About this Research Topic
Several aquatic environments known to undergo highly selective pressures, such as coastal areas, embayments, salt marshes and rivers, among others, have experienced ongoing and extremely high chemical contamination levels and different types of habitat degradation caused by anthropic activities worldwide. This has, in turn, severely compromised the biodiversity of several marine megafauna populations, such as turtles, sharks, rays and marine mammals, causing and, indeed, aggravating several health issues, resulting in several kinds of morphological, behavioral and reproductive alterations. Consequently, population declines have become a concern, with several species now categorized as endangered and/or threatened.
This Research Topic in Frontiers in Marine Science presents an integrated discussion on the effects of anthropogenic activities and habitat degradation on the biodiversity of endangered marine species as part of the major biological groups. Specifically, we would like to focus on several sentinel species such as turtles, marine mammals, sharks and rays (i.e. green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei), Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii), Sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis), Daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus), and Gymnura and Rhinoptera rays. Environments commonly known for undergoing highly selective pressures (i.e., coastal environments, tropical lagoons, salt marshes, estuaries and rivers, among others), be they physical (i.e. noise, significant alterations through port constructions, dredging), chemical (increased contaminant levels) or physico-chemical (water, sediment) are of particular relevance for this Topic.
We welcome Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, and Perspectives that explore the following themes or other closely related topics, which will help advance our current knowledge on key global issues such as,
• Fisheries by-catch
• Chemical contamination
• Conservation actions required to mitigate these impacts
Aspects on species still lacking data, mainly from the Neotropics, along with localized actions that may be applied in a global manner in different habitats and areas, will also be discussed in detail.
Keywords: Degradation, Anthropogenic Activities, Chemical Pollution, Endangered Species, Biodiversity
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.