Special Issue "Emerging Contaminants in Marine Ecosystems: Current Trends and Future Challenges in Fate, Transport, and Toxicity"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2023) | Viewed by 2015

Special Issue Editors

Department of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Interests: environmental analytical chemistry; wastewater treatment; marine chemistry; emerging contaminants; climate change; sustainability in education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Physical and Earth Sciences, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa
Interests: emerging pollutants; environmental remediation; nanomaterials; water treatment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to submit an original manuscript to this Special Issue in Water on chemodynamics and environmental toxicology of emerging contaminants in marine ecosystems. The presence of emerging contaminants in seas and oceans has degraded water quality and contributed to habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity. These emerging contaminants continuously enter marine ecosystems via riverine discharge, surface runoff, long-range atmospheric deposition, and oceanic currents. Therefore, there is a need for comprehensive studies on the behavior and health effects of emerging contaminants in marine ecosystems.

Through advances in sampling techniques, emerging contaminants have been detected in the deep sea. Over the past decades, analytical techniques have become more sensitive and selective making it possible to detect unknown known (suspect screening) and unknown unknown (non-target screening) contaminants at trace concentrations. Advances in biological analysis with the advent of high throughput DNA sequencing which made it possible to determine the impact of emerging contaminants on biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity. Further developments in in vitro assays have contributed to our understanding of the mechanism and pathways of toxicity of emerging contaminants in marine ecosystems. However, there are several critical questions that remain unanswered.

This Special Issue will publish original research, short communications, reviews, and policy analyses articles that address recent advances in environmental monitoring and characterization of emerging contaminants in marine ecosystems; such as novel methods in sampling and analysis of emerging contaminants, advances in source appointment and contaminant transpor , environmental chemodynamics of emerging contaminants, impact of emerging contaminants on microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles, mixture toxicity of emerging contaminants, and application of in vitro assays in mechanistic toxicology.

Dr. Edmond Sanganyado
Dr. Nhamo Chaukura
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 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. 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 2600 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.


  • emerging contaminants
  • pharmaceuticals and personal care products
  • pesticides
  • microbial ecology
  • environmental fate and transport
  • marine pollution
  • mixture toxicity
  • environmental DNA
  • marine mammals
  • in vitro assays

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Microplastics in Marine Sediments in Eastern Guangdong in the South China Sea: Factors Influencing the Seasonal and Spatial Variations
Water 2023, 15(6), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061160 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1587
Little is known about the comprehensive factors influencing temporal changes in microplastic abundance in marine ecosystems. We investigated seasonal variations in the microplastic distribution in marine sediments in multiple-used zones of Eastern Guangdong in the South China Sea. The top 10 cm sediments [...] Read more.
Little is known about the comprehensive factors influencing temporal changes in microplastic abundance in marine ecosystems. We investigated seasonal variations in the microplastic distribution in marine sediments in multiple-used zones of Eastern Guangdong in the South China Sea. The top 10 cm sediments from 26 sites were collected by grab sampling in the spring, summer, and winter of 2021. Marine sediments had the lowest microplastic abundance in summer, significantly lower than in other seasons. The size of microplastics varied from 22.5 to 4363.3 µm but the 50–200 µm range was the most abundant. Transparent and fragmented microplastics were the most frequently observed composition. Microplastic abundance negatively correlated to distance to the coast. However, seaweed ecosystems impacted microplastic abundance by changing the microenvironment and/or direct contact and entrapment. Microplastic abundance is closely related to coastal mariculture and local residential and industrial activities. Polypropylene, polypropylene-polyethylene copolymer, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyethylene were the most frequently detected compositions, probably from packaging materials, textiles, and electronic/electrical/building industries. This work helps to understand the role of multiple-used zones and their influence on microplastic distributions in marine ecosystems. Appropriate management of the use and disposal of plastic waste on land was recommended to alleviate microplastic pollution in the marine environment. Full article
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