Research Topic

Microbial Transformations of Pollutants in Constructed Wetlands

About this Research Topic

Constructed wetlands (CWs) are cost-efficient options for the treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater around the world. These engineered systems have a proven track record for the removal of water quality constitutens such as inorganic nitrogen compounds, organic matter, and certain microorganisms. Recently, CW research has advanced from studies targeting those traditional water parameters to investigations on the fate of organic micropollutants, biocides, nanoparticles, and even antiobiotic resistant bacteria. Microbial activities, especially in the rhizosphere, are of paramount importance for the treatment effectiveness of CWs. Yet due to spatio-temporal complexities only an unrefined picture of microbial processes in CWs has been obtained so far, mostly via recordings of abiotic parameters at large scales and microbiological data without much spatial information. 

This Research Topic aims to collect physiological, biochemical, ecological, and omics studies to improve our understanding of water treatment in CWs. Particular emphases is on (I) fate and effect of so-called emerging contaminants, and (II) processes taking place in the rhizosphere in order to improve our understanding of the systems’ behaviour. An advanced characterization of in situ microbial activities will support, ultimately, a knowledge-based improvement of CWs. Furthermore, it is noted that CWs differ structurally from non-engineered wetlands by having an artificially directed water flow regime but otherwise share many abiotic and biotic features. Hence, studies on microbial activities in CWs with their controlled fluid dynamics and extensive monitoring of chemical parameters come with substantial power for their translation to similar habitats including peatlands and even coastal blue carbon ecosystems. 

Original Research papers, Methods articles, Opinion and Perspective pieces, as well as Reviews are welcome. We encourage work that integrates results from various disciplines including but not limited to biotechnology, microbial ecology, and physiology. Authors are particularly invited to submit manuscripts on the following thematic areas:

• identification of microbes relevant for pollutant transformation, and tracing their fate in situ;
• dynamics of redox processes as integral aspect of microbial transformations in CWs;
• response of well-studied microbial transformations to the presence of emerging pollutants such as pesticides, nanoparticles, and microplastics;
• studies illuminating the mosaic structure of the microbial community in the rhizosphere of CWs;
• development of methods to characterize the relationship between hydrodynamics and microbial physiology;
• biochar effects on microbial transformations.

Other studies on microbial processes in CWs including modeling approaches will be considered, too. All submitted articles should focus on understanding the underlying networks and biochemical or genetic mechanistics within CW microbial communities; merely descriptive articles will be considered out of scope.


Keywords: wastewater treatment, root-microbe interactions, rhizosphere effect, environmental engineering, ecotechnology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Constructed wetlands (CWs) are cost-efficient options for the treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater around the world. These engineered systems have a proven track record for the removal of water quality constitutens such as inorganic nitrogen compounds, organic matter, and certain microorganisms. Recently, CW research has advanced from studies targeting those traditional water parameters to investigations on the fate of organic micropollutants, biocides, nanoparticles, and even antiobiotic resistant bacteria. Microbial activities, especially in the rhizosphere, are of paramount importance for the treatment effectiveness of CWs. Yet due to spatio-temporal complexities only an unrefined picture of microbial processes in CWs has been obtained so far, mostly via recordings of abiotic parameters at large scales and microbiological data without much spatial information. 

This Research Topic aims to collect physiological, biochemical, ecological, and omics studies to improve our understanding of water treatment in CWs. Particular emphases is on (I) fate and effect of so-called emerging contaminants, and (II) processes taking place in the rhizosphere in order to improve our understanding of the systems’ behaviour. An advanced characterization of in situ microbial activities will support, ultimately, a knowledge-based improvement of CWs. Furthermore, it is noted that CWs differ structurally from non-engineered wetlands by having an artificially directed water flow regime but otherwise share many abiotic and biotic features. Hence, studies on microbial activities in CWs with their controlled fluid dynamics and extensive monitoring of chemical parameters come with substantial power for their translation to similar habitats including peatlands and even coastal blue carbon ecosystems. 

Original Research papers, Methods articles, Opinion and Perspective pieces, as well as Reviews are welcome. We encourage work that integrates results from various disciplines including but not limited to biotechnology, microbial ecology, and physiology. Authors are particularly invited to submit manuscripts on the following thematic areas:

• identification of microbes relevant for pollutant transformation, and tracing their fate in situ;
• dynamics of redox processes as integral aspect of microbial transformations in CWs;
• response of well-studied microbial transformations to the presence of emerging pollutants such as pesticides, nanoparticles, and microplastics;
• studies illuminating the mosaic structure of the microbial community in the rhizosphere of CWs;
• development of methods to characterize the relationship between hydrodynamics and microbial physiology;
• biochar effects on microbial transformations.

Other studies on microbial processes in CWs including modeling approaches will be considered, too. All submitted articles should focus on understanding the underlying networks and biochemical or genetic mechanistics within CW microbial communities; merely descriptive articles will be considered out of scope.


Keywords: wastewater treatment, root-microbe interactions, rhizosphere effect, environmental engineering, ecotechnology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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