Special Issue "Aquatic Microbial Ecotoxicology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Soizic Morin
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Waters, National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (Irstea), Cestas cedex, France
Interests: biofilm; diatoms; metals; pesticides; multistress
Dr. Isabelle Lavoie
Website
Guest Editor
Institut national de la recherche scientifique, centre Eau Terre Environnement, 490 rue de la Couronne, Québec, QC G1K 9A9, Canada
Interests: biofilms; diatoms; eutrophication; contaminants; fatty acids; streams and rivers; teratologies; multi-stress
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Helena Guasch
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Girona, Girona, Spain
Interests: fluvilal ecology; biofilm; nutrient cycling; metals; pesticides; eutrophication; water scarcity; trophic interactions; stoichiometry; oxidatice stress; multi-stress

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The management, protection and rehabilitation of freshwater and marine ecosystems are central environmental concerns on a global scale. In particular, water managers must deal with rapid population growth and urban development, as well as with their associated consequences. Aquatic environments worldwide are under multi-stressor pressures, the effects of which are expected to be exacerbated in the context of climate change. Continental waters are continuously under multiple stresses from anthropogenic sources (mixtures of contaminants, nutrients, salts, suspended solids, etc.), which degrade their chemical, physical and biological integrities. Marine environments are the ultimate receptacle for in-land waters, and, despite strong dilution potential, have been showing multiple signs of degradation.

The assessment of aquatic ecosystem health and integrity poses a major challenge because multiple anthropic stressors act cumulatively, and possibly synergistically, in addition to fluctuating in space and time. Traditional water quality monitoring does not necessarily reflect bioavailability, and does not inform on the effects of stressors on biota. Alternatively, biological assessment is an integrative approach increasingly included in water quality management protocols. Evaluating and understanding the response of living organisms subjected to environmental pressures provides insight on the real effects of ecosystem degradation on biota. Microorganism response is of particular interest, as microorganisms respond quickly to changes in their environments due to their position at the base of the trophic chain. These effects observed on microorganisms are therefore the starting points for a myriad of consequences cascading to higher trophic levels. One advantage of incorporating microorganism response in ecotoxicology is that microorganisms are always present in all types of conditions and they are particularly diverse in terms of functional groups and taxonomy. Multiple aspects of microorganism response therefore can provide information on water quality, e.g., taxonomy, functions (recycling, photosynthesis), traits, biomarkers, genetic expression, diversity, etc. A response to a perturbation or to multiple stressors can usually be observed despite confounding natural environmental factors.

This Special Issue invites critical reviews and research papers providing innovative insights into the effects of contaminants on freshwater and marine microorganisms. The focus of this Special Issue includes the following topics:

(i) a more realistic characterization of microorganism exposure to contaminants;

(ii) novel biomarkers or toxicity endpoints;

(iii) ecotoxicological responses at the individual, population and community levels;

(iv) structural and functional impacts of contaminants on aquatic microorganisms;

(v) effects of multiple stressors in a context of global change;

(vi) other topics related to microbial toxicology.

Dr. Soizic Morin
Dr. Isabelle Lavoie
Prof. Dr. Helena Guasch
Guest Editors

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 1000 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

  • Microbial ecotoxicology
  • Toxicants
  • Aquatic microorganisms
  • Structural impacts
  • Functional impairments
  • Ecological biomarkers
  • Multi-stress

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Diatom Deformities and Tolerance to Cadmium Contamination in Four Species
Environments 2019, 6(9), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6090102 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The relative tolerance of four diatoms (Nitzschia palea, Pinnularia mesolepta, Mayamaea atomus, and Gomphonema truncatum) to Cd was evaluated, including their proneness to deformities, and the severity of the abnormalities in relation to Cd concentration. The indirect effect [...] Read more.
The relative tolerance of four diatoms (Nitzschia palea, Pinnularia mesolepta, Mayamaea atomus, and Gomphonema truncatum) to Cd was evaluated, including their proneness to deformities, and the severity of the abnormalities in relation to Cd concentration. The indirect effect of Cd on photosynthetic capacities was assessed during a short time exposure experiment using a dose-response approach to evaluate the relative tolerance of the four diatom species. The EC25 were 9 (3, 23), 606 (348, 926), 1179 (1015, 1349) and 2394 (1890, 2896) µg/L for P. mesolepta, G. truncatum, N. palea, and M. atomus respectively. P. mesolepta was by far the most Cd sensitive species while M. atomus was the most tolerant. In addition, diatoms were exposed to a single concentration of Cd comparable to a heavily contaminated environment for a longer duration to evaluate the effect of Cd on growth kinetics and the deformities induced. N. palea, P. mesolepta, and M. atomus were able to grow when cultivated with Cd while G. truncatum was not. Cadmium strongly affected the effective quantum yield in G. truncatum (4.8 ± 5.9% of the control) and P. mesolepta cultures (29.2 ± 6.9% of the control). The effects were moderate for N. palea (88.3 ± 0.7% of the control) and no impact was observed for M. atomus. The results from the two approaches were in accordance since they identified N. palea and M. atomus as the two most tolerant species to Cd, while P. mesolepta and G. truncatum were the most sensitive. The microscopy analyses revealed that P. mesolepta was more impacted by Cd than N. palea and M. atomus considering both the quantity of abnormal cells and the severity of the deformities. Overall, this research shows that not all deformities can be considered equal for a water quality bio-assessment. The work highlights a need to take into account metal-tolerance/sensitivity of the species and the severity of the deformities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Microbial Ecotoxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Diatom Assemblages in Close Proximity to Mining Activities in Nunavik, Northern Quebec (Canada)
Environments 2019, 6(6), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6060074 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) is experiencing a mining boom. While several studies have been conducted in the region in relation to climate change, the effects of mining have received much less attention. In this study, we explored the use of biofilms in natural [...] Read more.
Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) is experiencing a mining boom. While several studies have been conducted in the region in relation to climate change, the effects of mining have received much less attention. In this study, we explored the use of biofilms in natural streams as an indicator of potential stress on living organisms caused by metal contamination from nickel mining activities. More specifically, we assessed diatom assemblages and the presence of teratologies (morphologic abnormalities) as a response to metals in streams located in close proximity to mining sites. Metal concentrations (as well as other cations), anions and pH values varied markedly among stations. Different diatom assemblage structures (four biotypes, i.e., groups of samples with similar diatom species composition) were observed depending on the level and the type of contamination. The frequency of diatom teratologies was higher in metal contaminated sites. The present study lays the foundation for bioassessment of metal contamination in low Arctic streams using diatom-based approaches, and will serve as a point in time reference for future evaluation of ecosystems degradation or recovery in Nunavik. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Microbial Ecotoxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Effects of Mercury on Biofilms Grown in Contaminated Microcosms: A Pilot Study
Environments 2019, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6030028 - 26 Feb 2019
Abstract
Biofilms are important components of the mercury (Hg) biogeochemical cycle. However, Hg effects on biofilm communities are overlooked. Here, we present results of a pilot study on the chronic effects of Hg on biofilms, notably on the potential change of their taxonomic composition. [...] Read more.
Biofilms are important components of the mercury (Hg) biogeochemical cycle. However, Hg effects on biofilm communities are overlooked. Here, we present results of a pilot study on the chronic effects of Hg on biofilms, notably on the potential change of their taxonomic composition. Biofilms were cultivated in microcosms enriched with three different Hg concentrations (11 ± 2 pM, 121 ± 9 pM and 1454 ± 54 pM) for 55 days and examined for their accumulated Hg concentrations and composition. Bioaccumulated Hg concentrations were representative of those encountered in natural environments. Despite the lack of influence on the ash free dry weight and chlorophyll content, the surface coverage of the substrata of biofilms grown in Hg decreased. Algal community were strongly affected by Hg, with a decrease in their richness with Ochrophyta found as the most sensitive phyla. The diversity and richness of bacterial communities did not change upon cultivation in Hg but the presence of Proteobacteria increased with Hg, whereas Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Verrumicrobia, and Cyanobacteria were negatively impacted. Overall, the above findings suggest that the examination of the algal community composition might be used as a potential biomonitoring tool to assess the impacts of environmental Hg concentrations on aquatic systems, which would merit further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Microbial Ecotoxicology)
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