Special Issue "Aquaponics: Circular Sustainability for Food Security"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Protected Culture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Paolo Sambo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE) University of Padua, Agripolis Campus, Viale dell’Università, 16 - 35020 Legnaro, PD, Italy
Interests: vegetables production; qualitative characterization of vegetables; soilless production systems; nutrients balance
Dr. Carlo Nicoletto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell’Università, 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Interests: open field and protected cultivation; vegetables; aromatic plants; specialty crops; quality; antioxidants; functional foods; hydroponics; aquaponics; post-harvest
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among the several challenges that agriculture has to face in order to guarantee a sufficient supply of food, the concept of sustainability is essential. Increasing the use efficiency of resources, such as water, nutrients, and soil, is strategic to maximize production while preserving the environmental context. It is also necessary to adopt productive strategies capable of achieving the objectives set by the WHO’s Millennium Development Goals or the eradication of hunger and poverty. Aquaponics can be fully placed in this context, proving to be a possible productive and sustainable tool able to combine aquaculture and vegetable food production. At the same time, it can provide technological solutions that are alternative for a world that is increasingly under stress through population growth, urbanization, water shortages, land and soil degradation, environmental pollution, world hunger, and climate change. Currently, the knowledge concerning aquaponics is increasing, but many key points have to be solved above all in the sphere of the productive sustainability of different species, in the management of nutrients provided by the breeding of fish, and in the dimensional and technological scalability of the system.

Based on these challenges, this Special Issue welcomes original research papers, short communications, and review articles that provide insight into all topics related to aquaponics and crop cultivation in horticultural systems. The focus is on the agronomical, environmental, technological, and nutritional issues involved in meeting the high demands of consumers for fresh food characterized by high quality and production. Some perspectives on energy and economic sustainability are also encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Silvana Nicola
Prof. Dr. Paolo Sambo
Dr. Carlo Nicoletto
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. Horticulturae 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

  • aquaponics
  • vegetables cultivation
  • sustainability
  • food quality
  • nutrient balance

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Communication
[email protected]—The First Aquaponics Curriculum to Be Developed Specifically for University Students
Horticulturae 2021, 7(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7020018 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Aquaponic food production requires a broad spectrum of knowledge in order to understand and manage the processes involved, and for commercial aquaponics to develop its full potential, it will require an appropriately trained workforce. Devised in collaboration as an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for [...] Read more.
Aquaponic food production requires a broad spectrum of knowledge in order to understand and manage the processes involved, and for commercial aquaponics to develop its full potential, it will require an appropriately trained workforce. Devised in collaboration as an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Higher Education, [email protected] covers the basics of aquaponics with a focus on transferable and entrepreneurial skills. The aquaponics curriculum can either be taught using blended learning—combining digital media and the internet with classroom formats that require the physical co-presence of the teacher and students—or as an e-learning course. The supplementary entrepreneurial skills module was devised on the basis of two surveys: of aquaponics companies around the world, in order to get a broad overview of the skills that are important in the early years of a business; and of European higher education institutions that teach subjects where aquaponics could be incorporated as an optional module. The entrepreneurial skills curriculum introduces the main processes involved in developing a business idea into a start-up company. All of the [email protected] resources—the e-learning modules, textbooks, module guides for students, curriculum guides for teachers, best practice guide for teaching aquaponics, and toolbox of innovative didactic practices—are open access. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaponics: Circular Sustainability for Food Security)
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Brief Report
Total Coliform and Generic E. coli Levels, and Salmonella Presence in Eight Experimental Aquaponics and Hydroponics Systems: A Brief Report Highlighting Exploratory Data
Horticulturae 2020, 6(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6030042 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
Although many studies have investigated foodborne pathogen prevalence in conventional produce production environments, relatively few have investigated prevalence in aquaponics and hydroponics systems. This study sought to address this knowledge gap by enumerating total coliform and generic E. coli levels, and testing for [...] Read more.
Although many studies have investigated foodborne pathogen prevalence in conventional produce production environments, relatively few have investigated prevalence in aquaponics and hydroponics systems. This study sought to address this knowledge gap by enumerating total coliform and generic E. coli levels, and testing for Salmonella presence in circulating water samples collected from five hydroponic systems and three aquaponic systems (No. of samples = 79). While total coliform levels ranged between 6.3 Most Probable Number (MPN)/100-mL and the upper limit of detection (2496 MPN/100-mL), only three samples had detectable levels of E. coli and no samples had detectable levels of Salmonella. Of the three E. coli positive samples, two samples had just one MPN of E. coli/100-mL while the third had 53.9 MPN of E. coli/100-mL. While the sample size reported here was small and site selection was not randomized, this study adds key data on the microbial quality of aquaponics and hydroponics systems to the literature. Moreover, these data suggest that contamination in these systems occurs at relatively low-levels, and that future studies are needed to more fully explore when and how microbial contamination of aquaponics and hydroponic systems is likely to occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaponics: Circular Sustainability for Food Security)
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