Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems

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: 20 July 2024 | Viewed by 5758

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences (ICT-Evora)/Polytechnic Institute of Beja, 7800-295 Beja, Portugal
Interests: environmental risk assessment; water quality; ecotoxicology bioassays; pesticides
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, Centre for Functional Ecology - Science for People and the Planet, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: ecological risk assessment; aquatic ecotoxicology; ecologically relevant tools (across climatic zones)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In a changing world, where the intensification of human actions mixes with the ongoing global changes, particularly extreme climate natural events, the assessment of aquatic ecosystems health continuous to be acknowledged as an essential challenge. The loss of biodiversity and the compromise of ecosystem services is real and has accelerated in the 21st century, despite all efforts against such occurrences. Currently, environmental research must focus on quantifying and understanding the toxic effects of hazardous chemicals that disturb aquatic biological communities. This is the best approach to develop specific management actions for the recovery of unbalanced aquatic ecosystems. Thus, our proposal for this Special Issue is to strongly link the line of chemical evidence with the line of ecotoxicological evidence for more effective integrative assessments of the aquatic ecosystem.

The main objective of this Special Issue is to bring together current research and reviews that address the integration of exposure routes, concentrations, and the resulting ecotoxicological effects of hazardous substances of a high actual concern, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, nanomaterials, nanoplastics, plant protection products, potentially toxic metals, and organic substances, in both freshwaters and marine aquatic ecosystems across geographic regions. Furthermore, sensitivity studies of ecotoxicological indicators to improve ecosystem disruption analysis and monitoring programmes, environmental risk assessment procedures, and environmental chemical prioritization studies of relevance under specific environmental conditions and geographic regions are also welcome.

Dr. Patrícia Palma
Dr. Matilde Moreira-Santos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • emerging contaminants
  • potentially toxic metals
  • plant protection products
  • linking exposure and effects
  • freshwater quality
  • sea water quality
  • geographic regions
  • ecotoxicological indicators
  • environmental risk assessment
  • chemical prioritization

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4823 KiB  
Article
Application of General Unified Threshold Models to Predict Time-Varying Survival of Mayfly Nymphs Exposed to Three Neonicotinoids
by Vanessa S. C. Lourenço, Neusa L. Figueiredo and Michiel A. Daam
Water 2024, 16(8), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16081082 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Pesticide exposure patterns tested in laboratory bioassays often do not match real-world pesticide exposure profiles in edge-of-field waterbodies. Toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic (TKTD) models are therefore increasingly used, as they allow for predictions of the toxic effects under actual time-variable field exposures. The TKTD models from [...] Read more.
Pesticide exposure patterns tested in laboratory bioassays often do not match real-world pesticide exposure profiles in edge-of-field waterbodies. Toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic (TKTD) models are therefore increasingly used, as they allow for predictions of the toxic effects under actual time-variable field exposures. The TKTD models from the General Unified Threshold models of Survival (GUTS), for example, are considered ready for use by regulators for calculating the survival rates for any time-variable exposure profile. However, questions remain regarding their predictive power for compounds showing increased toxicity over time, such as neonicotinoid insecticides. The aim of the present study was therefore to compare the GUTS-predicted 28 d toxicity values of three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam) for the common New Zealand mayfly genus Deleatidium spp. with those observed in a previously published study. Overall, the GUTS modeling results underestimated the toxicity values derived experimentally. From the three neonicotinoids, clothianidin showed the best fit between the estimated and observed 28 d LC50 (median-lethal-concentration) values. Shortcomings of the modeling exercise, future research needs, and implications for the application of GUTS models in regulatory risk assessment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems)
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23 pages, 386 KiB  
Article
Lethal Toxicity of Thymus mastichina and Helichrysum italicum Essential Oils to Non-Target Aquatic Organisms: Tools to Screen Environmental Effects?
by Sandra Afonso, Juliana Nogueira, Carlos Cavaleiro, Fernanda M. L. Ferreira and Matilde Moreira-Santos
Water 2024, 16(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010137 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Essential oils (EOs) from Thymus mastichina (EO-thyme) and Helichrysum italicum (EO-curry) have wide commercial applications, but little is known about their ecotoxicity to aquatic life. We evaluated the lethal toxicity of both EOs toward standard freshwater (Daphnia. magna and Thamnocephalus platyurus) and [...] Read more.
Essential oils (EOs) from Thymus mastichina (EO-thyme) and Helichrysum italicum (EO-curry) have wide commercial applications, but little is known about their ecotoxicity to aquatic life. We evaluated the lethal toxicity of both EOs toward standard freshwater (Daphnia. magna and Thamnocephalus platyurus) and saltwater (Artemia sp.) species. Dimethylsulfoxide was used as a solvent after establishing a maximum safe but effective concentration of 1% (v/v). EO-curry was significantly more toxic than EO-thyme (24–48 h LC50 values of 15.93–55.80 and of 84.78–153.0 mg L−1, respectively) for all species; sensitivity ratios ranged from threefold for D. magna (48 h) and Artemia sp. (24 h) to fivefold for T. platyurus (24 h). Artemia sp. was the least sensitive, and T. platyurus was the most sensitive species, although significantly more so than D. magna only to EO-curry. The second major compound in EO-thyme, β-pinene (5%), is more toxic to aquatic life than major compound 1,8-cineole (62%), although 1,8-cineole facilitates penetration of other EO constituents into crustaceans’ epidermis. Among the main compounds of EO-curry, only α-pinene (13%) is known to be toxic to aquatic organisms. However, minor compounds present in both EOs, like p-cymene (0.3–1.1%), also cause synergistic effects by enhancing the penetration of other EO constituents. Before any of these standard tests can be recommended for the ecotoxicity characterization and environmental management of EOs, their sensitivity to a wider range of EOs, at least from closely related families, needs to be assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems)
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11 pages, 1701 KiB  
Article
Sensitivity of Triops longicaudatus Locomotor Behaviour to Detect Short Low-Level Exposure to Pollutants
by Laura Guimarães, António Paulo Carvalho, Pedro Ribeiro, Cláudia Teixeira, Nuno Silva, André Pereira, João Amorim and Luís Oliva-Teles
Water 2024, 16(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010126 - 29 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Triops longicaudatus is a crustacean typically inhabiting temporary freshwater bodies in regions with a Mediterranean climate. These crustaceans are easily maintained in the laboratory and show a set of biological features that make them good candidates for diagnosing environmental quality and health. However, [...] Read more.
Triops longicaudatus is a crustacean typically inhabiting temporary freshwater bodies in regions with a Mediterranean climate. These crustaceans are easily maintained in the laboratory and show a set of biological features that make them good candidates for diagnosing environmental quality and health. However, information about their responses to environmental contamination is scarce. This study characterised the locomotor responses of juvenile and adult/mature T. longicaudatus to low concentrations of five model toxicants upon a very short 1.5 h exposure: tributyltin, mercury, lindane, sodium hypochlorite and formaldehyde. A video-tracking system was used to record the locomotor behaviour. The data were analysed with an artificial neural network to identify distinct behaviours, followed by Chi-square and Correspondence analysis to characterise the response to each toxicant. The results showed that T. longicaudatus is sensitive to aquatic contamination, particularly sodium hypochlorite. Six behaviour types were defined, which allowed for the characterisation and discrimination of the test toxicants. The results support the need for more investigation into this species and its behaviour types as an alternative to animal testing and the more apical and often invasive endpoints commonly recommended in standard guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems)
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20 pages, 2755 KiB  
Article
The Potential Impacts of Statins and Beta-Blockers on West Virginia Ichthyofauna
by Joseph W. Kingsbury and Kyle J. Hartman
Water 2023, 15(20), 3536; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15203536 - 11 Oct 2023
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), such as statins and beta-blockers, are commonly used to treat cardiovascular disease in adults. Active versions of these pharmaceuticals and their various metabolites enter surface waters via wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharge, as well as from other [...] Read more.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), such as statins and beta-blockers, are commonly used to treat cardiovascular disease in adults. Active versions of these pharmaceuticals and their various metabolites enter surface waters via wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharge, as well as from other point sources. Sub-lethal effects of statins and beta-blockers on wild fish at environmental concentrations have been understudied up to this point. The objectives of this study were to use several health condition metrics and determine if there was a relationship between fish condition and environment concentrations of statins and beta-blockers near two West Virginia WWTPs. Water samples were collected from upstream, downstream, and effluent pipe from August to November 2022, and analyzed for atorvastatin, simvastatin, metoprolol, and carvedilol via liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. Fish were sampled upstream, at the discharge, and downstream of each WWTP in November 2022. Fish health was assessed with three metrics: relative weight (Wr), hepatosomatic index (HSI), and gonadosomatic index (GSI). ANOVAs were used to assess differences among the health metrics based on sex, genus/species, and location relative to WWTPs. Additionally, changes in Wr relative to surface water concentrations of statins and beta-blockers was modeled with a Bayesian linear mixed effects model, with surface water concentrations as fixed effects with a random slope, while the section and genus parameters were treated as random intercepts. Surface concentrations for atorvastatin (0.47–4.36 ng/L), simvastatin (0.27–0.95 ng/L), metoprolol (2.80–21.01 ng/L), and carvedilol (0.43–0.90 ng/L) varied across sampling sections. HSI based on sex and species were nearly significant. GSI was significantly higher in females. Wr differed among genera, as well as the interaction between genus and sample section (p < 0.001). Fixed effects from the linear mixed effects model showed Wr was negatively related to simvastatin (−0.139 [−2.072–1.784]) and carvedilol (−0.262 [−2.164–1.682]) while atorvastatin (0.207 [−1.371–1.845]) and metoprolol (0.052 [−0.533–0.584]) were positively related to Wr. Individual genera responded differently to each pharmaceutical based on location, indicating that it is likely that other factors were also influencing the fish health metrics. Further research targeting individual tissues and controlled experiments with different exposure regimes will be required to further enlighten the long-term effects of cardiovascular PPCPs on fish health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems)
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13 pages, 1551 KiB  
Article
Unravelling Relationships between In Vivo Effects on Plants and Detected Pesticide Mixtures in Freshwaters of a South-European Agro-Ecosystem
by Emília Silva, Guilherme Anágua Narciso and Joel Carvalho Castro
Water 2023, 15(16), 2936; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15162936 - 15 Aug 2023
Viewed by 736
Abstract
The multiple benefits agriculture provides to society depend on the long-term sustainable management of water resources, including the preservation of a good ecological and good chemical status of the water bodies. Presently, this good chemical status has not been reached in the majority [...] Read more.
The multiple benefits agriculture provides to society depend on the long-term sustainable management of water resources, including the preservation of a good ecological and good chemical status of the water bodies. Presently, this good chemical status has not been reached in the majority of European river basins. Implemented monitoring strategies are targeted to identify the presence and magnitude of the ecological impacts that come from mixtures of chemicals but fail to give information on the causes of the ecosystem disruptions. This work aims to contribute to assessing the quality of surface waters used for irrigation in the LGVFX agricultural area (Central Portugal) by applying non-conventional in vivo phytotoxicity tests on three primary producers, a monocotyledon (Sorghum saccharatum) and two dicotyledons (Lepidium sativum and Sinapsis alba), complemented by chemical screening and mixture-risk modelling with component-based methods (summation of risk quotients) based on the classic concept of concentration addition (CA). Although inhibition percentages of the phytotoxicity parameter germination and root and shoot growth may be related to the presence of mixtures of pesticides, it was not possible to establish the fingerprinting of the detected compounds with the observed biological effects, mostly due to the large gap of ecotoxicological data on terrestrial plants exposed to contaminated water. In addition, pesticides can interact within the plant, leading to antagonism and synergism phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems)
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14 pages, 1546 KiB  
Article
Chemical and Ecotoxicological Assessment of Agricultural Drainage Water from a Maize Crop Area: A Case Study in the Tejo Basin (Portugal)
by Patrícia Palma, Adriana Catarino, Emília Silva and Paula Alvarenga
Water 2023, 15(13), 2434; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132434 - 30 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
The use of agricultural drainage water (ADW) in irrigation is a great challenge, improving water use efficiency, nutrient circularity, and avoiding surface and ground-water contamination. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical and ecotoxicological characteristics of an ADW to analyze [...] Read more.
The use of agricultural drainage water (ADW) in irrigation is a great challenge, improving water use efficiency, nutrient circularity, and avoiding surface and ground-water contamination. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical and ecotoxicological characteristics of an ADW to analyze the safety of its reuse. An irrigated area with maize crops was selected (Tejo Basin, Portugal), where a subsurface structure for the recovery of ADW was installed, collecting the drainage in a pond and recycling it for crop irrigation. Water was collected monthly during the irrigation campaign of 2021 (April to August). Three herbicides and two metabolites were quantified, reaching a maximum concentration of 0.74 µg L−1 for S-metolachlor and 0.48 µg L−1 for terbuthylazine. The lethal bioassays did not detect toxicity, except for the sample collected in August toward Vibrio fisheri (EC50 = 25.2%). The samples were not toxic to Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, with a growth inhibition rate of less than 10%. The low lethal and sublethal effects may be ascribed to the high nutrient concentration (e.g., 1.76 mg P L−1 and 98.9 mg NO3 L−1, in July) that could have masked toxic effects. Ecotoxicological responses support the option of ADW reuse in irrigation, offering a safe and sustainable solution for water and nutrient management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Analysis and Ecotoxicological Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems)
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