Special Issue "Aquatic Ecosafety: Threats, Disturbances, Environmental Monitors and Bioremediation Actions"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Salvatore Fasulo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, Viale F. Stagno d’Alcontres 31, S. Agata, 98166 Messina, Italy
Interests: NMR; metabolomics; disease; heavy metals; aquatic toxicology; biomarkers; mussels; aquatic invertebrates; ecocytotoxicology; petrochemical pollution; bioremediation
Dr. Giuseppe Mancini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electric, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: chemical plants design; waste management and treatment; wastewater treatment; wastewater reuse; sediments and soil remediation; environmental modelling; marine protection; sustainability; industrial symbiosis; holistic approach; multidisciplinary monitoring and modelling; energy recovery
Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Scalici
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sciences, University “Roma Tre”, Viale Guglielmo Marconi, 00154 Roma, Italy
Interests: hydrobiology; early warning system detecting; biomonitors; environmental quality status assessment; environmental risk evaluation; ecotoxicology; alien species; microplastics; aquatic conservation; water resource management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change, water scarcity and pollution, biodiversity loss, chemical contamination and plastics pollutions represent nowadays the main five issues of environmental concern requiring both continuous/improved control and urgent management/remediation actions. In this regard, the use of biological systems in environmental monitoring is highly encouraged as it offers clear advantages such as 1) allowing the estimation of the integrated effects of different contaminants, 2) permitting to assess the long-term effects of peaks of disturb that are not easily detected by occasional or intermittent monitoring approaches (e.g., water quality analysis) and 3) detecting side-effects of remediation actions that are “traditionally” designed through chemical quality targets (e.g., metals concentration in sediments). The role of organisms in assessing the status of aquatic habitats is clearly recognized in the legislation. Under the drive of European Water Framework Directive 2000/60 (WFD) numerous research have been encouraged in recent years on biomonitors, based on multiple taxonomic groups and/or multiple markers, which allowed to collect direct information on the ecological status of aquatic systems as well as on the potential risks for humans’ health. Within this context, contributions integrating different monitoring approaches and actions will be welcome to provide new insights on how molecules, individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems respond to multiple stressors over the time. This special issue also aims to propose some innovative and integrated methods to assess the overall efficiency of protection/remediation actions for both ecosystem and human health safeguard. This Special Issue welcomes the submission of papers reporting frontier results in identifying, detecting, monitoring, controlling and preventing the effects of different threats and disturbs to aquatic ecosystems. Scientific, technical and management papers are also well considered for publication in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Salvatore Fasulo
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Mancini
Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Scalici
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • aquatic threats
  • human disturbs
  • early warning systems
  • multilevel monitor approach
  • integrated biological responses
  • environmental risk assessment
  • aquatic living resource management and conservation
  • biological pollution
  • bioremediation
  • pollution prevention
  • remediation
  • sediments
  • wastewater
  • waste
  • toxic substances
  • wastewater treatment
  • xenobiotics

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

Article
Biological Early Warning Systems: The Experience in the Gran Sasso-Sirente Aquifer
Water 2021, 13(11), 1529; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111529 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 959
Abstract
Biological early warning systems (BEWS) are installed worldwide for the continuous control of water intended for multiple uses. Sentinel aquatic organisms can alert us to contaminant presence through their physiological or behavioural alterations. The present study is aimed at sharing the experience acquired [...] Read more.
Biological early warning systems (BEWS) are installed worldwide for the continuous control of water intended for multiple uses. Sentinel aquatic organisms can alert us to contaminant presence through their physiological or behavioural alterations. The present study is aimed at sharing the experience acquired with water biomonitoring of the Gran Sasso-Sirente (GS-S) aquifer. It represents the major source of the Abruzzi region surface water, also intended as drinkable and for irrigation use. Besides the biomonitoring of drinkable water of the Teramo Province made by Daphnia Toximeter and irrigation water of the L’Aquila Province by Algae Toximeter, a novel sensor named “SmartShell” has been developed to register the behaviour of the “pea clam” P. casertanum, an autochthonous small bivalve living in the Nature 2000 site “Tirino River spring”. The valve movements have been recorded directly on the field. Its behavioural rhythms have been analysed through spectral analyses, providing the basis for further investigations on their alterations as early warnings and allowing us to propose this autochthonous bivalve species as a novel sentinel organism for spring water. Full article
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Article
Research on the Coastal Marine Environment and Rural Sustainable Development Strategy of Island Countries—Taking the Penghu Islands as an Example
Water 2021, 13(10), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101434 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
In this study, we examined the keelboat industry on Penghu Island in Taiwan as an example to discuss sustainable development strategies for the marine environment and villages. First, three experts were consulted to compile questionnaires. A snowball sampling method was used to collect [...] Read more.
In this study, we examined the keelboat industry on Penghu Island in Taiwan as an example to discuss sustainable development strategies for the marine environment and villages. First, three experts were consulted to compile questionnaires. A snowball sampling method was used to collect 278 samples of residents and tourists living in the coastal area. Opinions were collected from 8 residents, crew members, tourists, and scholars. The data were finally summarized and compared by triangulation method and then examined. We found that introducing the keelboat industry could preserve maritime culture, increase local popularity and leisure options for people, create business opportunities, and improve the economy. It could also lead to a loss of coastal architectural features, increased the amount of trash in the community, around the harbor, and on the sea, no improvement in public facilities and medical care, and decreased the willingness of young people to return to their hometowns. Encouraging men to work in tourism-related industries, assisting in balancing job opportunities, strengthening villagers’ communication, improving tourists’ environmental literacy, adding onboard guides, improving women’s professional knowledge of marine ecology and working opportunities for boat maintenance, as well as actively participating in community development planning, can improve the current situation and achieve the goal of sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Italian Fish Indices under the Water Framework Directive Guidelines
Water 2021, 13(10), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101368 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 512
Abstract
The ISECI (or F index) has been the first fish index to be recommended by the Italian Ministry of the Environment to assess the rivers ecological status with regard to fish communities, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 EC. In addition [...] Read more.
The ISECI (or F index) has been the first fish index to be recommended by the Italian Ministry of the Environment to assess the rivers ecological status with regard to fish communities, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 EC. In addition to ISECI, other fish indices have been developed such as the Forneris Ichthyic Index (I.I.) and a revised version of ISECI, the so-called NISECI. The latter is nowadays the reference Italian index in the framework of the Water Framework Directive. In this work, we analyzed 30 sampling sites along 18 watercourses in Northern Italy and computed the results of fish monitoring to evaluate the strength of ISECI and NISECI, as well as to assess weak points limiting their application. We detected several issues that undermine the ISECI effectiveness. The weakest point regarded the mismatch between the expected reference fish community and the sampled ones, which decreased the overall algorithm efficiency in the evaluation process. On the other hand, the results confirm the improvements introduced by NISECI. Although with some advancement, all three proposed indices revealed their weaknesses in the overall assessment of the ecological status of the water course, as also highlighted by a pioneering comparison with three expert-based blind judgements. Full article
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Article
An Integrated Approach to Chlorophyll Monitoring in Surface Freshwater: The Case Study of Lake Albano (Central Italy)
Water 2021, 13(9), 1253; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091253 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Inland freshwaters are of great importance for human health and activities, but major stressors such as nutrient pollution, deforestation, and urbanization are compromising their status. Water quality degradation and freshwater ecosystem preservation are current issues worldwide requiring frequent and efficient monitoring protocols. The [...] Read more.
Inland freshwaters are of great importance for human health and activities, but major stressors such as nutrient pollution, deforestation, and urbanization are compromising their status. Water quality degradation and freshwater ecosystem preservation are current issues worldwide requiring frequent and efficient monitoring protocols. The increasing need for large amounts of data to comply with national and international regulations on water quality monitoring highlights traditional procedures limits. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the potential of alternative and rapid methods for chlorophyll concentration surveys in freshwaters. The Phyto-PAM (pulse amplitude-modulated) instrument and the Case-2 Regional Coast Colour (C2RCC) satellite image processor were selected to estimate chlorophyll concentration in the surface waters of Lake Albano (Central Italy), selected as a pilot area for the project BLOOWATER (Water JPI 2018 Joint Call Closing the Water Cycle Gap). The correlation tests’ results indicate significant relations with chlorophyll data measured spectrophotometrically, confirming the suitability of both methods for chlorophyll retrieval. However, the relatively low strength of the correlation between remotely sensed and spectrophotometric data (r = 0.57, p < 2.2 × 10−16) was not as satisfactory as with Phyto-PAM values (r = 0.97, p = 1.2 × 10−4). Even though the techniques in this study proved to be promising in the water body under investigation, their current limitations suggest the need for further calibration and integration with other systems (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicles). Full article
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Article
Monitoring Skeletal Anomalies in Big-Scale Sand Smelt, Atherina boyeri, as a Potential Complementary Tool for Early Detection of Effects of Anthropic Pressure in Coastal Lagoons
Water 2021, 13(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020159 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
Mediterranean coastal lagoons are increasingly affected by several threats, all concurrently leading to habitat degradation and loss. Methods based on fish for the assessment of the ecological status are under implementation for the Water Framework Directive requirements, to assess the overall quality of [...] Read more.
Mediterranean coastal lagoons are increasingly affected by several threats, all concurrently leading to habitat degradation and loss. Methods based on fish for the assessment of the ecological status are under implementation for the Water Framework Directive requirements, to assess the overall quality of coastal lagoons. Complementary tools based on the use of single fish species as biological indicators could be useful as early detection methods of anthropogenic impacts. The analysis of skeletal anomalies in the big-scale sand smelt, Atherina boyeri, from nine Mediterranean coastal lagoons in Italy was carried out. Along with the morphological examination of fish, the environmental status of the nine lagoons was evaluated using a method based on expert judgement, by selecting and quantifying several environmental descriptors of direct and indirect human pressures acting on lagoon ecosystems. The average individual anomaly load and the frequency of individuals with severe anomalies allow to discriminate big-scale sand smelt samples on the basis of the site and of its quality status. Furthermore, a relationship between skeletal anomalies and the environmental quality of specific lagoons, driven by the anthropogenic pressures acting on them, was found. These findings support the potentiality of skeletal anomalies monitoring in big-scale sand smelt as a tool for early detection of anthropogenic impacts in coastal lagoons of the Mediterranean region. Full article
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Article
Fish Response to Multiple Anthropogenic Stressors in Mediterranean Coastal Lagoons: A Comparative Study of the Role of Different Management Strategies
Water 2021, 13(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020130 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Transitional waters are among the most productive ecosystems of the world and their biotic communities show high diversity and complex mechanisms of self-regulation that provide valuable ecosystem services and societal goods and benefits. In this work a comparison of the fish assemblages of [...] Read more.
Transitional waters are among the most productive ecosystems of the world and their biotic communities show high diversity and complex mechanisms of self-regulation that provide valuable ecosystem services and societal goods and benefits. In this work a comparison of the fish assemblages of three non-tidal Mediterranean coastal lagoons is carried out in order to evaluate the impacts of alternative management strategies. The anthropogenic pressures acting on the lagoons were quantified by means of categorical indicators, while the characteristics of the fish assemblages were summarized in multi-metric indices (MMIs). Two MMIs were developed using data collected with a beach seine net and with fyke nets, following an empirical approach that selects, from a pool of 73 metrics, the combination that maximizes the MMI/pressure relationship. The two MMIs include four metrics each, most of which are based on feeding mode functional guilds and habitat use functional guilds, and they are sensitive to anthropogenic pressures. The human activities directly or indirectly affecting water quality are the ones that most influence the fish assemblage, while the presence of artisanal fisheries, a typical and relevant resource use in these lagoons, seems to play a beneficial role. Lagoon fisheries management relies on the maintenance of infrastructures that guarantee the hydraulic functioning of the lagoon, thus ensuring exchanges with the adjacent coastal sea, and therefore indirectly contributing to the habitat quality. Full article
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Article
Ecosystem Organic Carbon Stock Estimations in the Sile River, North Eastern Italy
Water 2021, 13(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010080 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 834
Abstract
River ecosystems are one of the dynamic components of the terrestrial carbon cycle that provide a crucial function in ecosystem processes and high value to ecosystem services. A large amount of carbon is transported from terrestrial to the ocean through river flows. In [...] Read more.
River ecosystems are one of the dynamic components of the terrestrial carbon cycle that provide a crucial function in ecosystem processes and high value to ecosystem services. A large amount of carbon is transported from terrestrial to the ocean through river flows. In order to evaluate the contribution of Sile River ecosystem to the global carbon stock, the river ecosystem Organic Carbon (OC) stock was quantified for sediments and dominant submerged aquatic macrophytes (SAMs) during the two sampling periods at three different stations along the Sile River (North Eastern Italy). The total mean ecosystem OC stock was 95.2 ± 13.8 Mg C ha−1 while those of SAMs ranged from 7.0 to 10.9 Mg C ha−1 which accounted for approx. 10% of the total OC stock. The total aboveground biomass retains approx. 90% of the SAM carbon stock, with a mean of 8.9 ± 1.6 Mg C ha−1. The mean sediment OC stock was 86.6 ± 14.5 Mg C ha−1 with low seasonal variations among the sites. Indeed, various environmental parameters and hydrodynamics appear to affect the accumulation of OC within the river ecosystem. The results highlight the role that freshwater river ecosystems play in the global carbon cycle, which consequently provide a baseline for future river ecosystem monitoring programs. Furthermore, future studies with additional sites and seasonal surveys of the river will enhance our understanding of the effects of global climate change on the river ecosystem and improve the ecosystem services. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Environmental Quality of Mediterranean Coastal Lagoons Using Persistent Organic Pollutants and Metals in Thick-Lipped Grey Mullet
Water 2020, 12(12), 3450; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123450 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
The evaluation of past and present anthropogenic impacts affecting the ecological quality status of transitional ecosystems is crucial from the perspective of protecting them from further deterioration, and to evaluate remediation and restoration measures. Contamination patterns of thick-lipped grey mullet from two Mediterranean [...] Read more.
The evaluation of past and present anthropogenic impacts affecting the ecological quality status of transitional ecosystems is crucial from the perspective of protecting them from further deterioration, and to evaluate remediation and restoration measures. Contamination patterns of thick-lipped grey mullet from two Mediterranean coastal lagoons within a protected area in Italy were assessed and compared in order to evaluate their overall quality status and to collect information that can provide useful feedback on management choices aimed at enhancing environmental quality and biodiversity conservation. The quality status of the two lagoons was evaluated by an environmental assessment methodology based on indicators of direct and indirect human pressures, while a broad range of analyses were carried out to determine the presence and concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals in fish muscle tissue. A good quality status resulted for both lagoons, and an overall limited anthropogenic impact in the surrounding area. This could account for POPs and metal contamination levels found in mullet, although limited, and relating to their patterns. The overlap of results achieved with the two evaluation approaches can provide support for management choices in Mediterranean lagoon environments, especially for those committed to the protection and conservation of biodiversity. Full article
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Article
Sediment Carbon Variations in the Venice Lagoon and Other Transitional Water Systems of the Northern Adriatic Sea
Water 2020, 12(12), 3430; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123430 - 06 Dec 2020
Viewed by 647
Abstract
The concentrations of inorganic, organic and total carbon, and some sedimentary parameters (sediment density, fines, pH, and shell fragments), have been analyzed in surface sediments of the Venice Lagoon since 1987. Environmental scenarios, characterized by different anthropogenic impacts, have been considered, especially in [...] Read more.
The concentrations of inorganic, organic and total carbon, and some sedimentary parameters (sediment density, fines, pH, and shell fragments), have been analyzed in surface sediments of the Venice Lagoon since 1987. Environmental scenarios, characterized by different anthropogenic impacts, have been considered, especially in the central basin where more information is available. Data collected in 2009 in the lagoons and ponds of Po Delta, in Comacchio Valleys and Pialassa della Baiona have been also considered and analyzed together with those recorded in the whole Venice Lagoon in 2011. The results show a strong correlation of the inorganic carbon (Cinorg) with the carbonatic or siliceous origins of the sediments and changes of both Cinorg and organic carbon (Corg) according to different anthropogenic impacts, especially eutrophication and clam-fishing activities. Higher sediment density, grain-size, and pH were associated to good-high ecological conditions and the higher presence of inorganic carbon of biological origin (shell fragments and calcified macroalgal fragments). Conversely, Corg, which is associated to eutrophic conditions, was strongly affected by the sediment disturbance and the presence of high concentrations of bivalves which enhance its consumption. Full article
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Article
Effectiveness of the “Ecological Beach” Model: Beneficial Management of Posidonia Beach Casts and Banquette
Water 2020, 12(11), 3238; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113238 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
The accumulation of Posidonia oceanica dead leaves on the beaches of the Mediterranean shores is a natural phenomenon. They are either temporary or permanent structures (banquettes) and represent a valuable resource, with important ecosystem functions including coastal protection against erosion. Nevertheless, [...] Read more.
The accumulation of Posidonia oceanica dead leaves on the beaches of the Mediterranean shores is a natural phenomenon. They are either temporary or permanent structures (banquettes) and represent a valuable resource, with important ecosystem functions including coastal protection against erosion. Nevertheless, the perception of these plant accumulations by the different stakeholders (beach managers, local administrations and tourists) is often negative; they consider these deposits a malevolent waste to be removed, rather than a natural and valuable component of the coastline. We propose an integrated/beneficial management model for posidonia deposits, called ECOLOGICAL BEACH, firstly proposed in France, and recently implemented and applied in Italy. The model promotes the preservation of posidonia beach casts on site, with a balanced coexistence of natural and anthropic elements. The model fosters the several important ecosystem services of the beach casts and contributes to coastal preservation. To successfully spread the model, several activities must be implemented: a regulatory framework, the collection of data about the occurrence of beach casts, management protocols and educational programs. The most important activity is the educational one, based on the dissemination of the ecological and economic value of the beach casts, aimed at switching the perception of this phenomenon towards positive appraisal. Full article
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Article
The Duckweed, Lemna minor Modulates Heavy Metal-Induced Oxidative Stress in the Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus
Water 2020, 12(11), 2983; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112983 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
A two-fold integrated research study was conducted; firstly, to understand the effects of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) on the growth and oxidative stress in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus; secondly, to study the beneficial effects of the duckweed Lemna minor L. as [...] Read more.
A two-fold integrated research study was conducted; firstly, to understand the effects of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) on the growth and oxidative stress in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus; secondly, to study the beneficial effects of the duckweed Lemna minor L. as a heavy metal remover in wastewater. Experiments were conducted in mesocosms with and without duckweed. Tilapia fingerlings were exposed to Cu (0.004 and 0.02 mg L−1) and Zn (0.5 and 1.5 mg L−1) and fish fed for four weeks. We evaluated the fish growth performance, the hepatic DNA structure using comet assay, the expression of antioxidative genes (superoxide dismutase, SOD; catalase, CAT; glutathione peroxidase, GPx and glutathione-S-transferase, GST) and GPx and GST enzymatic activity. The results showed that Zn exhibited more pronounced toxic effects than Cu. A low dose of Cu did not influence the growth whereas higher doses of Cu and Zn significantly reduced the growth rate of tilapia compared to the control, but the addition of duckweed prevented weight loss. Furthermore, in the presence of a high dose of Cu and Zn, DNA damage decreased, antioxidant gene expressions and enzymatic activities increased. In conclusion, the results suggest that duckweed and Nile tilapia can be suitable candidates in metal remediation wastewater assessment programs. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Ecological Water Level: The Case of Four Mediterranean Lakes
Water 2020, 12(11), 2977; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112977 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
The ecological water regime in lake water bodies refers to the water levels that enable the fulfillment of the ecosystem’s multiple functions. Therefore, assessing the ecological water regime necessitates the consideration of hydrological, economic, social, and ecological factors. The present research is focused [...] Read more.
The ecological water regime in lake water bodies refers to the water levels that enable the fulfillment of the ecosystem’s multiple functions. Therefore, assessing the ecological water regime necessitates the consideration of hydrological, economic, social, and ecological factors. The present research is focused on the assessment of the ecological water level of four Mediterranean natural lake ecosystems, considering their morphological and biological features. Initially, suggestions on the ecological water regime of the studied lakes were made based on an analysis of the lakes’ morphometry. Further, the ecological and biological requirements of the present fish fauna and aquatic macrophytic vegetation were considered. For the latter, mapping was conducted by extensive sampling according to international standards, in order to assess macrophyte composition, abundance, and chorology, as well as species sensitivity to water level fluctuations. The above guided the proposals on the optimal water level regime that should be met by each lake regarding the macrophytic and fish communities’ sustainability, also taking into account the unique hydromorphological features of each lake. The differences in the outcoming results revealed that hydromorphological and biological approaches should be combined for assessing lakes’ ecological water regimes. Full article
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Article
Compatibility of the Invasive Alien Lemna minuta and Its Potential Biocontrol Agent Cataclysta lemnata
Water 2020, 12(10), 2719; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102719 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 511
Abstract
The American duckweed Lemna minuta is invasive in freshwater habitats across much of Europe, often causing serious ecological impacts. To date, few studies have addressed how to halt its expansion. However, encouraging empirical evidence of L. minuta control by the aquatic herbivorous larvae [...] Read more.
The American duckweed Lemna minuta is invasive in freshwater habitats across much of Europe, often causing serious ecological impacts. To date, few studies have addressed how to halt its expansion. However, encouraging empirical evidence of L. minuta control by the aquatic herbivorous larvae of the insect Cataclysta lemnata is emerging. To better understand the biocontrol capacity of C. lemnata, information on overlap in the phenology and the growth conditions in nature of both species is fundamental. In this study, L. minuta and C. lemnata populations were analyzed in the field to define (i) their phenological features, (ii) the main environmental characteristics where the two species occur, and (iii) any overlap or difference in phenology and ecological requirements. The seasonal occurrence of the two species and environmental data were collected from 31 wetlands in central Italy. The two species showed a large phenological overlap and ecological similarities. Populations of L. minuta and C. lemnata were found all year long, although abundances were greater in spring and summer. Both species preferred waters that were shallow, circumneutral, with moderately high conductivity and trophic level and with low dissolved oxygen. The phenology and ecology of the two species were shown to be compatible, suggesting the insect could be released in natural sites invaded by the alien L. minuta where could act as potential biocontrol agent of it. Full article
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Article
Challenges in Harmonized Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Monitoring and Decommissioning Procedures of Offshore Platforms in Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION) Region
Water 2020, 12(9), 2460; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092460 - 01 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1137
Abstract
A harmonized and integrated approach for monitoring and assessment of contamination, including hydrocarbon exploitation one, is required both by Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) at EU level and by the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) program of the Barcelona Convention at Mediterranean level. A broad [...] Read more.
A harmonized and integrated approach for monitoring and assessment of contamination, including hydrocarbon exploitation one, is required both by Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) at EU level and by the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) program of the Barcelona Convention at Mediterranean level. A broad review of protocols of environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures, monitoring and decommissioning of offshore platforms adopted by EU and non-EU countries along the Adriatic-Ionian seas was carried out in the framework of the Interreg offshore platforms in Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION) project HarmoNIA (Harmonization and networking for contaminant assessment in the Ionian and Adriatic Seas). The comparison of information provided by six ADRION countries and the application of a harmonized and integrated approach has highlighted specific challenges for managing offshore platform impacts emerged at ADRION level: (i) need of the same legislative level (the Offshore Protocol of Barcelona Convention is not ratified by all countries); (ii) set up of a task force of ADRION experts for discussing critical issues related to impacts of offshore platforms; (iii) harmonization, at the regional level, of EIA procedures, monitoring and decommissioning; (iv) need of an agreed and common list of recommended parameters to monitor in water, sediment and biota for the assessment of impacts due to platform installations and PFW discharges. Full article
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Article
The Role of Temperature on the Impact of Remediated Water towards Marine Organisms
Water 2020, 12(8), 2148; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082148 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
Marine organisms are frequently exposed to pollutants, including trace metals, derived from natural and anthropogenic activities. In order to prevent environmental pollution, different approaches have been applied to remove pollutants from waste water and avoid their discharge into aquatic systems. However, organisms in [...] Read more.
Marine organisms are frequently exposed to pollutants, including trace metals, derived from natural and anthropogenic activities. In order to prevent environmental pollution, different approaches have been applied to remove pollutants from waste water and avoid their discharge into aquatic systems. However, organisms in their natural aquatic environments are also exposed to physico-chemical changes derived from climate change-related factors, including temperature increase. According to recent studies, warming has a negative impact on marine wildlife, with known effects on organisms physiological and biochemical performance. Recently, a material based on graphene oxide (GO) functionalized with polyethyleneimine (PEI) proved to be effective in the remediation of mercury (Hg) contaminated water. Nevertheless, no information is available on the toxic impacts of such remediated water towards aquatic systems, neither under actual nor predicted temperature conditions. For this, the present study assessed the toxicity of seawater, previously contaminated with Hg and remediated by GO-PEI, using the clam species Ruditapes philippinarum exposed to actual and a predicted temperature conditions. The results obtained demonstrated that seawater contaminated with Hg and/or Hg+GO-PEI induced higher toxicity in clams exposed to 17 and 22 °C compared to organisms exposed to remediated seawater at the same temperatures. Moreover, similar histological and biochemical results were observed between organisms exposed to control and remediated seawater, independently of the temperatures (17 and 21 °C), highlighting the potential use of GO-PEI to remediate Hg from seawater without significant toxicity issues to the selected marine species. Full article
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Article
Optimal In-Stream Structure Design through Considering Nitrogen Removal in Hyporheic Zone
Water 2020, 12(5), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051399 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 745
Abstract
The hyporheic zone (HZ), the region beneath or alongside a streambed, can play a vital role in a stream ecosystem. Previous studies have examined the impacts of in-stream structures on the HZ and river restoration; however, studies on optimizing the design of in-stream [...] Read more.
The hyporheic zone (HZ), the region beneath or alongside a streambed, can play a vital role in a stream ecosystem. Previous studies have examined the impacts of in-stream structures on the HZ and river restoration; however, studies on optimizing the design of in-stream structures are still lacking. Therefore, this study aims to propose a method for optimizing the design of in-stream structures (e.g., weirs) through comprehensively considering both nitrogen removal amount (NRA) and nitrogen removal ratio (NRR) in the HZ based on numerical modelling. The Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) and COMSOL Multiphysics are employed for surface water and hyporheic flow simulations, respectively, and these two models are coupled by the hydraulic head along the surface of the streambed. The NRA and NRR are both closely related with residence time (RT), while the NRA is also influenced by hyporheic flux. Using the model outputs under different scenarios, regression equations for estimating the relevant variables (e.g., the maximum upstream distance in the subsurface flow influenced by the weir, the RT, and the hyporheic flux) are proposed. Then, the cumulative NRA (CNRA) and NRR can be calculated, and an objective function is formulated as the product of the normalized CNRA and NRR. The results show that the optimal height of the weir can be obtained based on the proposed method, and the validation shows the good general performance of this method. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the optimal height generally can be sensitive to the river discharge, i.e., the optimal height increases when the river discharge increases and vice versa. In addition, it is observed that, in the case of the optimal height, hyporheic flux increases when the slope increases while the influence of depth to bedrock on hyporheic flux is not significant. This study enhances our understanding of the optimal in-stream structure design, and potentially benefits river restoration in the face of continual degradation caused by human activities. Full article
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