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03-04-2021 | Issue 6/2021

Environmental Management 6/2021

Integrated Physiological Biomarkers Responses in Wild Fish Exposed to the Anthropogenic Gradient in the Biobío River, South-Central Chile

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 6/2021
Authors:
Mauricio Quiroz-Jara, Silvia Casini, Maria Cristina Fossi, Rodrigo Orrego, Juan F. Gavilán, Ricardo Barra
Important notes
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

To evaluate the physiological state of the wild fish inhabiting the Biobío River in South-Central Chile, susceptible to the chemical contamination from different sources, biochemical and physiological biomarkers were applied to wild fish Percilia irwini and Trichomycterus areolatus in situ. Fish caught in the Biobío river in low, medium, and high anthropic impacts areas, with different pollution degrees along the river. Ethoxyresorufin O–O deethylase (EROD) activity was evaluated in fish liver. Length, weight, Gonad weight and Liver weight, Physiological Index, and gill and liver histopathology were conducted. Physicochemical parameters (pH, Temperature, Conductivity, and TDS) were measured at each sampling site. The results indicated a deteriorating condition in the biological parameters of both species in a high anthropic zone. Fishes show an increase in physiological indices and EROD liver activity, agreeing with previous studies supporting evidence of reproductive change development as we move downstream the river. Also, an increase in histopathological lesions towards the lower third stretch of the Biobío River. The Integrated Index of Physiological Biomarkers (IPBR) indicated that sites located in the high impact area (P. irwini: BC: 4.09; RC: 3.38; PC: 3.50; SJ: 2.34 and T. areolatus BC: 6.06, PC: 5.37; SJ: 5.42) have the most detrimental environmental quality, compared to reference area. The integrated biomarker analysis demonstrates that the alterations observed are related to the high anthropic activity levels downstream from the sites with the least intervention, demonstrating that the IPBR used is a complementary tool for studies of the Environmental Effects Monitoring approach.

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