Research Topic

Microbial Dynamics and Nature-based Solutions for Water Management

About this Research Topic

According to the United Nations, Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are “inspired and supported by nature and use, or mimic, natural processes to contribute to the improved management of water. NBS can involve conserving or rehabilitating natural ecosystems and/or the enhancement or creation of natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems.” NBS play important roles in maintaining ecological service functions specially in cities, where the trend is to increase urbanization and habitat fragmentation. Microbial communities are an important part of these systems and may have pivotal roles on pollutant degradation, nutrient cycling and ecosystem biodiversity. The urban microbiome associated to NBS is still underexplored.

Cities are facing challenges related to water availability and quality, as well as, to water-related risks, associated to climate change effects but also due to anthropogenic actions. Part of the solution is being considered through the inclusion of NBS to support an efficient water management. NBS include approaches, using, for instance: green roofs and walls, swales, vegetated infiltration or drainage basins, wetlands, lakes and ponds, which allow to deliver vital ecosystem services such as flood management and water depuration to urban environments, increasing its sustainability and resilience.
Microbial communities (like, bacteria, archaea, fungi) play key roles in nearly every biogeochemical process in the Earth. Despite the importance of microbial communities’ dynamics for ecosystem services and human welfare, the underlying microbiological processes of NBS in cities and their relationship with multiple ecosystem functions and services are still not well understood nor explored.

In this alignment comes this Research Topic, that intents to disseminate important research findings and share innovative ideas in this field.

We welcome the submission of interdisciplinary work in the format of original research articles, reviews, mini-reviews, perspectives and opinion papers on microbial dynamics related to NBS, that address the following topics:

• assessment of structural and functional microbial diversity in NBS
• assessment of NBS-associated microbiomes
• evaluation of microbiological processes underlying the different NBS
• exploitation of plant microbe-interactions in NBS when subject to abiotic stresses
• assessment of the potential of NBS associated microorganisms to mitigate anthropogenic pressures
• evaluation the potentiality of NBS to reduce the microbiological (e.g bacteria, viruses, fungi) load on water matrix, including pathogens, when facing sources of pollution (diffuse or point)

Note: we discourage the submission of 16S surveys that lack any functional data.


Keywords: water treatment, bioremediation, Sustainable cities, Microbial Diversity, Urban microbiome


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.

According to the United Nations, Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are “inspired and supported by nature and use, or mimic, natural processes to contribute to the improved management of water. NBS can involve conserving or rehabilitating natural ecosystems and/or the enhancement or creation of natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems.” NBS play important roles in maintaining ecological service functions specially in cities, where the trend is to increase urbanization and habitat fragmentation. Microbial communities are an important part of these systems and may have pivotal roles on pollutant degradation, nutrient cycling and ecosystem biodiversity. The urban microbiome associated to NBS is still underexplored.

Cities are facing challenges related to water availability and quality, as well as, to water-related risks, associated to climate change effects but also due to anthropogenic actions. Part of the solution is being considered through the inclusion of NBS to support an efficient water management. NBS include approaches, using, for instance: green roofs and walls, swales, vegetated infiltration or drainage basins, wetlands, lakes and ponds, which allow to deliver vital ecosystem services such as flood management and water depuration to urban environments, increasing its sustainability and resilience.
Microbial communities (like, bacteria, archaea, fungi) play key roles in nearly every biogeochemical process in the Earth. Despite the importance of microbial communities’ dynamics for ecosystem services and human welfare, the underlying microbiological processes of NBS in cities and their relationship with multiple ecosystem functions and services are still not well understood nor explored.

In this alignment comes this Research Topic, that intents to disseminate important research findings and share innovative ideas in this field.

We welcome the submission of interdisciplinary work in the format of original research articles, reviews, mini-reviews, perspectives and opinion papers on microbial dynamics related to NBS, that address the following topics:

• assessment of structural and functional microbial diversity in NBS
• assessment of NBS-associated microbiomes
• evaluation of microbiological processes underlying the different NBS
• exploitation of plant microbe-interactions in NBS when subject to abiotic stresses
• assessment of the potential of NBS associated microorganisms to mitigate anthropogenic pressures
• evaluation the potentiality of NBS to reduce the microbiological (e.g bacteria, viruses, fungi) load on water matrix, including pathogens, when facing sources of pollution (diffuse or point)

Note: we discourage the submission of 16S surveys that lack any functional data.


Keywords: water treatment, bioremediation, Sustainable cities, Microbial Diversity, Urban microbiome


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

20 December 2020 Manuscript
30 June 2021 Manuscript Extension

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

20 December 2020 Manuscript
30 June 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

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

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