Histopathological alterations in gills of a fish (Astyanax bifasciatus) in neotropical streams: negative effects of riparian forest reduction and presence of pesticides
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.
KeywordsCharacidae 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.
This research was supported by grants from the CAPES.
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