Special Issue "Multiple Stressors Effects on Soil and Freshwater Ecosystems, in a Climate Change Scenario"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Patrícia Palma
Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences (ICT-Evora)/Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Portugal
Interests: ecological and chemical status of water bodies; risk assessment of emergent contaminants; ecotoxicological tools

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Degradation of ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales occurs through multiple stressors, resulting in a loss of biodiversity and in an impoverishment of ecosystem services. Nowadays, the preservation of the structure and function of ecosystems is essential to ensure economic, cultural, and recreational benefits for the human population and to guarantee the maintenance of ecological balance with the protection of biodiversity. The global change scenario, with the appearance of new stressors and changes at climate patterns (including drought, temperature increase and intensification of heavy rainfalls), may negatively influence the quality of soil and freshwater systems, incrementing its scarcity and degradability. The main goal of this Special Issue is to bring together current research and reviews looking into the dynamic and impacts of emergent contaminants and/or potentially toxic metals on freshwater and soil ecosystems, from the perspective of climate change. Submissions addressing water and soil quality studies, ecological and ecotoxicological indicators, risk assessment methodologies, and environmental prioritization studies are also welcome.

Dr. Patrícia Palma
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 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. Water 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 1800 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.


  • emergent contaminants
  • potentially toxic metals
  • freshwater quality
  • soil degradability
  • environmental risk assessment
  • ecological indicators
  • ecotoxicological tools
  • climate change

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Risk mapping of salinization and sodification related to irrigation in Mediterranean areas
Authors: Alexandra Tomaz 1,2, *, Patrícia Palma 1,3, Sofia Fialho 1, Ana Lima 1, Maria João Costa 3, Paula Alvarenga 4, Maksim Iakunin 3, Miguel Potes 3 and Rui Salgado 3,5
Affiliation: 1 Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Beja. R. Pedro Soares S/N, 7800-295 Beja, Portugal
2 GeoBioTec, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Campus da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
3 Instituto de Ciências da Terra (ICT), Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
4 LEAF – Centro de Investigação em Agronomia, Alimentos, Ambiente e Paisagem, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
5 Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
Abstract: Salinization and sodification are important processes of soil degradation affecting irrigated lands. A large proportion of the global irrigated area is affected by some degree of soil salinity or sodicity caused by the intensification of irrigation. The increase of the frequency of adverse climatic conditions, like high temperatures and variations in precipitation patterns caused by climate change will likely amplify these processes in arid, semi-arid, and Mediterranean areas. The use of integrated approaches for the spatial and temporal prediction of the risk of salinization and sodification in irrigated areas is of great value for helping in decision-making regarding land uses management and choice of more suitable agricultural practices. In this study, based on key indicators and criteria for the assessment of irrigation-induced salinization processes, we delineated a methodology for mapping the risk of soil salinity and sodicity in irrigated areas. For this purpose, water quality parameters, soil information, climate and land use data, were used. The application of this model to a real scenario (a Mediterranean irrigated area in Southern Portugal) showed that simple approaches based on readily available data and supported by appropriate criteria have the potential to be used as early warning systems, allowing for the sustainable management of irrigated lands.
Keywords: soil salinity; soil sodicity; water quality for irrigation; salinization risk; irrigation areas

Title: Water-sediment physicochemical dynamics in a large reservoir in the Mediterranean under multiple stressors
Authors: Patrícia Palma 1,2,*, Alexandra Penha 2,3, Maria Helena Novais 2,4, Sofia Fialho 1, Ana Lima 1, Clarisse Mourinha 1, Paula Alvarenga 5, Jorge Santos 6, Anabela Rosado 3, Maksim Iakunin 2, Gonçalo Rodrigues 2, Miguel Potes 2, Maria João Costa 2,7 Manuela Morais 2,3,7, Rui Salgado 2,7
Affiliation: 1 Department of Technologies and Applied Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Beja 7801-295, Portugal
2 ICT, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Évora, Rua Romão Ramalho 59, Évora, Portugal
3 Water Laboratory, University of Évora, P.I.T.E. Rua da Barba Rala No. 1, 7005-345 Évora, Portugal
4 Renewable Energies Chair, University of Évora, Casa Cordovil, Rua D. Augusto Eduardo Nunes nº 7, Évora, 7000-651, Portugal
5 Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture, and Food Research Unit (LEAF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda 1349-017, Lisboa, Portugal
6 Department of Mathematics, ECT, University of Évora, Rua Romão Ramalho n° 59, 7000-671 Évora, Portugal
7 Science and Technology School, University of Évora, Évora, Portugal
Abstract: Nowadays, the Mediterranean freshwater systems face the threat of water scarcity, along with other multiple stressors (e.g. organic and inorganic pollution, geomorphological alterations, invasive species), with the respective impairment of the ecosystems services. All these stressors have been speeding up, due to climate variability and land cover/ land uses changes, turning them into a big challenge for the water management plans. The present study analyses the physicochemical and phytoplankton dynamics of a large reservoir, at the Mediterranean region (Alqueva reservoir, Southern Portugal), under diverse meteorological conditions and land cover/land use real scenarios. The most important stressors were identified and necessary tools and information for a more effective management plan were provided. Physical and chemical parameters, some hazardous substances, such as potentially toxic metals and chlorophyll a, were analyzed in the water column and in the sediments, to understand the reservoir dynamics. Changes in these parameters were further related with the observed variations in the meteorological conditions and in the land cover/land uses. The increase of nutrients and ions in the water column, and of potentially toxic metals in the sediments, were more obvious in periods of severe drought. Further, the augment of nutrients, potentially caused by the intensification of agricultural activities, may indicate an increased risk of water eutrophication. The results highlight that a holistic approach is essential for a better water resources management.
Keywords: Alqueva reservoir; Climate variability, Land cover/ land uses changes; Water-sediment dynamics

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