Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecotoxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2022) | Viewed by 19822

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo 27002, Spain
Interests: soil science; soil chemistry; environmental chemistry; soil fertility; soil quality; soil management and conservation; nutrient cycling; soil pollution; heavy metals in soil

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soils do not only produce food and fiber, but they also provide us with numerous ecosystem services. As such, it is of paramount importance that we maintain and improve soil health in order to enhance environmental quality and foster sustainable development. Soil is a living system, and its health can affect any aspect of the entire ecosystem health, including human health. Soil pollution adversely affects soil organisms, jeopardizing soil functions and ecosystem services, and threatens other environmental compartments, such as vegetation, the atmosphere, and surface- and ground-waters.

Pesticides and agrochemicals, fertilizers, persistent organic pollutants, composts and biosolids, heavy metals, PAHs, etc. have long been considered soil pollutants. In recent decades, emerging soil pollutants have increasingly been studied—among them, pharmaceuticals, rare earths, microplastics and nanoplastics, and engineered nanomaterials. In addition to being toxic to soil micro- and macroorganisms, soil pollutants affect plant growth and performance and can be exported to water bodies and to the food chain.

This Special Issue on “Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology” aims to gather studies covering various aspects of this topic, and we encourage scientists around the world to contribute original research papers and reviews dealing with soil ecotoxicology. Articles may include but are not limited to the following topics:
  • Toxics in the soil environment
  • Source identification of soil pollutants
  • Monitoring of soil pollutants; analytical techniques
  • Ecotoxicological risk assessment in soil
  • Bioindicators
  • Emerging pollutants in soil
  • Microplastics and nanoplastics in soils
  • Engineered nanoparticles as soil pollutants
  • Mixture toxicity
  • Ecotoxicology of aluminium in soil
  • Soil remediation
  • Nanoremediation

Dr. Maria Luisa Fernandez-Marcos
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 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. Toxics 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 2600 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

  • soil pollutants
  • pollutant monitoring
  • ecotoxicological risk assessment
  • bioindicators
  • emerging pollutants
  • nanomaterials
  • mixture toxicity
  • aluminium toxicity
  • soil remediation
  • nanoremediation

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

16 pages, 3943 KiB  
Article
Commercial Fungicide Toxic Effects on Terrestrial Non-Target Species Might Be Underestimated When Based Solely on Active Ingredient Toxicity and Standard Earthworm Tests
by Gabriella Jorge-Escudero, Mariana Pérez Polanco, Jan Erland Lagerlöf, Carlos Alberto Pérez and Diana Míguez
Toxics 2022, 10(9), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10090488 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2114
Abstract
The ecosystem services provided by earthworms are lost when land management reduces their populations, hence, the importance of thorough assessments of management effects on this group. The present study aimed to: (1) review the possible influence of other ingredients within the formulations of [...] Read more.
The ecosystem services provided by earthworms are lost when land management reduces their populations, hence, the importance of thorough assessments of management effects on this group. The present study aimed to: (1) review the possible influence of other ingredients within the formulations of two commercial fungicides; (2) assess the sublethal effects of these commercial fungicides on Eisenia fetida; and (3) assess the acute lethal effects of one commercial fungicide on both Glossoscolex rione and E. fetida. Examining all components of the studied commercial formulations revealed that alongside the toxic active ingredients are other ingredients that are equally as or more toxic than the former and may even be in higher concentrations. The inhibition concentration of 10% of E. fetida’s progeny (IC10) was estimated at 133 mg kg−1 for PROSARO® and 1544 mg kg−1 for SWING PLUS®. Both fungicides showed an effect of hormesis on the progeny. In this first toxicity study with G. rione, it was found that this species is more sensitive to PROSARO® than E. fetida, with preliminary 14 day-lethal concentrations of 285 mg kg−1 for the former and >1000 mg kg−1 for the latter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 512 KiB  
Article
Co-Exposure of Nanopolystyrene and Other Environmental Contaminants—Their Toxic Effects on the Survival and Reproduction of Enchytraeus crypticus
by Luís A. Mendes, Angela Barreto, Joana Santos, Mónica J. B. Amorim and Vera L. Maria
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10040193 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Plastics in all shapes and sizes have become widespread across ecosystems due to intense anthropogenic use. As such, they can interact with other contaminants that accumulate in the terrestrial environment, such as pharmaceuticals, metals or nanomaterials (NMs). These interactions can potentiate combined toxic [...] Read more.
Plastics in all shapes and sizes have become widespread across ecosystems due to intense anthropogenic use. As such, they can interact with other contaminants that accumulate in the terrestrial environment, such as pharmaceuticals, metals or nanomaterials (NMs). These interactions can potentiate combined toxic effects in the exposed soil organisms, with hazardous long-term consequences to the full ecosystem. In the present study, a terrestrial model species, Enchytraeus crypticus (oligochaeta), was exposed through contaminated soil with nanopolystyrene (representative of nanoplastics (NPls)), alone and in combination with diphenhydramine (DPH, representative of pharmaceuticals), silver nitrate (AgNO3, representative of metals) and vanadium nanoparticles (VNPs, representative of NMs). AgNO3 and VNPs decreased E. crypticus reproduction at 50 mg/kg, regardless of the presence of NPls. Moreover, at the same concentration, both single and combined VNP exposures decreased the E. crypticus survival. On the other hand, DPH and NPls individually caused no effect on organisms’ survival and reproduction. However, the combination of DPH (10 and 50 mg/kg) with 300 mg NPls/kg induced a decrease in reproduction, showing a relevant interaction between the two contaminants (synergism). Our findings indicate that the NPls can play a role as vectors for other contaminants and can potentiate the effects of pharmaceuticals, such as DPH, even at low and sub-lethal concentrations, highlighting the negative impact of mixtures of contaminants (including NPls) on soil systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2509 KiB  
Article
Peculiarities of the Edaphic Cyanobacterium Nostoc linckia Culture Response and Heavy Metal Accumulation from Copper-Containing Multimetal Systems
by Liliana Cepoi, Inga Zinicovscaia, Ana Valuta, Liviu Codreanu, Ludmila Rudi, Tatiana Chiriac, Nikita Yushin, Dmitrii Grozdov and Alexandra Peshkova
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10030113 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
Soil and water pollution is a major problem that has a negative impact on ecosystems and human health in particular. In the bioremediation processes, the application of photosynthetic microorganisms, including cyanobacteria, is a direction of action addressed with increasing frequency in the context [...] Read more.
Soil and water pollution is a major problem that has a negative impact on ecosystems and human health in particular. In the bioremediation processes, the application of photosynthetic microorganisms, including cyanobacteria, is a direction of action addressed with increasing frequency in the context of further development and improvement of environmentally friendly techniques needed for detoxification of soils and waters polluted with low concentrations of toxic elements, since they pose a challenge for traditional treatment methods. In the present study, the removal of copper and other metal ions from multielement systems by three generations of Nostoc linckia is discussed. Changes in the biochemical composition of the nostoc biomass, which accumulates metal ions, were monitored. Neutron activation analysis was applied to assess Cu, Fe, Ni, and Zn accumulation by biomass, as well as to determine the biochemical composition of biomass after specific biochemical methods were used. The capacity of the accumulation of copper and other metal ions from multi-elemental systems by cyanobacteria Nostoc linckia was high and increased over two cycles of biomass growth in the systems Cu-Fe-Ni and Cu-Fe-Zn and over three cycles in Cu-Fe and Cu-Fe-Ni-Zn systems. It constituted 1720–10,600 µg metal/g depending on the system and cycle of cultivation. The accumulation of Fe, Ni, and Zn also increased over the generations of nostoc. The process of metal accumulation was demonstrated by a significant change in the biomass biochemical composition. Cyanobacteria Nostoc linckia possess a pronounced capacity of copper and other metal ion accumulation from multimetal systems and showed an increased resistance in environments polluted with heavy metals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 673 KiB  
Article
Toxicokinetics of Chromium in Enchytraeus crypticus (Oligochaeta)
by Fátima C. F. Santos, Rudo A. Verweij, Cornelis A. M. van Gestel and Mónica J. B. Amorim
Toxics 2022, 10(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10020082 - 9 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2126
Abstract
Chromium is naturally occurring, but emission from anthropogenic sources can lead to increased soil concentrations. Information on its toxicokinetics is essential in order to understand the time needed to reach toxicity and the mechanisms of uptake/elimination. In this study the toxicokinetics of Cr(III) [...] Read more.
Chromium is naturally occurring, but emission from anthropogenic sources can lead to increased soil concentrations. Information on its toxicokinetics is essential in order to understand the time needed to reach toxicity and the mechanisms of uptake/elimination. In this study the toxicokinetics of Cr(III) was evaluated using the soil standard species Enchytraeus crypticus. The animals were exposed to 180 mg Cr/kg dry soil, a sublethal concentration, in LUFA 2.2 natural soil. OECD guideline 317 was followed, with a 14-day uptake phase in spiked soil followed by a 14-day elimination in clean soil. Exposure to Cr led to fast uptake and elimination, with Ku = 0.012 kgsoil/kgorganism/day and Ke = 0.57 day−1. The bioaccumulation factor was 0.022, and DT50 for elimination was 1.2 days. The concentration of Cr reached an internal equilibrium in the animals after 10 days. Transfer to clean soil allowed body Cr concentrations to return to background levels after approximately 7 days. E. crypticus seemed able to efficiently regulate internal Cr concentrations by actively eliminating Cr (an essential element). Although Ku and Ke deviated from the values reported in other studies for other soil invertebrates, the bioaccumulation factors were similar. These findings show the importance of toxicokinetic studies in evaluating toxicity based on internal metal concentrations that can more accurately represent the bioavailable concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 2828 KiB  
Article
Effects of Soil Quality on the Microbial Community Structure of Poorly Evolved Mediterranean Soils
by Antonio Camacho, César Mora, Antonio Picazo, Carlos Rochera, Alba Camacho-Santamans, Daniel Morant, Luis Roca-Pérez, José Joaquín Ramos-Miras, José A. Rodríguez-Martín and Rafael Boluda
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10010014 - 3 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
Physical and chemical alterations may affect the microbiota of soils as much as the specific presence of toxic pollutants. The relationship between the microbial diversity patterns and the soil quality in a Mediterranean context is studied here to test the hypothesis that soil [...] Read more.
Physical and chemical alterations may affect the microbiota of soils as much as the specific presence of toxic pollutants. The relationship between the microbial diversity patterns and the soil quality in a Mediterranean context is studied here to test the hypothesis that soil microbiota is strongly affected by the level of anthropogenic soil alteration. Our aim has been to determine the potential effect of organic matter loss and associated changes in soil microbiota of poorly evolved Mediterranean soils (Leptosols and Regosols) suffering anthropogenic stress (i.e., cropping and deforestation). The studied soils correspond to nine different sites which differed in some features, such as the parent material, vegetation cover, or soil use and types. A methodological approach has been used that combines the classical physical and chemical study of soils with molecular characterization of the microbial assemblages using specific primers for Bacteria, Archaea and ectomycorrhizal Fungi. In agreement with previous studies within the region, physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soils varied notably depending on these factors. Microbial biomass, soil organic matter, and moisture, decreased in soils as deforestation increased, even in those partially degraded to substitution shrubland. Major differences were observed in the microbial community structure between the mollic and rendzic Leptosols found in forest soils, and the skeletic and dolomitic Leptosols in substitute shrublands, as well as with the skeletic and dolomitic Leptosols and calcaric Regosols in dry croplands. Forest soils displayed a higher microbial richness (OTU’s number) and biomass, as well as more stable and connected ecological networks. Here, we point out how human activities such as agriculture and other effects of deforestation led to changes in soil properties, thus affecting its quality driving changes in their microbial diversity and biomass patterns. Our findings demonstrate the potential risk that the replacement of forest areas may have in the conservation of the soil’s microbiota pool, both active and passive, which are basic for the maintenance of biogeochemical processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1510 KiB  
Communication
First Attempt to Couple Proteomics with the AhR Reporter Gene Bioassay in Soil Pollution Monitoring and Assessment
by Claudia Landi, Giulia Liberatori, Pietro Cotugno, Lucrezia Sturba, Maria Luisa Vannuccini, Federica Massari, Daniela Valeria Miniero, Angelo Tursi, Enxhi Shaba, Peter A. Behnisch, Alfonso Carleo, Fabrizio Di Giuseppe, Stefania Angelucci, Luca Bini and Ilaria Corsi
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10010009 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2231
Abstract
A topsoil sample obtained from a highly industrialized area (Taranto, Italy) was tested on the DR-CALUX® cell line and the exposed cells processed with proteomic and bioinformatics analyses. The presence of polyhalogenated compounds in the topsoil extracts was confirmed by GC-MS/MS analysis. [...] Read more.
A topsoil sample obtained from a highly industrialized area (Taranto, Italy) was tested on the DR-CALUX® cell line and the exposed cells processed with proteomic and bioinformatics analyses. The presence of polyhalogenated compounds in the topsoil extracts was confirmed by GC-MS/MS analysis. Proteomic analysis of the cells exposed to the topsoil extracts identified 43 differential proteins. Enrichment analysis highlighted biological processes, such as the cellular response to a chemical stimulus, stress, and inorganic substances; regulation of translation; regulation of apoptotic process; and the response to organonitrogen compounds in light of particular drugs and compounds, extrapolated by bioinformatics all linked to the identified protein modifications. Our results confirm and reflect the complex epidemiological situation occurring among Taranto inhabitants and underline the need to further investigate the presence and sources of inferred chemicals in soils. The combination of bioassays and proteomics reveals a more complex scenario of chemicals able to affect cellular pathways and leading to toxicities rather than those identified by only bioassays and related chemical analysis. This combined approach turns out to be a promising tool for soil risk assessment and deserves further investigation and developments for soil monitoring and risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 933 KiB  
Article
Mercury Accumulation in Commercial Varieties of Oryza sativa L. Cultivated in Soils of La Mojana Region, Colombia
by Germán Enamorado-Montes, Brayan Reino-Causil, Iván Urango-Cardenas, Siday Marrugo-Madrid and José Marrugo-Negrete
Toxics 2021, 9(11), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9110304 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1599
Abstract
The Hg accumulation in different commercial varieties of Oryzasativa L. was evaluated in the region of La Mojana, Colombia, where rice cultivation has become the staple food of the population living in this area. The varieties studied were Fedearroz-473 (FA473), Fedearroz-2000 (FA2000), [...] Read more.
The Hg accumulation in different commercial varieties of Oryzasativa L. was evaluated in the region of La Mojana, Colombia, where rice cultivation has become the staple food of the population living in this area. The varieties studied were Fedearroz-473 (FA473), Fedearroz-2000 (FA2000), and Fedearroz-Mocari (FAM). Soil spiked at different Hg levels was evaluated, (130, 800, and 1500 µg kg−1) using a 32 factorial design that consisted of 3 (rice varieties) × 3 (Hg contents). The biomass, 1000-grain weight, and the accumulation of Hg in the roots, grains, and husks were determined. The highest biomass was found in the FA473 (308.76 ± 108.26 g), and the lowest was found in FAM (144.04 ± 26.45 g) in the 1500 µg kg−1 Hg soil in both cases. The weight per 1000-grains decreased significantly in the soil containing 800 µg of Hg kg−1. Hg accumulation in the organs of the evaluated varieties was higher in the roots, followed by in the husks and grains. The Hg in the rice grains of the evaluated varieties presented levels close to the permissible limit of the Chinese standard (20 μg Hg kg−1) in the evaluated soils and were only exceeded by FA473. Although in natural soil concentrations, the non-cancer health risk (HQ) from rice consumption was lower for FA473 and FAM; Hg enrichment in the soil of La Mojana region may endanger the health of future populations due to their high consumption of rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

7 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
Potential for Interspecies Toxicity Estimation in Soil Invertebrates
by Mace G. Barron and Faith N. Lambert
Toxics 2021, 9(10), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100265 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Interspecies correlation estimation (ICE) models are linear regressions that predict toxicity to a species with few data using a known toxicity value in a surrogate species. ICE models are well established for estimating toxicity to fish and aquatic invertebrates but have not been [...] Read more.
Interspecies correlation estimation (ICE) models are linear regressions that predict toxicity to a species with few data using a known toxicity value in a surrogate species. ICE models are well established for estimating toxicity to fish and aquatic invertebrates but have not been generally developed or applied to soil organisms. To facilitate the development of ICE models for soil invertebrates, a database of single chemical toxicity values was compiled from knowledgebases and reports that included 853 records encompassing 192 chemicals and 12 species. Most toxicity data for single chemicals tested in soil media were for species of earthworms, with only limited data for other species and taxa. ICE models were developed for eleven separate species pairs as least squares log-linear regressions of acute toxicity values of the same chemicals tested in both the surrogate and predicted species of soil organisms. Model uncertainty was assessed using leave one out cross-validation as the fold difference between a predicted and measured toxicity value. ICE models showed high accuracy within order (e.g., earthworm to earthworm), but less prediction accuracy in the two across-taxa models (Arthropoda to Annelida and the inverse). This study provides a proof-of-concept demonstration that ICE models can be developed for soil invertebrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)

Review

Jump to: Research

35 pages, 494 KiB  
Review
Potentially Toxic Substances and Associated Risks in Soils Affected by Wildfires: A Review
by Maria Luisa Fernandez-Marcos
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10010031 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2913
Abstract
The presence of toxic substances is one of the major causes of degradation of soil quality. Wildfires, besides affecting various chemical, physical, and biological soil properties, produce a mixture of potentially toxic substances which can reach the soil and water bodies and cause [...] Read more.
The presence of toxic substances is one of the major causes of degradation of soil quality. Wildfires, besides affecting various chemical, physical, and biological soil properties, produce a mixture of potentially toxic substances which can reach the soil and water bodies and cause harm to these media. This review intends to summarise the current knowledge on the generation by wildfires of potentially toxic substances, their effects on soil organisms, and other associated risks, addressing the effects of fire on metal mobilisation, the pyrolytic production of potentially toxic compounds, and the detoxifying effect of charcoal. Numerous studies ascertained inhibitory effects of ash on seed germination and seedling growth as well as its toxicity to soil and aquatic organisms. Abundant publications addressed the mobilisation of heavy metals and trace elements by fire, including analyses of total concentrations, speciation, availability, and risk of exportation to water bodies. Many publications studied the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and other organic pollutants in soils after fire, their composition, decline over time, the risk of contamination of surface and ground waters, and their toxicity to plants, soil, and water organisms. Finally, the review addresses the possible detoxifying role of charcoal in soils affected by fire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Soil Ecotoxicology)
Back to TopTop