting (IDW) methods under increasingly sparse data conditions. This research used a Takagi–Sugeno (TS) fuzzy modelling approach with fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering to make spatial predictions of the lead concentrations in soil. The performance of the TS model was very dependent on the number of outliers in the respective validation set. For modeling under sparse data conditions, the TS fuzzy modeling approach using FCM clustering and constant width Gaussian shaped membership functions did not show any advantages over IDW and OK for the type of data tested. Therefore, it was not possible to speculate on a possible reduction in sampling frequency for delineating the extent of contamination for new remediation projects. Full article
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Article
Autumnal Beach Litter Identification by Mean of Using Ground-Based IR Thermography
Environments 2021, 8(5), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8050037 - 24 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The progress of scientific research and technological innovation are contributing to an increase in the use of rapid systems for monitoring and identifying geo-environmental processes related to natural and/or anthropogenic activities. The aim of this study is identifying autumnal beach litter using ground-based [...] Read more.
The progress of scientific research and technological innovation are contributing to an increase in the use of rapid systems for monitoring and identifying geo-environmental processes related to natural and/or anthropogenic activities. The aim of this study is identifying autumnal beach litter using ground-based IR thermography. Starting from quarterly autumn monitoring data of air temperature and sandy soil surface temperature, an empirical equation between the two environmental matrices (air and sandy soil) is obtained. This will allow the calculation of the sandy soil surface temperature knowing only the air temperature. Therefore, it will be possible to know in advance the thermal response of the sandy soil, thus creating a thermal blank of the beach. Using an IR thermal camera, it is possible for a quicker identification of thermal anomalies of the coastal area potentially connected to the presence of pollution due to the anthropogenic origin (particularly plastic material). The test area is located in the area of the Coastal Dunes Regional Natural Park of Ostuni–Fasano in Apulia (southern Italy). Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Levels of Pollution and of Their Risks by Radioactivity and Trace Metals on Marine Edible Fish and Crustaceans at the Bay of Bengal (Chattogram, Bangladesh)
Environments 2021, 8(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments8020013 - 11 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Marine environmental pollution is a longstanding global problem and has a particular impact on the Bay of Bengal. Effluent from different sources directly enters rivers of the region and eventually flows into the Bay of Bengal. This effluent may contain radioactive materials and [...] Read more.
Marine environmental pollution is a longstanding global problem and has a particular impact on the Bay of Bengal. Effluent from different sources directly enters rivers of the region and eventually flows into the Bay of Bengal. This effluent may contain radioactive materials and trace metals and pose a serious threat to the coastal environment, in addition to aquatic ecosystems. Using gamma spectrometry and atomic absorption spectrometry, a comprehensive study was carried out on the radioactivity (226Ra, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs) and trace metal (Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Fe, Mn, and Cr) concentrations, respectively, in fish and crustacean species collected from the coastal belt of the Bay of Bengal (Chattogram, Bangladesh). The analysis showed a noticeable increment in the levels of different radioactive pollutants in the marine samples, although the consumption of the studied fish and crustacean species should be considered safe for human health. Anthropogenic radionuclide (137Cs) was not detected in any sample. Furthermore, the metal concentrations of a small number of trace elements (Pb, Cd, Cr) were found to be higher in most of the samples, which indicates aquatic fauna are subject to pollution. The estimated daily intake (EDI), target hazard quotient (THQ), hazard index (HI), and target cancer risk (TR) were calculated and compared with the permissible safety limits. It was found that consuming the seafood from the Bay of Bengal may cause adverse health impacts if consumption and/or means of pollution are not controlled. Full article
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