Multiple Approaches for Environmental Assessment of Transitional and Coastal Waters

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 January 2022) | Viewed by 11713

Special Issue Editor

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Chioggia, Venice, Italy
Interests: transitional and coastal waters; environmental impact assessment; ecological and chemical status quality; statistical data analysis; ecological restoration; water framework directive; climate change
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Transitional and coastal areas are considered highly productive ecosystems on Earth. Despite protective measures, their recently accelerated rate of loss has been much higher than those of any other ecosystem on the planet because of the anthropogenic impact and climate change. Assessing their “state of health” involves a multidisciplinary approach both in monitoring plans and during data analysis processes. Environmental European directives, such as the Water Framework Directive, also require this approach, promoting programs to monitor both biological quality elements, physiochemical parameters, and priority substances that contribute to the ecological and chemical status classification of water bodies, respectively. Environmental monitoring and characterization plans are often articulated to include the largest analytical panel and the most complete set of pressure-sensitive biological indicators. However, monitoring or characterization plans results rarely provide environmental assessments integrating all the different aspects investigated.

The aim of this Special issue is to collect original, unpublished papers and review articles dealing with approaches integrating the information provided by different indicators and indices. I particularly welcome papers with case studies, which include biological, chemical, physical, and statistical analyses, in transitional or coastal environments.

Dr. Federica Cacciatore
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • transitional waters
  • environmental quality
  • status and pressure assessment
  • intertidal ecosystems
  • multidisciplinary approach

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 1739 KiB  
Article
Before-During-After Biomonitoring Assessment for a Pipeline Construction in a Coastal Lagoon in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Italy)
Environments 2022, 9(7), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9070081 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3344
Abstract
During 2006–2008, a pipeline was buried in Vallona lagoon in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Italy). A Before-During-After environmental monitoring programme was scheduled to monitor possible alterations. Bioaccumulation of metal(loid)s, BTs (butyltins) and HMW-PAHs (High Molecular Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), and biological responses (Condition [...] Read more.
During 2006–2008, a pipeline was buried in Vallona lagoon in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Italy). A Before-During-After environmental monitoring programme was scheduled to monitor possible alterations. Bioaccumulation of metal(loid)s, BTs (butyltins) and HMW-PAHs (High Molecular Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), and biological responses (Condition index, air Survival—LT50, Acetylcholinesterase, Micronuclei—MN, acyl-CoA oxidase, catalase, malondialdehyde—MDA, and the total oxyradical scavenging capacity—TOSCA) were investigated in Manila clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) from November 2005 to June 2015. In opera (IO) results showed higher levels of HMW-PAHs (73 ± 13 ng/g), BTs (90 ± 38 ng Sn/g) and increasing levels of Pb (6.7 ± 0.7 mg/kg) and Zn (73.6 ± 6.08 mg/kg) probably linked to works. Other contaminant alterations, especially metal(loid)s, before (AO) and after (PO) the burial, were attributed to a general condition of the area and mostly unrelated to works. In addition, LT50, MN and TOSCA showed alterations, probably due to hotspots occurring in IO. TOSCA and MDA increases, right after the burial, were considered delayed responses of IO, whilst other biological responses detected later were connected to the general condition of the area. Comparisons between results of Principal Component Analyses (PCAs) highlighted partial overlapping of AO and IO, whilst PO differed only for contaminants. Visual correlations between PCAs highlighted the biomarkers’ latter response. Full article
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17 pages, 3015 KiB  
Article
A New Multi-Index Method for the Eutrophication Assessment in Transitional Waters: Large-Scale Implementation in Italian Lagoons
Environments 2022, 9(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9040041 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3660
Abstract
Eutrophication represents one of the most impacting threats for the ecological status and related ecosystem services of transitional waters; hence, its assessment plays a key role in the management of these ecosystems. A new multi-index method for eutrophication assessment, based on the ecological [...] Read more.
Eutrophication represents one of the most impacting threats for the ecological status and related ecosystem services of transitional waters; hence, its assessment plays a key role in the management of these ecosystems. A new multi-index method for eutrophication assessment, based on the ecological index MaQI (Macrophyte Quality Index), the trophic index TWQI (Transitional Water Quality Index), and physicochemical quality elements (sensu Dir. 2000/60/EC), was developed including both driver and impact indicators. The study presents a large-scale implementation of the method, which included more than 100 Italian lagoon sites, covering a wide variability of lagoon typologies and conditions. Overall, 35% of sites resulted in eutrophic status, 45% in mesotrophic, and 25% in oligotrophic status. Full article
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24 pages, 102125 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Approach for Evaluating the Restoration of the Salinity Gradient in Transitional Waters: Monitoring and Numerical Modeling in the Life Lagoon Refresh Case Study
Environments 2022, 9(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9030031 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3843
Abstract
Large lagoons usually show a salinity gradient due to fresh water tributaries with inner areas characterized by lower mean values and higher fluctuation of salinity than seawater-dominated areas. In the Venice Lagoon, this ecotonal environment, characterized in the past by oligo-mesohaline waters and [...] Read more.
Large lagoons usually show a salinity gradient due to fresh water tributaries with inner areas characterized by lower mean values and higher fluctuation of salinity than seawater-dominated areas. In the Venice Lagoon, this ecotonal environment, characterized in the past by oligo-mesohaline waters and large intertidal areas vegetated by reedbeds, was greatly reduced by historical human environmental modifications, including the diversion of main rivers outside the Venice Lagoon. The reduction of the fresh water inputs caused a marinization of the lagoon, with an increase in salinity and the loss of the related habitats, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. To counteract this issue, conservation actions, such as the construction of hydraulic infrastructures for the introduction and the regulation of a fresh water flow, can be implemented. The effectiveness of these actions can be preliminarily investigated and then verified through the combined implementation of environmental monitoring and numerical modeling. Through the results of the monitoring activity carried out in Venice Lagoon in the framework of the Life Lagoon Refresh (LIFE16NAT/IT/000663) project, the study of salinity is shown to be a successful and robust combination of different types of monitoring techniques. In particular, the characterization of salinity is obtained by the acquisition of continuous data, field campaigns, and numerical modeling. Full article
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