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Concentrations of 18 Elements in Muscle, Liver, Gills, and Gonads of Sichel (Pelecus cultratus), Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua), and European Perch (Perca fluviatilis) in the Danube River near Belgrade (Serbia)


The analysis of 18 elements in muscle, liver, gills, and gonads of sichel (Pelecus cultratus), ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua), and European perch (Perca fluviatilis), caught at a polluted segment of the Danube River near Belgrade, was carried out with the aim to expand the knowledge about the ecotoxicology of these species for monitoring purposes and the possible impact on human health. Generally, the elemental concentration significantly differed between species and tissues (p < 0.0001), and a statistical interaction between these two factors was observed (p < 0.0001). In muscle and liver, concentrations of Hg and Se were statistically higher in ruffe than in sichel and European perch. In gills, statistically highest concentrations of Mn, Sr, and Zn were found in sichel, and of Fe in European perch. In gonads, statistically highest concentrations of As were detected in sichel, of Zn in ruffe, and of Mn and Mo in European perch. The highest number of coefficients of partial correlations between fish weight and element levels was found in sichel (11 in total). Of all analyzed elements, Al and B had the highest number of partial correlations in tissues. The levels of Hg exceeded the maximum acceptable concentration (0.5 mg kg−1) in all muscle samples, which can pose a risk for human consumption. Different diet preferences of the investigated fish species resulted in a different accumulation of elements in tissues, and ruffe (as a species that consume mainly benthic macroinvertebrates) accumulated the highest level of Hg, which makes it suitable for monitoring of this element in water bodies.

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We acknowledge the support provided by the Project No. 173045, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.

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Correspondence to S. Subotić.

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Subotić, S., Višnjić-Jeftić, Ž., Spasić, S. et al. Concentrations of 18 Elements in Muscle, Liver, Gills, and Gonads of Sichel (Pelecus cultratus), Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua), and European Perch (Perca fluviatilis) in the Danube River near Belgrade (Serbia). Water Air Soil Pollut 226, 287 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-015-2544-x

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  • Ecotoxicology
  • Large rivers
  • Toxic metals
  • Monitoring