Special Issue "Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Oceans and Coastal Zones".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Monica Bini
Website
Guest Editor
Earth Sciences Department, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: geoarchaeology; coastal geomorphology; climate change; human impact; Anthropocene
Dr. Veronica Rossi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: quaternary stratigraphy; palaeoecology; sequence stratigraphy; facies analysis; geoarchaeology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal environments, including lagoons, bays, estuaries, and wetlands, represent valuable resources in terms of both socioeconomic interest and cultural-natural heritage. However, these areas placed at the border between land and sea are inevitably at the forefront against the threat of global climate change and their complex dynamics and resilience strategies have only been partially understood so far.

Nevertheless, the high sensitivity of coastal environments to even subtle changes in climate conditions and anthropogenic activities, operating at various timescales (from millennial to sub-centennial), makes them exceptional archives where critical information about both present and past processes are stored.

Recent advances in field observation, laboratory techniques, and numerical modeling, as well as the continuous improvement in remote sensing technology, have enabled the reconstruction of past coastal landscapes and helped to decipher the main external forcing factors with an increasing degree of confidence. These lessons from the past are strategic for a robust estimation of future scenarios.

This Special Issue is open to research papers on various aspects of climate and human impact on coastal environments, derived from different lines of evidence including geomorphological, stratigraphic, geochemical, ecological, and microbiological data.

We welcome original research papers as well as reviews. The submission of interdisciplinary studies is especially encouraged.

Dr.  Monica Bini
Dr. Veronica Rossi
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. 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.

Keywords

  • Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstructions;
  • Anthropic pressure (contaminants, plastic, water regulation, etc.);
  • Coastal erosion;
  • Lagoons/wetlands evolution and preservation;
  • Drivers of landscape change and possible future trends;
  • Effects of climate change in the past and possible future trends

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Massive Influx of Pelagic Sargassum spp. on the Coasts of the Mexican Caribbean 2014–2020: Challenges and Opportunities
Water 2020, 12(10), 2908; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102908 - 18 Oct 2020
Abstract
Since late 2014, the Mexican Caribbean coast has periodically received massive, atypical influxes of pelagic Sargassum spp. (sargasso). Negative impacts associated with these influxes include mortality of nearshore benthic flora and fauna, beach erosion, pollution, decreasing tourism and high management costs. To understand [...] Read more.
Since late 2014, the Mexican Caribbean coast has periodically received massive, atypical influxes of pelagic Sargassum spp. (sargasso). Negative impacts associated with these influxes include mortality of nearshore benthic flora and fauna, beach erosion, pollution, decreasing tourism and high management costs. To understand the dynamics of the sargasso influx, we used Landsat 8 imagery (from 2016 to mid-2020) to record the coverage of sargasso in the sea off the Mexican Caribbean coastline, with a maximum reported in September 2018. Satellite image analysis also showed local differences in the quantity of beached sargasso along the coastline. Over the years, good practice for collection on the beach and for off-shore collection of sargasso have been established through trial and error, and the Mexican Government and hotel industry have spent millions of dollars on removal and off-shore detention of sargasso. Notwithstanding, sargasso also has various properties that could be harnessed in local industries. The stimulation of local industrial growth would offer alternatives to the dependence on tourism, as a circular economy, based on sargasso, is developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Sedimentological, Mineralogical and Geochemical Features of Late Quaternary Sediment Profiles from the Southern Tuscany Hg Mercury District (Italy): Evidence for the Presence of Pre-Industrial Mercury and Arsenic Concentrations
Water 2020, 12(7), 1998; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071998 - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Southern Tuscany (Italy) is an important metallogenic district that hosts relevant S-polymetallic deposits that have intensely been exploited for centuries. Consequently, potential toxic elements, such as Hg and As, are widely distributed in the surrounding environment. In this paper, an extensive sedimentological, mineralogical [...] Read more.
Southern Tuscany (Italy) is an important metallogenic district that hosts relevant S-polymetallic deposits that have intensely been exploited for centuries. Consequently, potential toxic elements, such as Hg and As, are widely distributed in the surrounding environment. In this paper, an extensive sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical study of two Late Quaternary sediment profiles, partially outcropping along the coast of southern Tuscany (Ansedonia area), was carried out to evaluate the contents and mobility of Hg and As with the aims to contribute to the definition of the geochemical baseline of southern Tuscany before the human intervention and evaluate the potential dispersion of these harmful elements. The sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical (major elements) features revealed that the studied profiles are mostly related to the local geological characteristics and the Quaternary geological history of the area. The concentrations and the normalized patterns of trace and rare earth elements highlighted the absence of any anthropogenic activity. This implies that the studied samples are to be regarded as good proxies for evaluating the geochemical baseline of southern Tuscany before the intense mining activity. The enrichment factors (EF) of most trace elements were indeed lower or close to 2, indicating a variability close to the average concentration of the Upper Continental Crust (UCC), while other elements slightly enriched, such as Pb, were in agreement with the natural baseline reported for southern Tuscany. Mercury and As displayed EF values >40 when compared to the average contents of UCC, although they decrease down to 4 when compared to the suggested baseline for southern Tuscany. The higher Hg and As contents detected in this study, inferred to natural sources, evidenced (i) the great natural variability occurring in largely mineralized areas and (ii) the importance of estimating reference environmental parameters in order to avoid misleading interpretations of the detected anomalies. Moreover, the results of leaching test on sediment samples denoted a relatively low mobility of Hg and As, suggesting that these elements are preferentially mobilized by transport of clastic sediments and such anomalies may be preserved for relatively long times in Quaternary sediments. However, leachable Hg (0.6–9.7 μg/L) and As (2.1–42.2 μg/L) concentrations are significantly high when compared to those of the Italian limit for groundwater (1 µg/L for Hg and 10 µg/L for As). Quaternary sediments from southern Tuscany could then be a potential, though natural, source of Hg and As to groundwater systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Cadmium Effects on the Benthic Foraminifer Ammonia cf. parkinsoniana: An Acute Toxicity Test
Water 2020, 12(4), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041018 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Heavy metals are one of the most hazardous pollutants in marine environments because of their bioaccumulation and biomagnification capabilities. Among them, cadmium (Cd) has been considered as one of the most dangerous for marine organisms. Here we incubated Ammonia cf. parkinsoniana specimens, a [...] Read more.
Heavy metals are one of the most hazardous pollutants in marine environments because of their bioaccumulation and biomagnification capabilities. Among them, cadmium (Cd) has been considered as one of the most dangerous for marine organisms. Here we incubated Ammonia cf. parkinsoniana specimens, a benthic foraminiferal taxon used in previous experiments, for up to 48 h in natural seawater with different concentrations of Cd to unravel the physiological change. We document a reduced pseudopodial activity of the Cd-treated specimens at concentrations >10–100 ppb in comparison with the control specimens. Moreover, confocal images of Cd-treated specimens using Nile Red as a fluorescent probe reveal an enhanced intracellular neutral lipid accumulation in the form of lipid droplets at 6 h and 12 h. This bioassay experiment allows for the direct evaluation of Cd-dose to A. cf. parkinsoniana-response relationships under laboratory controlled conditions and provides complementary information to field observations as well as to water quality guidelines and thresholds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments)
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