Special Issue "Freshwater Biophysical Ecosystem Health"

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: closed (10 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Simone Varandas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forest Sciences and Landscape Architecture, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
Interests: freshwater ecosystems; freshwater bivalves; freshwater conservation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria José Saavedra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
Interests: antibacterial activity; antibiotic-phytochemicals synergy; antibiotic resistance; biofilms
Dr. Sandra Mariza Monteiro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: cell proliferation; fish biology; histopathology; ichthyology; fish physiology; toxicity studies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Edna Cabecinha
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
Interests: freshwater ecology, ecological modelling, management of aquatic ecosystems, ecosystem services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A healthy freshwater ecosystem has ecological integrity when it can maintain its structural and functional evolution over time while facing external stress. An ecosystem’s health refers to the health of all its living and non-living physical components. A consistent assessment of ecological integrity requires evaluation of the biological status and the causes of impairment. Over the last decades, efforts have been made in developing and refining indicators to assess the biological status of aquatic ecosystems. A range of freshwater variables can be used to measure ecosystem health, such as biochemical and microbiological water quality as well as physicochemical and ecological aspects such as habitat quality, biological diversity, and ecosystem functionality. On the other hand, the integration of biological endpoints or biomarkers (molecular, biochemical, and physiological markers) can clarify issues of contaminant bioavailability, bioaccumulation, and ecological effects while enabling better understanding of the effects of non-chemical stressors.

The composition, structure, and dynamics of ecosystems are changing across the globe in response to different threats. The alterations in the environment produced by anthropogenic activities can be described as part of the global change process. Consequently, the overexploitation of ecosystems, introduction of invasive species, alteration of biogeochemical cycles and climate, and land use/cover changes are real threats to the natural environment as well as to populations.

Dr. Simone Varandas
Dr. Maria José Saavedra
Dr. Sandra Mariza Monteiro 
Dr. Edna Cabecinha
Guest Editors

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

  • aquatic biodiversity
  • biomonitoring
  • environmental management
  • freshwater ecology
  • global change
  • human impacts
  • ecological status assessment
  • ecosystem services
  • restoration
  • nature-based solutions
  • multiple stressors
  • biomarkers
  • environmental microbiology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
The Role of Aquatic Ecosystems (River Tua, Portugal) as Reservoirs of Multidrug-Resistant Aeromonas spp.
Water 2021, 13(5), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050698 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 667
Abstract
The inappropriate use of antibiotics, one of the causes of the high incidence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria isolated from aquatic ecosystems, represents a risk for aquatic organisms and the welfare of humans. This study aimed to determine the antimicrobial resistance rates among riverine Aeromonas [...] Read more.
The inappropriate use of antibiotics, one of the causes of the high incidence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria isolated from aquatic ecosystems, represents a risk for aquatic organisms and the welfare of humans. This study aimed to determine the antimicrobial resistance rates among riverine Aeromonas spp., taken as representative of the autochthonous microbiota, to evaluate the level of antibacterial resistance in the Tua River (Douro basin). The prevalence and degree of antibiotic resistance was examined using motile aeromonads as a potential indicator of antimicrobial susceptibility for the aquatic environment. Water samples were collected from the middle sector of the river, which is most impacted area by several anthropogenic pressures. Water samples were plated on an Aeromonas-selective agar, with and without antibiotics. The activity of 19 antibiotics was studied against 30 isolates of Aeromonas spp. using the standard agar dilution susceptibility test. Antibiotic resistance rates were fosfomycin (FOS) 83.33%, nalidixic acid (NA) 60%, cefotaxime (CTX) 40%, gentamicin (CN) 26.67%, tobramycin (TOB) 26.67%, cotrimoxazole (SXT) 26.67%, chloramphenicol (C) 16.67%, and tetracycline (TE) 13.33%. Some of the nalidixic acid-resistant strains were susceptible to fluoroquinolones. Multiple resistance was also observed (83.33%). The environmental ubiquity, the natural susceptibility to antimicrobials and the zoonotic potential of Aeromonas spp. make them optimal candidates for studying antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in aquatic ecosystems. Aquatic environments may provide an ideal setting for the acquisition and dissemination of antibiotic resistance because anthropogenic activities frequently impact them. The potential risk of multi- and pan-resistant bacteria transmission between animals and humans should be considered in a “One Health—One World” concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Biophysical Ecosystem Health)
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Article
Multi-Biomarker Responses of Asian Clam Corbicula fluminea (Bivalvia, Corbiculidea) to Cadmium and Microplastics Pollutants
Water 2021, 13(4), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040394 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
One of the most widespread aquatic organisms in the rivers and estuarine ecosystems, in the world, is Asian clam Corbiculafluminea. This clam, that can adapt to environmental changes, is an invasive species in several areas and it was adopted as a [...] Read more.
One of the most widespread aquatic organisms in the rivers and estuarine ecosystems, in the world, is Asian clam Corbiculafluminea. This clam, that can adapt to environmental changes, is an invasive species in several areas and it was adopted as a model for toxicity tests. This study evaluated the effects of the exposure to cadmium (Cd), to microplastics (MPs) and their mixtures on C. fluminea. The oxidative stress responses, lipid peroxidation (LPO), changes in the activity of energy-related enzymes and neurotoxicity were assessed on the gill, digestive gland and gonad. The results show that Cd, MPs and their mixtures cause oxidative stress, damage and neurotoxicity. The enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the LPO levels could be chosen as biomarkers of Cd pollution. Exposure to MPs induced an increase in reduced/oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) ratio and increased AChE activity. The combined exposure to Cd and MPs caused a synergetic effect in gill and gonad, while an antagonism response was recorded in the digestive gland. The results provide new insights for unveiling the biologic effects of heavy metal, microplastics and their mixtures on C. fluminea. Besides, we demonstrated that the Asian clam is a good bioindicator of microplastic pollution that can occur in aquatic environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Biophysical Ecosystem Health)
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Article
Diatom Taxonomic Composition as a Biological Indicator of the Ecological Health and Status of a River Basin under Agricultural Influence
Water 2020, 12(7), 2067; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072067 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 791
Abstract
The Lalin River Basin (LLRB) is a major drainage basin in northeastern China, that has been significantly influenced by agricultural activities. This study focused on exploring diatom taxonomic composition linked to environmental factors at the taxonomic levels of genus and species during ice-covered [...] Read more.
The Lalin River Basin (LLRB) is a major drainage basin in northeastern China, that has been significantly influenced by agricultural activities. This study focused on exploring diatom taxonomic composition linked to environmental factors at the taxonomic levels of genus and species during ice-covered periods. Nine sampling stations were divided into three groups based on trophic state index (TSI). hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and redundancy analysis (RDA) were performed to identify diatom distribution patterns and their relationships to environmental factors. Diatom richness, composition and distribution were analyzed at the levels of genus and species. Our results showed the epipelagic diatom Melosira varians was very abundant at most stations. Benthic diatoms Achnanthidium minutissimum, Encyonema minutum and Gomphonema parvulum were dominant in group-3, which had the highest trophic states. HCA showed the similarity of diatom taxonomic composition spatial distribution patterns between genus and species levels. RDA revealed that the key factors related to genus level distributions are COD, TP and EC, while TP was the key factor in structuring diatom taxonomic composition at the level of species. These results suggest identification of diatoms at genus level can be used as a potential indicator to assess ecological health status of agricultural-influenced rivers during ice cover periods. Further research is necessary to explore the utility of genus level diatom composition as a biological indicator in rivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Biophysical Ecosystem Health)
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