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Icefish (Salangidae) as an Indicator of Anthropogenic Pollution in Freshwater Systems Using Nitrogen Isotope Analysis


We investigated differences in δ15N of seston and icefishes from seven freshwater ecosystems with different trophic states in China. An increase of seston δ15N values was accompanied by an increase of total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Significantly positive correlations were observed between δ15N of icefishes and δ15N of seston, total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. This study demonstrated that icefishes could be preferred indicators of anthropogenic contamination in test systems because they integrated waste inputs over long time periods and reflected the movement of waste through the pelagic food chain.

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This research was supported by key projects of the Chinese Academy of Science (grant no. KSCX1–SW–13), a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (grant no. 2006BAD03B00) and the Technological Innovation Fund of Huazhong Agricultural University (grant no. 52204-05058).

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Correspondence to Ping Xie.

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Xu, J., Xie, P., Zhang, M. et al. Icefish (Salangidae) as an Indicator of Anthropogenic Pollution in Freshwater Systems Using Nitrogen Isotope Analysis. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 79, 323–326 (2007).

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  • Icefish
  • δ15N
  • Freshwater ecosystems
  • Anthropogenic contamination