Seasonal variation in metal concentration in various tissues of the European chub (Squalius cephalus L.)

Abstract

Due to the increasing industrialization, metals are discharged into all spheres of the environment, in particular, in river courses, which leads to the need for constant monitoring. Metals do not degrade into harmless end products; they are very persistent and have high potential for accumulation in biota. Metals in the fish body are accumulated in different amounts in the tissue specific matter. In relation to the biotic conditions and fish metabolism, the load of food, or the stage of the reproductive cycle, the seasonal variation of metal levels can be expected. Because of that, the objective of our present study was to analyze 15 metals and metalloids in liver, gills, muscle, and gonads of European chub (Squalius cephalus) throughout the 4 seasons, autumn, winter, spring, and summer. The specimens were collected from two rivers, Pestan and Beljanica at the Kolubara basin, and their concentrations were determined with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Specimens from both rivers have shown similarities in metal accumulation like the highest accumulation of majority of elements in gills, lowest accumulation of majority of elements in muscle (except for Hg), and higher accumulation of some elements in summer (Cu, Fe, Zn). In addition, Cu and Fe showed affinity for liver, while Ba, Cr, Sr, and Zn were specific for gills. Also, Al, B, Fe, Ni, and Pb did not show significant differences in concentrations among different seasons in all investigated tissues.

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Acknowledgment

This study represents a part of activities within the Project No. 173045, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. Information regarding the quality of water based on chemical analyses was obtained from the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia. The authors would like to thank Luka Gačić who provided English language improvement.

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Correspondence to Karolina Sunjog.

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Sunjog, K., Kolarević, S., Kračun-Kolarević, M. et al. Seasonal variation in metal concentration in various tissues of the European chub (Squalius cephalus L.). Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 9232–9243 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04274-3

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Keywords

  • ICP-OES
  • European chub
  • Metals
  • Seasonal variation
  • Freshwater
  • Fish tissues