Special Issue "Interactions and Effects of Different Climate Change Scenarios with Emergent Pollutants"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rosa Freitas
Guest Editor
Department of Biology &, CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: application of traditional and innovative methodologies to evaluate the toxic impacts derived from climate change and higher availability of classic to emergent contaminants; ecotoxicity of traditional elements, pharmaceuticals, carbon based nanoparticles, micro and nanoplastics, regulated and emergent toxins in aquatic systems; interactions and effects of different climate change scenarios with emergent pollutants; the impacts of climate change on bivalves infection; performance of native vs invasive species: ecological, socio-economic and health concerns
Dr. Luísa Magalhães
Guest Editor
CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: influence of parasites in bivalves; impacts of parasites infection on population sustainability; parasites and climate change factors; impacts of such mixture of factors on marine bivalves

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

At present, a vast variety of substances arrives to the aquatic environment, including newly developed chemicals, usually called contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), posing a risk to a wide diversity of endogenous marine biological resources with ecological and economical relevance. For decades, classical pollutants (as trace metals) have been monitored worldwide, but regarding CEC studies, information on their environmental concentrations is still limited. Among CECs, we can consider (i) nanomaterials (NMs), (ii) pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), (iii) micro- and nanoplastics, and (iv) elements from waste of electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste). Their ubiquity in the aquatic environment and/or the lack of information regarding their potential toxicity explain the concern over these contaminants. Due to their unique physical and chemical properties, NMs have been used worldwide in different fields, constituting potential threats to the environment. As a consequence, USA and EU policies’ recommendations point out a critical need for NM risk assessment. PPCPs, also included in CECs, have been the target of an increasing amount of data published on their occurrence, and a high number of these substances are already included in the Watch List adopted by the European Union (EU). Plastic pollution constitutes an additional stressor to the marine systems already under other sources of anthropogenic pressure. Understanding the real risks of micro(nano)plastics to marine wildlife requires knowledge on environmental levels and pathways of exposure, which is still in its infancy, especially in what concerns marine invertebrates. Adding to these CECs the technological advances and economic development, the multiplicity and wide variety of applications of electrical and electronic equipment has increased, with the number of end-of-life products, known as e-waste, also increasing. Nevertheless, knowledge on environmental concentrations and risks at coastal systems is scarce.

Alongside the impacts caused by classical and emerging pollutants, organisms in coastal ecosystems are exposed to environmental changes, such as those foreseen under climate change (CC) scenarios, which are likely to significantly affect organisms. Although it is undeniable that ongoing and forecasted changes will pose severe impairments to marine biological resources, there is still no information on organisms’ responses and on adaptive strategies to climate change-related factors that will mask or amplify the effect of CECs. Recent studies have demonstrated that CC-related factors modulate the biochemical and physiological sensitivity of aquatic organisms to different pollutants, with responses being pollutant- and species-specific, but still, limited information is available, especially regarding CECs. Furthermore, CC may also affect pollutants’ behavior and bioavailability, and hence, their bioaccumulation and consequent impacts to organisms.

The present issue will be devoted to studies regarding environmental levels of some of the most widely used abovementioned CECs, in water, sediments, and marine species; but also ecotoxicological studies exploring laboratory exposures to assess the impacts of CECs towards different marine organisms, considering actual and predicted climate change scenarios.

Dr. Rosa Freitas
Dr. Luísa Magalhães
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • marine environment
  • monitoring
  • laboratory exposures
  • toxicity
  • pharmaceuticals, rare earth elements, micro(nano)plastics
  • mixtures of pollutants, warming, acidification
  • salinity shifts

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of UV Filters in Mytilus galloprovincialis: Preliminary Data on the Acute Effects Induced by Environmentally Relevant Concentrations
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176852 - 24 Aug 2020
Ultraviolet (UV) filters are present in a broad range of personal hygiene products, which may be transported via aquatic environments and domestic wastewaters due to inefficient treating station sewage removal and direct human contact. The aim of the present study was to evaluate [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet (UV) filters are present in a broad range of personal hygiene products, which may be transported via aquatic environments and domestic wastewaters due to inefficient treating station sewage removal and direct human contact. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential effects of a UV filter, in particular benzophenone-3 (BP3) (also known as oxybenzone) on the mussel species Mytilus galloprovincialis. Mussels were exposed to this organic substance for 96 h in environmentally relevant concentrations (10, 100, and 1000 ng/L). After exposure, biomarkers related with the mussels’ metabolism and oxidative stress were evaluated. The results revealed significantly higher activity of electron transport system and energy reserves (glycogen and protein (PROT)) at the intermediate concentration of 100 ng/L, suggesting that at lower concentrations mussels’ metabolism was not activated due to low stress. Conversely, at the highest concentration (1000 ng/L), mussels were no longer able to continue to increase their metabolic activity. Higher metabolic capacity was accompanied by increased PROT content associated with increased enzyme production to activate their antioxidant system. Nevertheless, at the highest concentration, cellular damage occurred as a consequence of ineffective activation of antioxidant and biotransformation enzymes. The results of the present study address uncertainties that are fundamental to the environmental risk assessment and management of these economically important near-shore bivalves and other marine species. Although an acute exposure was performed, alterations observed indicate the negative impacts of BP3 towards marine bivalves, which could be enhanced after longer exposure periods or if mussels are simultaneously exposed to other stressors (e.g., other pollutants or climate change related factors). The present study may thus contribute to the definition of fundamental knowledge for the establishment of appropriate regulatory guidelines and practices that ensure the preservation and sustainability of biological resources, allowing for prediction and mitigation of the impacts from these compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Fate of Multistressors on Carpet Shell Clam Ruditapes decussatus: Carbon Nanoparticles and Temperature Variation
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124939 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Ruditapes decussatus is a native clam from the Southern Europe and Mediterranean area, relevant to the development of sustainable aquaculture in these regions. As sessile organisms, bivalves are likely to be exposed to chemical contaminations and environmental changes in the aquatic compartment and [...] Read more.
Ruditapes decussatus is a native clam from the Southern Europe and Mediterranean area, relevant to the development of sustainable aquaculture in these regions. As sessile organisms, bivalves are likely to be exposed to chemical contaminations and environmental changes in the aquatic compartment and are widely used as bioindicator species. Carbon-based nanomaterials (CNTs) use is increasing and, consequently, concentrations of these contaminants in aquatic systems will rise. Therefore, it is imperative to assess the potential toxic effects of such compounds and the interactions with environmental factors such as water temperature. For this, we exposed R. decussatus clams to four different water temperatures (10, 15, 20 and 25 °C) in the presence or absence of CNTs for 96 h. Different parameters related with oxidative stress status, aerobic metabolism, energy reserves and neurotoxicity were evaluated. The relationship and differences among water temperatures and contamination were highlighted by principal coordinates analysis (PCO). CNTs exposure increased oxidative damage as protein carbonylation (PC) in exposed clams at 10 °C. Higher temperatures (25 °C) were responsible for the highest redox status (ratio between reduced and oxidized glutathione, GSH/GSSG) observed as well as neurotoxic effects (acetylcholinesterase—AChE activity). Antioxidant defenses were also modulated by the combination of CNTs exposure with water temperatures, with decrease of glutathione peroxidase (GR) activity at 15 °C and of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) activity at 20 °C, when compared with unexposed clams. Clams energy reserves were not altered, probably due to the short exposure period. Overall, the combined effects of CNTs exposure and increasing water temperatures can impair R. decussatus cellular homeostasis inducing oxidative stress and damage. Full article
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