Special Issue "Ecotoxicological Risk in Aquatic Environments"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2023 | Viewed by 3450

Special Issue Editor

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Roma, Italy
Interests: sediments; dredging; sediment quality assessment; management; ecotoxicology; multiple line of evidence; weight of evidence; contaminants; chronology; modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The assessment of the environmental quality of aquatic environments is of crucial importance to evaluate and classify the status of water bodies and sediments by integrating different quality elements, and to identify suitable management or remediation options.

The integration of data obtained by multidisciplinary approaches represents an undisputed added value compared to the analysis of individual lines of evidence (LOEs), and better supports complex processes of ecological risk assessment. In this approach, ecotoxicological analyses are elaborated, and are usually integrated with chemical ones obtaining a synthetic risk index.

The indexing of ecotoxicological responses weights measured endpoints, tested matrices, times of exposure, and the magnitudes and statistical differences of effects compared to specific thresholds for all the assays of the battery. Different scores may be attributed and included in user-friendly tools, allowing a common assessment that is useful in decision-making processes.

This Special Issue, titled “Ecotoxicological Risk in Aquatic Environments”, welcomes original research and review papers dealing with the assessment of ecotoxicological hazards and consequent risks to aquatic environments, including marine, fresh and brackish waters.

Dr. Cristian Mugnai
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. Water 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 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

  • hazard
  • weighted approach
  • risk
  • ecotoxicology
  • modelling
  • lines of evidence
  • end points
  • marine
  • freshwater
  • brackish water

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Derivation of Sustainable Reference Chemical Levels for the Protection of Italian Freshwater Ecosystems
Water 2023, 15(10), 1811; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101811 - 10 May 2023
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The current environmental quality standards (EQSs) for freshwater ecosystems have been established in relation to the priority substances covered by Directive 2013/39/EU. The procedure for deriving EQSs that rely on the selection of the most sensitive toxicological data, with the application of arbitrary [...] Read more.
The current environmental quality standards (EQSs) for freshwater ecosystems have been established in relation to the priority substances covered by Directive 2013/39/EU. The procedure for deriving EQSs that rely on the selection of the most sensitive toxicological data, with the application of arbitrary safety factors, is probably unrealistic for the Italian freshwater ecosystem. In this work, a procedure for the evaluation of specific sensitivity of 13 taxonomic groups from bacteria to amphibians and the derivation of protective chemical reference values specifically for the Italian aquatic communities was developed. Toxicological raw data of species belonging to the same taxonomic group spending at least one phase of their life cycle in Italian freshwater ecosystems were downloaded from EnviroTox and USEPA ECOTOX databases, aggregated, and then used as input for the model called Species Sensitivity Distribution in order to estimate the predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs). The comparison of relative sensitivity factors (RFSs) made it possible to identify the amphibians as the most sensitive group toward metals, trace elements, and pesticides, whereas crustacean were identified as the most sensitive group toward towards polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PNECs were estimated to cover 62 substances, of which 37 identified by Directive 2013/39/EU, and in most of the cases, the values were higher than EQSs. The PNECs reported in this work should be considered more realistic and tailored for Italian freshwater ecosystems, having significant repercussions in the classification of water bodies and the estimation of environmental impact assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicological Risk in Aquatic Environments)
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Article
Influence of Salinity on Copper Toxicity in Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula Embryos
Water 2023, 15(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010065 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
The sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula have a key role in benthic dynamics and they are often used to assess the toxicity of environmental contaminants. The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of salinity on copper toxicity on [...] Read more.
The sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula have a key role in benthic dynamics and they are often used to assess the toxicity of environmental contaminants. The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of salinity on copper toxicity on P. lividus and A. lixula embryos, evaluating the impact of future ocean salinity variations and estimating an optimum range for embryos. For this purpose, sea urchin embryos were exposed to different copper concentrations under varying salinity regimes, estimating the toxic effects with the percentage of abnormal embryos and the Integrative Toxicity Index (ITI). Results revealed acceptable levels of anomalies in a salinity range of 33–36‰ for A. lixula and 33–39‰ for P. lividus. The effect concentrations (EC50) of copper reveals increasing toxicity at increasing salinity for both sea urchin species, but between 33–36‰ (A. lixula) and 36–39‰ (P. lividus) the toxicity appear inversely related with salinity. This study illustrates the difficulty in relating a biological response to bioavailability, because the uptake and the sensitivity to copper across salinities is influenced by differences in osmoregulation, enhancing our knowledge about optimal salinity ranges and the potential impact of climate change on sea urchin embryo development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicological Risk in Aquatic Environments)
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Article
Ecotoxicological and Chemical Approach to Assessing Environmental Effects from Pesticide Use in Organic and Conventional Rice Paddies
Water 2022, 14(24), 4136; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244136 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1230
Abstract
Despite laws and directives for the regulation and restriction of pesticides in farming, the large use of Plant-Protection Products (PPPs) in paddy fields is a relevant worldwide cause of environmental contamination. The aim of this work is to evaluate the environmental impact due [...] Read more.
Despite laws and directives for the regulation and restriction of pesticides in farming, the large use of Plant-Protection Products (PPPs) in paddy fields is a relevant worldwide cause of environmental contamination. The aim of this work is to evaluate the environmental impact due to the use of PPPs by using an integrated approach based on chemical analyses and ecotoxicological hazard assessment, supported by statistical tools, in order to overcome the issues related to traditional tabular evaluation. Samples of soil and water of seven conventional and organic paddies located in Northern Italy were examined for two years. The results evidenced a direct relationship between the presence of Oxadiazon in water and bioassay responses as the main cause of the toxicity measured. This phenomenon affected both biological and conventional rice fields, due to the free circulation of water through irrigation canals. Therefore, the implementation of organic districts with water circulation isolated from conventional fields represents a simple and effective countermeasure to safeguard the agricultural practices of organic crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicological Risk in Aquatic Environments)
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