Special Issue "Application of Ecohydrology Approach for Mitigation of Freshwater Ecosystems Contamination"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Magdalena Urbaniak
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
University of Lodz and European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Interests: ecohydrology; hydrology; ecology; molecular biology; environmental biotechnology; environmental bioremediation; phytoremediation; environmental chemistry; ecotoxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global climate change affects both quantitative and qualitative variations of water resources. This in turn is reflected in the disturbances of the hydrological cycle and water flow in rivers. It is expected that the frequency and intensity of periods of floods and droughts will also be distorted, thus affecting the economic and sociological development of regions. Since water is the primary medium responsible for the transport of matter, nutrients, and pollutants from the catchment, these processes will also influence the concentrations and loads of pollutants in freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, and dam reservoirs. All these changes have a profound impact not only on water, and water-related environment but also socioeconomic wellbeing. It is crucial, therefore, to monitor and mitigate the degradation/pollution level of freshwater ecosystems, as such reduction will contribute to securing the quality of the environment and the health of the population and enable us to achieve the goals of the European Union strategy in the field of water policy.

According to the principles of ecohydrology (Zalewski, 2000), the first step toward reducing and/or reversing the degree of degradation of the water ecosystem is a thorough assessment of its condition. This assessment should include a broad spectrum of analyses of the given ecosystem pollution status in relation to the individual components of the environment (identification of threats), together with the interactions and processes that determine the pollution status (analysis of cause–effect relationships), and then using the knowledge of these links to improve the quality of the environment (developing methods and tools for reduction of identified threats).

In sight of this, the main goal of this Special Issue is to bring together studies looking into (1) the pollution of freshwater ecosystems, (2) the roles played by the factors and processes determining ecosystem pollution status and (3) the nature-based solutions enabling safe remediation of the contaminated environmental matrices. Papers focused on the chemical and biological contaminants and the hydrological and biogeochemical processes in freshwater ecosystems, as well as the nature-based solutions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore of aquatic environment, will be considered for publication.

Assoc. Prof. Magdalena Urbaniak
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 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 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 2000 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

  • Ecohydrology
  • Freshwater ecosystem
  • Catchment
  • Hydrology
  • Pollution
  • Water quality
  • River
  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Anthropogenic impact
  • Nature-based solutions

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Application of Ecohydrology Approach for Mitigation of Freshwater Ecosystems Contamination
Water 2021, 13(5), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050682 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
As a consequence of the rapid development of modern society during the 20th and 21st centuries, a significant number of pollutants have been dispersed into the environment [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Assessing Diazinon Pollution in the Three Major Rivers Flowing into the Caspian Sea (Iran)
Water 2021, 13(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030335 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 471
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal and spatial variations in the concentrations of a widely used organophosphorous pesticide (OPP), diazinon, and the associated risk posed by this OPP in the surface water from the three largest rivers located in [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal and spatial variations in the concentrations of a widely used organophosphorous pesticide (OPP), diazinon, and the associated risk posed by this OPP in the surface water from the three largest rivers located in the northern province of Iran: the Haraz, the Talar and the Babolrood rivers. These rivers are located in the agriculture province of Mazandaran, and are exposed to high doses of organophosphorus pesticides, especially diazinon. The concentration of diazinon was determined using gas chromatography, while the potential risk posed by diazinon was elucidated using a Risk Quotient (RQ) calculated for general (RQm) and worst-case (RQex) scenarios. The obtained results demonstrated that the average diazinon concentrations ranged from 41 ± 76 ng/L in the Talar River and 57 ± 116 ng/L in the Haraz River, to 76.5 ± 145 ng/L in the Babolrood River, with a significant difference noted between summer and autumn seasons for all three rivers. For some stations, the concentration of diazinon is higher than the standard guidelines of Australian/New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (FMWQ) and the United States Criteria Maximum Concentration (CMC). The calculated RQs indicated a medium risk of diazinon, RQm = 0.73 and RQex = 2.27, in the Talar River; RQm = 1.02 and RQex = 2.49 in the Haraz River; and RQm = 1.35 and RQex = 4.54 in the Babolrood River. The overall exposure of diazinon was defined to have a high risk (RQm and RQex > 1); however, the summer sampling revealed a high risk (RQm and RQex > 1), while the autumn had a medium risk (RQm and RQex < 1). The obtained results revealed not only elevated concentrations of diazinon in the studied rivers but most importantly the high risk posed by this OPP for the aquatic organisms and the wellbeing of the whole river ecosystem. The current study showed that development and implementation of appropriate standards and regulations toward diazinon in countries such as Iran are required to reduce the pollution levels and risks related to elevated concentrations of the studied pesticide. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Multiple Responses Associated with Arsenic Tolerance and Accumulation in Pteris vittata L. Plants Exposed to High As Concentrations under Hydroponics
Water 2020, 12(11), 3127; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113127 - 07 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata L.) is recognized as an arsenic hyperaccumulating plant. Mechanisms underlying this capability and the associated hypertolerance have been described even if not completely elucidated. In this study, with the aim to expand the knowledge on the matter, [...] Read more.
Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata L.) is recognized as an arsenic hyperaccumulating plant. Mechanisms underlying this capability and the associated hypertolerance have been described even if not completely elucidated. In this study, with the aim to expand the knowledge on the matter, an experimental trial was developed to investigate an array of responses, at the morphological, physiological, and biochemical level, in P. vittata plants exposed to high As concentrations in a long-term experiment under hydroponics. Results confirmed the ability of fern plants to both tolerate and accumulate a remarkable amount of As, especially in fronds. Notably, in As-treated plants, a far higher As content was detected in young fronds compared to old fronds, with bioaccumulation (BCF) and translocation (Tf) factors in accordance. At the biochemical level, As treatment affected macro and micronutrient, thiol, and phytochelatin concentrations in fronds of treated plants differently than that of the control. Physiological measurements accounted for a reduction in the photosynthetic activity of As-treated plants in the absence of visual symptoms of damage. Overall, the observed As tolerance and accumulation processes were discussed, evidencing how young fronds developed during As treatment maintain their physiological status while accumulating a high As content. Such indications could be very useful to improve the effective utilization of this plant species for phytofiltration of As-polluted water. Full article
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Article
Distribution and ECo-Toxicological Risk Assessment of Legacy Persistent Organic Pollutants in Surface Water of Talar, Babolrood and Haraz Rivers
Water 2020, 12(11), 3104; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113104 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 618
Abstract
In the outer Alborz Range in the Northern Province of Iran, the Haraz, Talar and Babolrood Rivers are the three largest rivers where most of the agricultural, aquacultural and industrial activities are found. Total indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (iPCBs) ranged ND–474, ND–273 and ND–559 [...] Read more.
In the outer Alborz Range in the Northern Province of Iran, the Haraz, Talar and Babolrood Rivers are the three largest rivers where most of the agricultural, aquacultural and industrial activities are found. Total indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (iPCBs) ranged ND–474, ND–273 and ND–559 ng/L in Haraz, Talar and Babolrood Rivers, respectively. Significantly lower (p < 0.05) concentrations of DDT, lindane and dieldrin were observed in the upstream stations than downstream stations of both Babolrood and Haraz Rivers. However, in Talar River, PCB residues in upstream was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than downstream. Furthermore, PCB-28 in Talar River and PCB-101 and PCB-153 in Bablrood and Haraz Rivers were high in water samples at all stations. A significant difference was observed among the stations. In October, November and December, there was negligible variations in total PCB concentration among the stations. Alarming levels of some of the legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may pose adverse effects on the aquatic species dwelling in the Talar, Babolrood and Haraz Rivers of Iran. Full article
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Article
An Experimental Investigation of the Hydraulics and Pollutant Dispersion Characteristics of a Model Beaver Dam
Water 2020, 12(9), 2320; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092320 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
Beavers have influenced the world’s ecosystem for millions of years. Their dams create ponds and wetlands that provide a large range of hydraulic and ecological benefits to the natural world, including mitigation against flooding and improving water quality. As beavers are now being [...] Read more.
Beavers have influenced the world’s ecosystem for millions of years. Their dams create ponds and wetlands that provide a large range of hydraulic and ecological benefits to the natural world, including mitigation against flooding and improving water quality. As beavers are now being reintroduced to many parts of the world, it is important to fully understand the impact of their dams on the flow characteristics of the water-courses on which they are built. This paper investigates the relationship between the physical properties of a model beaver dam and its fundamental hydraulics and pollutant dispersion characteristics. The first objective of this paper was to develop a modelling framework to relate discharge to flow-depth for dams with a combination of porous and impermeable sections. The second objective was to utilize a similar framework to predict the down-stream concentration distribution of an up-stream pollution event passing through such systems. The ability to model these parameters for dams with variable lengths of porous and impermeable sections is important as the porosity of beaver dams can vary with depth, depending on which sections are constructed from branches, rocks, or compacted mud. The analysis and modelling developed in this paper show that a single, general relationship can be obtained between discharge and flow-depth regardless of the presence of sections that are both porous or impermeable, provided the relative depths of these sections are known and accounted for. It is also shown that the Nominal Residence Time and the Advection Dispersion Equation can be used to predict pollutant transport in such systems. These two equations have previously been shown to have limitations when applied to some complex systems, so demonstrating they can be applied to a porous dam with combinations of porous and impermeable sections at the relative discharges investigated is noteworthy. Full article
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Article
The Relationship of Lake Morphometry and Phosphorus Dynamics of a Tropical Highland Lake: Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Water 2020, 12(8), 2243; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082243 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Lakes hold most of the world’s fresh surface water resources. Safeguarding these resources from water quality degradation requires knowledge of the relationship between lake morphometry and water quality. The 3046-km2 Lake Tana in Ethiopia is one of the water resources in which [...] Read more.
Lakes hold most of the world’s fresh surface water resources. Safeguarding these resources from water quality degradation requires knowledge of the relationship between lake morphometry and water quality. The 3046-km2 Lake Tana in Ethiopia is one of the water resources in which the water quality is decreasing and water hyacinths have invaded. The objective of this study is to understand the interaction between the lake morphometry and water quality and specifically the phosphorus dynamics and their effect on the water hyacinths. A bathymetric survey was conducted in late 2017. Various morphometric parameters were derived, and both these parameters and sediment available phosphorus were regressed with the dissolved phosphorus. The results show that, with a wave base depth that is nearly equal to a maximum depth of 14.8 m, the bottom sediments were continuously suspended in the water column. As a result of the resuspension mixing, we found that the dissolved phosphorus in the water column decreased with lake depth and increased with sediment available phosphorus (R2 = 0.84) in the northern half of the lake. This relationship is not as strong in the south due to a large flow of Gilgel Abay to the outlets. Water hyacinths were found where the lake was shallow and the available phosphorus was elevated. The large reservoir of sediment phosphorus will hamper any remedial efforts in removing the water hyacinths. Full article
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Review

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Review
Antimicrobials and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: A Risk to the Environment and to Public Health
Water 2020, 12(12), 3313; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123313 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
The release of antibiotics to the environment, and the consequences of the presence of persistent antimicrobial residues in ecosystems, have been the subject of numerous studies in all parts of the world. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is a common global phenomenon, [...] Read more.
The release of antibiotics to the environment, and the consequences of the presence of persistent antimicrobial residues in ecosystems, have been the subject of numerous studies in all parts of the world. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is a common global phenomenon, which substantially increases the levels of antibiotics in the environment and the rates of their spread. Today, it can be said with certainty that the mass production and use of antibiotics for purposes other than medical treatment has an impact on both the environment and human health. This review aims to track the pathways of the environmental distribution of antimicrobials and identify the biological effects of their subinhibitory concentration in different environmental compartments; it also assesses the associated public health risk and government policy interventions needed to ensure the effectiveness of existing antimicrobials. The recent surge in interest in this issue has been driven by the dramatic increase in the number of infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria worldwide. Our study is in line with the global One Health approach. Full article
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Review
Molecular Methods as Potential Tools in Ecohydrological Studies on Emerging Contaminants in Freshwater Ecosystems
Water 2020, 12(11), 2962; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112962 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) present a threat to the functioning of freshwater ecosystems. Their spread in the environment can affect both plant and animal health. Ecohydrology serves as a solution for assessment approaches (i.e., threat identification, ecotoxicological assessment, and cause–effect relationship analysis) [...] Read more.
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) present a threat to the functioning of freshwater ecosystems. Their spread in the environment can affect both plant and animal health. Ecohydrology serves as a solution for assessment approaches (i.e., threat identification, ecotoxicological assessment, and cause–effect relationship analysis) and solution approaches (i.e., the elaboration of nature-based solutions: NBSs), mitigating the toxic effect of CECs. However, the wide array of potential molecular analyses are not fully exploited in ecohydrological research. Although the number of publications considering the application of molecular tools in freshwater studies has been steadily growing, no paper has reviewed the most prominent studies on the potential use of molecular technologies in ecohydrology. Therefore, the present article examines the role of molecular methods and novel omics technologies as essential tools in the ecohydrological approach to CECs management in freshwater ecosystems. It considers DNA, RNA and protein-level analyses intended to provide an overall view on the response of organisms to stress factors. This is compliant with the principles of ecohydrology, which emphasize the importance of multiple indicator measurements and correlation analysis in order to determine the effects of contaminants, their interaction with other environmental factors and their removal using NBS in freshwater ecosystems. Full article
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