Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 15351

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Jožef Stefan Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: analytical chemistry; environmental pollution; trace elements in aquatic environemtns; water quality; non-traditional stable isotopes

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Jožef Stefan Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: contaminants of emerging concern; transformation; mass spectrometry; cycling; degradation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The exploitation of water resources for industrial usage, agriculture, tourism, electricity generation, transport, and other human activities has created huge contamination problems and led to difficulties in the availability and accessibility of freshwater for the growing human population. Moreover, flora and fauna of the freshwater ecosystem are also endangered.

Organic and inorganic pollutants are found in all compartments of the freshwater ecosystem. Therefore, the present Special Issue will focus on the dynamics of contaminants in the freshwater ecosystem (water, sediments, and biosphere). Authors can submit work related to toxic elements, organometals, metalloids, radionuclides, and emerging contaminants such as microplastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, flame-retardants, personal care products, etc. We encourage the submission of environmental fate studies including biodegradation, bioaccumulation and deposition, transport, adsorption/desorption processes, and development of novel environmental analytical methods, including case studies.

 

Prof. Dr. Tea Zuliani
Prof. Dr. Tina Kosjek
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • toxic elements
  • organometals
  • metalloids
  • radionuclides
  • emerging contaminants
  • microplastics
  • environmental fate
  • biodegradation
  • bioaccumulation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2940 KiB  
Article
Transport of Potentially Toxic Elements in Solid Particulate Matter during Flash Flood Events in Upper and Lower Stretch of the Sava River
by Tea Zuliani, Janja Vidmar, Janez Ščančar, Margareta Kračun Kolarević, Stoimir Kolarević, Momir Paunović and Radmila Milačič
Water 2022, 14(8), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14081213 - 9 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
During extreme hydrological conditions such as flood events, sediments and alluvial soils may become re-suspended. As a consequence, the concentration of solid particulate matter (SPM) in the water column increases. As sediments represent a sink for the contaminants, when such perturbation occurs, the [...] Read more.
During extreme hydrological conditions such as flood events, sediments and alluvial soils may become re-suspended. As a consequence, the concentration of solid particulate matter (SPM) in the water column increases. As sediments represent a sink for the contaminants, when such perturbation occurs, the toxic substances may be re-dissolved into the water, causing harmful effects to the freshwater habitat. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the release of potentially toxic elements associated to SPM during flash floods. Two sampling sites on the Sava River were chosen: Litija (Slovenia), where the river has still the characteristics of an alpine river, and in Belgrade (Serbia), where Sava is a lowland river with a flat riverbed, slower flow and bigger quantities of fine-grained sediment. The results of the study showed a good correlation between the SPM mass concentration and water level/discharge. At both sampling sites, elevated concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni and Zn were determined in SPM, indicating a moderate level of contamination at Litija and a high level at Belgrade. The results demonstrated that during the two investigated flash flood events limited the dissolution of PTE from SPM-bearing particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress)
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13 pages, 1342 KiB  
Article
Potentially Toxic Elements and Pb Isotopes in Mine-Draining Meža River Catchment (NE Slovenia)
by Tjaša Goltnik, Judita Burger, Irena Kranjc, Janja Turšič and Tea Zuliani
Water 2022, 14(7), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14070998 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
In the present study it was observed that Pb, Zn, Cd and As are still present at elevated concentrations in the environment of the upper Meža Valley. In particular, the concentrations of Pb indicate possible new sources have emerged. The main objective of [...] Read more.
In the present study it was observed that Pb, Zn, Cd and As are still present at elevated concentrations in the environment of the upper Meža Valley. In particular, the concentrations of Pb indicate possible new sources have emerged. The main objective of this study was to determine the Pb isotope composition in both the water and the sediments (fractions < 0.150 and <0.063 mm) from the Meža River and its tributaries for the first time and then use them as identifiers of Pb pollution sources. In addition, by calculating the PEC-Q values, the potential hazard of the present concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cd and As to the river environment was evaluated. The results showed elevated Pb and Zn concentrations in the water and sediments at the majority of sampling sites. In general, higher concentrations of Pb, Cd and As were determined in the <0.063 mm fraction, while Zn was higher in the <0.150 mm fraction. The isotope composition of Pb in both fractions differed slightly, indicating an additional Pb source. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress)
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19 pages, 13320 KiB  
Article
Following the Occurrence and Origin of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles in the Sava River by Single Particle ICP-MS
by Janja Vidmar, Tea Zuliani, Radmila Milačič and Janez Ščančar
Water 2022, 14(6), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14060959 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2507
Abstract
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) are widely produced and used NPs in different applications. To evaluate the risk from anthropogenic TiO2NPs, more information is needed on their occurrence in the environment. For the first time, this study reports the levels [...] Read more.
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) are widely produced and used NPs in different applications. To evaluate the risk from anthropogenic TiO2NPs, more information is needed on their occurrence in the environment. For the first time, this study reports the levels of TiO2NPs in waters and sediments at selected sampling sites along the Sava River using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in single particle mode (spICP-MS). The highest concentrations of TiO2NPs were determined in river water at Vrhovo (VRH), Jasenovac (JAS), and Slavonski Brod (SLB) sampling locations impacted by urban, agricultural, and/or industrial activities, suggesting that these NPs are likely of anthropogenic origin. The results further showed that hydrological conditions and sediment composition significantly influence the levels of TiO2NPs in river water at most locations. Moreover, the Ti/Al elemental concentration ratios of NPs in water and sediments at JAS were higher than the natural background ratios, further confirming their anthropogenic origin. The outcome of this study provides first information on the presence of (anthropogenic) TiO2NPs in different environmental compartments of the Sava River, contributing to more reliable risk assessments and better regulation of TiO2NPs emissions in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress)
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20 pages, 2756 KiB  
Article
Forest Fires, Land Use Changes and Their Impact on Hydrological Balance in Temperate Forests of Central Mexico
by Víctor H. Ruíz-García, Ma. Amparo Borja de la Rosa, Jesús D. Gómez-Díaz, Carlos Asensio-Grima, Moisés Matías-Ramos and Alejandro I. Monterroso-Rivas
Water 2022, 14(3), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030383 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3232
Abstract
Temperate forests play a fundamental role in the provision, regulation, and support of hydrological environmental services, but they are subject to constant changes in land use (clearing, overgrazing, deforestation, and forest fires) that upset the hydrological balance. Through scenarios simulated with the Water [...] Read more.
Temperate forests play a fundamental role in the provision, regulation, and support of hydrological environmental services, but they are subject to constant changes in land use (clearing, overgrazing, deforestation, and forest fires) that upset the hydrological balance. Through scenarios simulated with the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) hydrological model, the present study analyzes the effects of forest fires and land use changes on the hydrological balance in the microwatersheds of central Mexico. The land use changes that took place between 1995 and 2021 were estimated, and projections based on the current scenario were made. Two trend scenarios were proposed for 2047: one with a positive trend (forest permanence) and the other with a negative trend (loss of cover from forest fires). The results show that with permanence or an increase in forest area, the surface runoff would decrease by 48.2%, increasing the base flow by 37% and the soil moisture by 2.3%. If forest is lost, surface runoff would increase up to 454%, and soil moisture would decrease by 27%. If the current forest decline trends continue, then there will be negative alterations in hydrological processes: a reduction in the interception of precipitation by the canopy and an increase in the velocity and flow of surface runoff, among others. The final result will be a lower amount of water being infiltrated into the soil and stored in the subsoil. The provision of hydrological environmental services depends on the maintenance of forest cover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress)
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20 pages, 3141 KiB  
Article
Factors Governing Biodegradability of Dissolved Natural Organic Matter in Lake Water
by Camille Crapart, Tom Andersen, Dag Olav Hessen, Nicolas Valiente and Rolf David Vogt
Water 2021, 13(16), 2210; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162210 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2897
Abstract
Dissolved Natural Organic Matter (DNOM) is a heterogeneous mixture of partly degraded, oxidised and resynthesised organic compounds of terrestrial or aquatic origin. In the boreal biome, it plays a central role in element cycling and practically all biogeochemical processes governing the physico-chemistry of [...] Read more.
Dissolved Natural Organic Matter (DNOM) is a heterogeneous mixture of partly degraded, oxidised and resynthesised organic compounds of terrestrial or aquatic origin. In the boreal biome, it plays a central role in element cycling and practically all biogeochemical processes governing the physico-chemistry of surface waters. Because it plays a central role in multiple aquatic processes, especially microbial respiration, an improved understanding of the biodegradability of the DNOM in surface water is needed. Here the current study, we used a relatively cheap and non-laborious analytical method to determine the biodegradability of DNOM, based on the rate and the time lapse at which it is decomposed. This was achieved by monitoring the rate of oxygen consumption during incubation with addition of nutrients. A synoptic method study, using a set of lake water samples from southeast Norway, showed that the maximum respiration rate (RR) and the normalised RR (respiration rate per unit of carbon) of the DNOM in the lakes varied significantly. This RR is conceived as a proxy for the biodegradability of the DNOM. The sUVa of the DNOM and the C:N ratio were the main predictors of the RR. This implies that the biodegradability of DNOM in these predominantly oligotrophic and dystrophic lake waters was mainly governed by their molecular size and aromaticity, in addition to its C:N ratio in the same manner as found for soil organic matter. The normalised RR (independently of the overall concentration of DOC) was predicted by the molecular weight and by the origin of the organic matter. The duration of the first phase of rapid biodegradation of the DNOM (BdgT) was found to be higher in lakes with a mixture of autochthonous and allochthonous DNOM, in addition to the amount of biodegradable DNOM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress)
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19 pages, 2678 KiB  
Article
Effects of Grazing and Nutrients on Phytoplankton Blooms and Microplankton Assemblage Structure in Four Temperate Lakes Spanning a Eutrophication Gradient
by Vanessa Rose, Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, Stephen M. Bollens and Julie Zimmerman
Water 2021, 13(8), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081085 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2502
Abstract
Phytoplankton assemblage dynamics are sensitive to biotic and abiotic factors, as well as anthropogenic stressors such as eutrophication, and thus are likely to vary between lakes of differing trophic state. We selected four lakes in Washington State, USA, ranging from oligo- to hypereutrophic, [...] Read more.
Phytoplankton assemblage dynamics are sensitive to biotic and abiotic factors, as well as anthropogenic stressors such as eutrophication, and thus are likely to vary between lakes of differing trophic state. We selected four lakes in Washington State, USA, ranging from oligo- to hypereutrophic, to study the separate and interactive effects of enhanced nutrient availability and zooplankton grazing on phytoplankton net growth rates and overall microplankton (phytoplankton and microzooplankton) assemblage structure. We collected water quality and plankton samples monthly in each lake from May to October 2014, and also conducted laboratory incubation experiments using ambient plankton assemblages from each lake with amendments of zooplankton grazers (5× ambient densities) and nutrients (Nitrogen + Phosphorus) in June, August, and October. In each set of monthly experiments, nested two-way ANOVAs were used to test the effects of enhanced grazers and nutrients on net chlorophyll a-based phytoplankton growth rates. Nested PERMANOVAs were used to test the effects of each factor on microplankton assemblage structure. Enhanced grazing reduced phytoplankton net growth in oligotrophic Cle Elum Lake and oligo-mesotrophic Lake Merwin in August (p < 0.001) and Merwin again in October (p < 0.05), while nutrient enhancement increased phytoplankton net growth in Lake Merwin in June (p < 0.01). Changes in microplankton assemblage composition were not detected as a result of either factor, but they were significantly different between sites (p < 0.001) during each month, and varied by month within each lake. Significant effects of both enhanced grazers and nutrients were detected in systems of low, but not high, trophic state, although this varied by season. We suggest that it is critical to consider trophic state when predicting the response of phytoplankton to bottom-up and top-down factors in lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Stress)
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