In the last few decades, there has been a growing interest in the occurrence of cyanotoxins and their potential toxicity in the aquatic environment. However, the used of dried toxic cyanobacteria cells as fertilizer or the used of surface water contaminated with cyanotoxins for agricultural crops irrigation can be source of soil contamination. In addition, surface waters presenting dense toxic blooms of cyanobacteria and used for agricultural practices are not controlled and are often used without prior treatment. Once in soil, cyanotoxins may be transported again to water bodies by leaching, runoff and drainage processes or can be accumulated in soils and, therefore, may cause contamination of vegetation by absorption from soils or by surface pollution of plants. In addition to possible effects on human health, elevated levels of cyanotoxins in soils can negatively affect plant vigour, animal health, microbial processes and overall soil health. Consequently, the focus of this chapter of soil contamination is cyanotoxins as contaminants of emerging concern in the soil, identifying sources of contamination, determining their fate and effects in the soil, and understanding their bioaccumulation in agricultural plants used for feed and food and consequences on animal and human health.
Part of the book: Soil Contamination
This chapter will present an overview of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) and biotic and abiotic factors, as well as various aspects associated with these worldwide ecological bursts. The exact causes of the cyanoHABs are still not well defined, but eutrophication and climate change (temperature increase, light intensity variation, etc.) are the two assumed main factors that may promote the proliferation and expansion of cyanobacterial blooms. However, these premises need to be profoundly investigated as the optimal combination of all factors such as increased nutrient loading, physiological characteristics of cyanobacterial species, and climate effects which could lead to the blooming pattern will require robust modeling approaches to predict the phenomena. Negative issues associated with cyanoHABs are diverse including the toxic products (cyanotoxins) released by certain taxa which can damage the health of humans and animal habitats around the related watershed as well as generate a huge water quality problem for aquatic industries.
Part of the book: Limnology