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Incidence of morphometry variation, growth alteration, and reproduction performance of the annular sea bream (Diplodus annularis) as effective tools to assess marine contamination: how useful is a multi-biotimarkers approach?

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A wide variety of contaminants in the aquatic environment causes several deleterious effects on aquatic organism traits ranging from molecular to individual and population levels. This in situ study investigated morphometry, growth performance, and reproduction success of a teleost fish, Diplodus annularis, from a polluted site “Sayada” and a reference site “Salakta” in the eastern Tunisian coastline. Morphometric indexes, generalized Procruste analysis, thin plate, and otolith contour methods were used to assess the pollution effects on morphological traits. The growth performance of fish from contaminated and control sites were studied using the Von Bertalanffy equation. Gonadosomatic (GSI) and Hepatosomatic (HSI) Indexes and absolute and relative fecundity were used to assess the impact of pollution on the reproduction success of this species. The obtained results showed that the fish of the contaminated zone had significant alteration of the morphology, slower growth, significant increase in the HSI, significant decrease in female GSI, and a decrease in absolute and relative fecundity compared to specimens from the unpolluted zone. Based on these results, the biological traits of Diplodus annularis can be used as biological biomarkers in the monitoring and protection programs of the marine contamination in the Mediterranean Sea.

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This work was supported by a fund from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, University of Monastir, Tunisia (Research Laboratory Bioresources: Integrative Biology and Valorisation, High Institute of Biotechnology of Monastir, Tunisia).

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Correspondence to Tahar Gharred.

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Gharred, T., Mannai, R., Belgacem, M. et al. Incidence of morphometry variation, growth alteration, and reproduction performance of the annular sea bream (Diplodus annularis) as effective tools to assess marine contamination: how useful is a multi-biotimarkers approach?. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 4075–4088 (2020).

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  • Pollution
  • Diplodus annularis
  • Morphology
  • Growth
  • Reproduction
  • Fecundity