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Recent Advances on Phytotechnologies for Water Treatment and Management

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 9293

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR), University of Porto, Novo Edifício do Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos, S/N, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
2. Institute of Science and Environment, University of St. Joseph, Rua de Londres 106, Macao 999078, China
Interests: water and wastewater treatment; environmental biotechnology; environmental engineering; phytomanagement; bioremediation; phytoremediation; nature-based solutions; freshwater ecosystem conservation and restoration; education for sustainability
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Guest Editor
Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF), Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: environmental biotechnology; phytoremediation; phytomanagement; microbial-assisted phytotechnological approaches; plant–microbe interactions; soil fertility; development of bioinoculant formulations; effects of climate change and related abiotic stresses on plant growth and development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Interests: water treatment technology; phytotechnology; constructed wetlands; biofilm reactors; emerging contaminants; water reuse
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The way in which the occupation of territories has developed and cities have evolved has led to a disruption in natural flows, especially in the water cycle. Currently, we are facing processes of loss, fragmentation, and discontinuity of habitats in urban and rural areas. In addition, their vulnerability is being exacerbated by the impacts of extreme weather events, such as heat waves and rainfall. Cities have become more impermeable and urbanized and the rural landscape is often subject to cultural intensification.

Phytotechnologies can operate at different scales and rely on nature, particularly plants and associated micro-organisms, to generate environmental (e.g., biodiversity conservation/promotion), economic (e.g., job creation), and social (e.g., recreational green areas) benefits. In addition, they play important roles in mitigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures, can help to strengthen ecosystems in order to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change, and contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. The present Special Issue will focus on phytotechnologies used to treat and manage water.

The strategy for increasing the water resilience of territories involves the conversion of mono-functional areas to multi-functional areas using phytotechnologies with the support, if necessary, of existing infrastructures. Within this scope, the purpose of this Special Issue is to highlight studies that describe recent advances in phytotechnologies for water treatment and management.

We would like to invite you to contribute to an important Special Issue of Sustainability focused on the advances of Phytotechnologies for water treatment and management in urban and rural landscapes.

The way in which the occupation of the territory developed and the cities evolved led to a disruption in natural flows, especially in the water cycle. This has been also exacerbated by climate change, that affects water quality and availability. Phytotechnologies by utilizing natural processes to reduce environmental risk are key players to promote environmental pollution cleanup. The strategy for the territory’s resilience involves the transition of mono-functional to multifunctional areas using phytotechnologies. We welcome original research papers, case studies, and systematic reviews on one or more of the following topics:

  • phytotechnologies that have been applied to water treatment or contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • phytotechnologies as multifunctional ecosystem service providers;
  • solutions for water reuse and recycling through the application of phytotechnologies;
  • phytomanagement approaches applied to wastewater; and
  • the latest trends in phytotechnologies as nature-based solutions for urban and rural territories.

Dr. Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros
Dr. Sofia Pereira
Dr. Pedro N. Carvalho
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • water resources
  • water management, water treatment technologies
  • environmental pollution
  • phytotechnology
  • nature-based solutions
  • ecosystem services
  • sustainable urban development
  • sustainable rural development

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3222 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Potential of Mangrove Phytoremediation for Mitigating Coastal Water Eutrophication in Macao SAR: A Field and Mesocosm Study
by Karen Araño Tagulao, Wai Ian Lai, Alexandre Lebel and Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 7830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15107830 - 10 May 2023
Viewed by 1671
Abstract
Eutrophication due to anthropogenic nutrient inputs is a serious issue in many coastal and marine environments. Mangrove plants form unique intertidal forests at the edge of the land and sea, forming multifunctional ecosystems that provide an array of services, such as the phytoremediation [...] Read more.
Eutrophication due to anthropogenic nutrient inputs is a serious issue in many coastal and marine environments. Mangrove plants form unique intertidal forests at the edge of the land and sea, forming multifunctional ecosystems that provide an array of services, such as the phytoremediation of pollutants. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the levels of nutrients (PO43−, NO2, NO3, NH4+) in the coastal waters around Macao SAR, in areas with and without mangroves, in order to assess their phytoremediation potential. The work was reinforced through a mesocosm experiment with various treatments with and without mangroves. The results of the field investigations indicated a high degree of eutrophication in the coastal waters of Macao, with average values of 0.30 mg/L, 0.09 mg/L, 23.8 mg/L, and 0.36 mg/L of phosphate, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonium, respectively. There were no apparent significant differences in the levels of nutrients in areas with and without mangroves, which was most likely caused by the conditions during sampling as well as the density of the mangrove forest. The mesocosm experiments, however, revealed a clearer effect of the presence of mangroves (and sediments) in the degradation of nutrients. Therefore, it is highly recommended to plant more mangroves to help mitigate coastal water eutrophication in the area as a phytoremediation approach. Full article
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13 pages, 2901 KiB  
Article
Influence of Green Roofs on the Design of a Public Stormwater Drainage System: A Case Study
by Flora Silva, Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros, Guilherme Valle, Pedro Pinto, António Albuquerque and Ana Maria Antão-Geraldes
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5762; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075762 - 25 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
In the face of excessive soil sealing and the occurrence of heavy rainfall in short time periods leading to flooding, it is becoming increasingly urgent to implement public resilient stormwater drainage systems. Green roofs have several advantages at different levels, of which this [...] Read more.
In the face of excessive soil sealing and the occurrence of heavy rainfall in short time periods leading to flooding, it is becoming increasingly urgent to implement public resilient stormwater drainage systems. Green roofs have several advantages at different levels, of which this paper highlights the ability to retain rainwater, to reduce problems with flooding in peaks of rainfall, and to increase in urban green infrastructure with all the benefits associated. In this sense, green roofs’ impact on the design of a public stormwater drainage system and their implications for urban stormwater management was analyzed when compared with conventional roofs. If green roofs are used on the buildings in the study urban area, which has about 2.1 ha and is located in rainfall region B of Portugal, then the weighted average runoff coefficient (Cm) for the study area is 0.59. This scenario leads to a reduction in the maximum flow rate of 15.89% compared to the use of conventional roofs, with a Cm of 0.70 for the same area. Thus, the use of green roofs instead of conventional roofs can have positive impacts on the surface runoff in urban areas and contribute to more sustainable urban drainage. Full article
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17 pages, 7709 KiB  
Article
A Study of Microfiber Phytoremediation in Vertical Hydroponics
by Naiara dos Santos, Dominic Clyde-Smith, Ying Qi, Fan Gao, Rosa Busquets and Luiza C. Campos
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 2851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15042851 - 4 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Microfibers (MFs) are one of the most prevalent microplastic (MP) sub-groups found in the aquatic environment released from many sources, including household laundry. MPs pose risks to the growth rate of terrestrial/aquatic biota and through biomagnification. Although MFs can be ingested by humans, [...] Read more.
Microfibers (MFs) are one of the most prevalent microplastic (MP) sub-groups found in the aquatic environment released from many sources, including household laundry. MPs pose risks to the growth rate of terrestrial/aquatic biota and through biomagnification. Although MFs can be ingested by humans, their toxic effects and potential impact on public health are not yet clearly understood. Moreover, the removal of MPs, including MFs, during wastewater treatment is a challenge, since treatment plants are not designed to collect them. Therefore, this work aims to study the potential of the in situ phytoremediation of microfibers from a domestic washing machine effluent by growing barley in a vertical hydroponic system. The temporal variation in barley growth, water quality parameters, length distribution of MFs, and their removal were evaluated over 4 weeks. We investigated the MFs’ interaction with two systems: without barley (System NP) (used as a control) and with barley (System P). The results show the barley growth is negatively affected at the end of 4 weeks, mainly by the accumulation of phosphate and the presence of fungi. However, the level of dissolved oxygen in System P is satisfactory and the presence of MFs decreases considerably (mainly for MFs > 600 µm) from different interactions with the barley roots. These interactions were corroborated by microscopy images. The total removal of MFs through the hydroponic system was 52% in week 2, decreasing to 42%. This is the first time that the removal of MFs has been evaluated using vertical hydroponics, which demonstrates that this phytoremediation system can be used at the household level. It also shows that vertical hydroponics, as an experimental methodology, for the analyses of MFs’ impacts on plant health has merit. It is expected that this study will contribute to new investigations of MF removal by green technologies. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 1979 KiB  
Review
Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Behavior in Constructed Wetlands Treating Sewage: A Critical Review
by Naomi Monsalves, Ana María Leiva, Gloria Gómez and Gladys Vidal
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148524 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
The main objective of this review is to evaluate the performance of constructed wetlands (CWs) used to reduce antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) during sewage treatment. To accomplish this objective, statistical and correlation analyses were performed using published data to determine the influence of operational [...] Read more.
The main objective of this review is to evaluate the performance of constructed wetlands (CWs) used to reduce antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) during sewage treatment. To accomplish this objective, statistical and correlation analyses were performed using published data to determine the influence of operational and design parameters on ARG reduction in CWs. The effects of design and operational parameters, such as different CW configurations, seasonality, monoculture and polyculture, support medium, and hydraulic retention time (HRT), on ARG removals, were analyzed. A comparison of ARG reduction under different CW configurations showed that the hybrid configuration of surface flow (SF)–vertical subsurface flow (VSSF) achieved the highest reductions, with values of 1.55 ulog. In this case, aeration is considered an important factor to reduce ARGs in CWs, and it should be considered in future studies. However, statistical analyses showed that the ARG reductions under different CW configurations were not significant (p > 0.05). The same behavior was observed when the effects of operational factors on ARG reductions were analyzed (p > 0.05). The results of this study show that CWs are not optimal technologies to reduce ARGs in sewage. The combination of CWs with advanced wastewater technologies can be a solution for enhancing ARG reduction and reducing the spread of antibiotic resistance. Full article
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