Histopathological alterations in gills of a fish (Astyanax bifasciatus) in neotropical streams: negative effects of riparian forest reduction and presence of pesticides

  • Jardel NimetEmail author
  • Mayara Pereira Neves
  • Natália Prudêncio Viana
  • João Paulo de Arruda Amorim
  • Rosilene Luciana Delariva


The reduction of riparian vegetation around aquatic environments causes several physicochemical alterations and favors the entry of pesticides via surface runoff. Such changes have negative effects on aquatic organisms. In this study, we evaluated histopathological alterations in gills of Astyanax bifasciatus to test the hypothesis that more severe histopathological alterations occur in gills of fish from streams with higher agricultural impact from the surrounding area. The specimens were collected by electrofishing in seven streams of the lower Iguaçu basin between August 2015 and February 2016. The gills were processed according to routine histological methods and examined by light microscopy. The histopathological alterations, mainly stage II (lamellar aneurysm and total fusion of lamellae), were observed in fish collected in streams with higher agricultural activity. In these streams, the histopathological index indicated slight to moderate organ lesions. In contrast, in streams with more vegetation cover, fish collected presented stage I histopathological alterations (lamellar edema and lamellar hyperplasia), and the HI indicated normal functioning of the gills. In addition, chloride and acid mucous cells were more abundant in the gills of fish collected in rural streams. Our findings demonstrate that more severe histopathological alterations were registered in fish collected from streams with intense agricultural activity in the surrounding area. Therefore, it highlights that vegetation cover around the streams is a positive force for the conservation and health of aquatic organisms.


Characidae Environmental monitoring Biomarker Land uses 



We thank the support of the Western Paraná State University and all our colleagues of Laboratório de Ictiologia, Ecologia e Biomonitoramento (LIEB) for the help in fieldwork and in the laboratory.

Funding information

This research was supported by grants from the CAPES.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Centro de Ciências BiológicasPrograma de Pós-Graduação em Biologia ComparadaMaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Zoologia, Pós-graduação em Biologia AnimalUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Instituto de BiociênciasPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Universidade Federal de São CarlosPós-graduação em Ecologia e Recursos Naturais. Rodovia Washington Luiz km 235São CarlosBrazil
  4. 4.Centro de Ciências Biológicas e Saúde, Laboratório de Biologia Tecidual e ReproduçãoUniversidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná. Rua Universitária 2069CascavelBrazil
  5. 5.Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Conservação e Manejo de Recursos Naturais. Rua Universitária 2069CascavelBrazil

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