Monitoring of Contaminated Water and Soil

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2024 | Viewed by 3285

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Water Research Institute, National Research Council, 70132 Bari, Italy
Interests: big data analytics; pesticide and nitrate pollution; environmental protection; geographic information systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human activities can cause significant changes in the balances and interactions between water and soil matrices: intensive agriculture, industrialisation, urbanisation, and deforestation can alter the water balance and the cycle of nutrients, significantly modifying the state of environmental matrices, leading to problems such as pollution of water resources, soil depletion, and loss of biodiversity. Early understanding of these changes is essential to implement strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of human activities on the environment as soon as possible.

The sector of monitoring water and soil matrices is characterised by the high degree of innovation necessary to provide concrete and practical responses to these environmental challenges. The driving force of innovation is the need to implement monitoring methodologies that consider the complexity of environmental systems and provide concrete and practical responses to various levels of complexity aimed at restoring an excellent quality status of the matrices when compromised by the presence of pollutants.

Therefore, the purpose of this Special Issue is to collect the most significant contributions regarding the advancement of applied and theoretical research aimed at monitoring and characterising the state of water and soil matrices to obtain results that can be directly used to start actions to protect natural resources and restore them to an acceptable quality state.

Dr. Carmine Massarelli
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1800 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

  • technologies and methodologies
  • pollution monitoring and prevention
  • environmental impacts and assessments
  • ecosystem conservation
  • decision support system

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 1870 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Interpretability–Performance Trade-Off of Artificial Neural Networks Using Sentinel Fish Health Data
by Patrick G. McMillan, Zeny Z. Feng, Tim J. Arciszewski, Robert Proner and Lorna E. Deeth
Environments 2024, 11(5), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments11050094 - 3 May 2024
Viewed by 593
Abstract
A number of sentinel species are regularly sampled from the environment near the Oil Sands Region (OSR) in Alberta, Canada. In particular, trout-perch are sampled as a proxy for the health of the aquatic ecosystem. As the development of the OSR began before [...] Read more.
A number of sentinel species are regularly sampled from the environment near the Oil Sands Region (OSR) in Alberta, Canada. In particular, trout-perch are sampled as a proxy for the health of the aquatic ecosystem. As the development of the OSR began before the environmental monitoring program was in place, there is currently no established measure for the baseline health of the local ecosystem. A common solution is to calculate normal ranges for fish endpoints. Observations found to be outside the normal range are then flagged, alerting researchers to the potential presence of stressors in the local environment. The quality of the normal ranges is dependent on the accuracy of the estimates used to calculate them. This paper explores the use of neural networks and regularized regression for improving the prediction accuracy of fish endpoints. We also consider the trade-off between the prediction accuracy and interpretability of each model. We find that neural networks can provide increased prediction accuracy, but this improvement in accuracy may not be worth the loss in interpretability in some ecological studies. The elastic net offers both good prediction accuracy and interpretability, making it a safe choice for many ecological applications. A hybridized method combining both the neural network and elastic net offers high prediction accuracy as well as some interpretability, and therefore it is the recommended method for this application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring of Contaminated Water and Soil)
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19 pages, 4939 KiB  
Article
Application of Wood and Vegetable Waste-Based Biochars in Sustainable Agriculture: Evaluation on Nitrate Leaching, Pesticide Fate, Soil Properties, and Brassica oleracea Growth
by Daniela Losacco, Claudia Campanale, Mariangela Triozzi, Carmine Massarelli and Vito Felice Uricchio
Environments 2024, 11(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments11010013 - 6 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Environmental pollution is caused by the unsustainable use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers and pesticides. Biochar (BC) is a carbon-based material applied to remove excess nutrients and pesticides from the environment. In pot experimental research, N fertilizer and pesticides alone and different biochar types [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution is caused by the unsustainable use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers and pesticides. Biochar (BC) is a carbon-based material applied to remove excess nutrients and pesticides from the environment. In pot experimental research, N fertilizer and pesticides alone and different biochar types were applied in the soil to evaluate cauliflower growth, soil quality, and leaching of agricultural contaminants. BC addition had increased nutrient availability based on feedstock origin. The surface structure results by SEM showed that the BC pore size was equal to 8.94 and 7.24 µm for mixed biochar and wood biochar, respectively. Nitrate concentrations in percolation water were 43.78 and 76.82 mg/L in mixed biochar and wood biochar, respectively. In soil treated with fertilizer and pesticides, NO3 was equal to 106.76 mg/L. Biochar’s binding with pesticides depends on its nature and structure. Adding wood biochar significantly reduced the leaching of fungicide compared to unamended soil, with a contraction of 327.86 and 3576 ng/L. Mixed biochar was more efficient for herbicide mitigation. FTIR was used to identify the functional groups on biochar-amended soil that play a role in the adsorption of agricultural compounds. Research shows that the BC application greatly affects the pesticide fate and N compounds of agricultural origin in soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring of Contaminated Water and Soil)
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