Influence of river water quality on homeostasis characteristics of cypriniform and perciform fish

Keywords: hydro-ecosystems; indicators; development instability; micronuclear violations


Within an integrated ecosystem approach, it is preferable to evaluate the effects of pollution of surface waters through research on the organisms of fish. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of a set of water quality indicators on the homeostasis of fish, in order to determine the response of a hydro-ecosystem to the impact of human activity. Fish samples were obtained from control catches in 16 control sites located in the rivers of Rivne Oblast which differ in intensity of anthropogenic load. The researchers observed that increased concentrations of phosphates and suspended substances, heavy metals, iron, fluorides and nitrogen compounds have violated the environmental state of the examined hydro-ecosystems. Parameters of the morphological homeostasis were assessed by the levels of the fluctuating asymmetry of the meristic signs of fish.The scientists recorded significant impairments (within IV points of body stability) in case of roach and bleak in the majority of the control sites. We carried out the analysis of cytogenetic parameters of fish homeostasis using a micronuclear test of blood erythrocytes.The investigation revealed a significant excess of spontaneous mutagenesis (1.1–1.7 times) in such species as roach, bleak and perch, and this is certainly a clear indicator of unfavourable ecological conditions of the water environment in seven areas of hydro-ecosystems. Given the results of the analysis, the authors found that different ecological groups of fish have their own complex and multifactorial processes of morphological and cytogenetic homeostasis formation. Furthermore, the regression dependences set out in the paper indicated the decisive impact of the oxygen regime of the water environment (COD, BOD5, О2), pollutants (Cu2+, Zn2+, Mn2+), and substances of biogenic group (NH4+, NO2–, PO4‑) upon fish homeostasis. differences in scope of homeostasis characteristics of different fish species were complemented by the differences in the composition of the regression equations. In particular, in case of species that had signs of homeostasis violation, the equation consisted of a greater number of members. The dependences for morphological and cytogenetic homeostasis of bleak and roach appeared to multifactorial. This finding suggests that these species are sensitive local indicators of the water environment both at early and late stages of ontogeny . Finally, as an outcome of the research we obtained prognostic forms of the relationship between water quality indicators and fish homeostasis that may form the basis of an environmental assessment method in which fish characteristics are used to assess the health of hydro-ecosystems.


Albalat, A., Potrykus, J., Pempkowiak, J., & Porte, C. (2002). Assessment of orga notin pollution along the Polish coast (Baltic Sea) by using mussels and fish as sentinel organisms. Chemosphere, 47, 165–171.

Almeida, D., Almodóvar, A., Elvira, B., & Nicola, G. G. (2008). Fluctuating asymmetry, abnormalities and parasitism as indicators of environmental stress in cultured stocks of goldfish and carp. Aquaculture, 279, 120–125.

Al-Sabti, K., & Metcalfe, C. (1995). Fish micronuclei for assessing genotoxicity in water. Mutation Research / Genetic Toxicology, 343, 121–135.

Arenas-Sánchez, A., Rico, A., & Vighi, M. (2016). Effects of water scarcity and chemical pollution in aquatic ecosystems: State of the art. Science of the Total Environment, 572, 390–403.

Attrill, M. J., & Depledge, M. H. (1997). Community and population indicators of ecosystem health: Targeting links between levels of biological organization. Aquatyc Toxicology, 38, 183–197.

Ballesteros, M. L., Bistoni, M. A., Rivetti, N. G., Morillo, D. O., Bertrand, L., & Amé, M. V. (2017). Multi-biomarker responses in fish (Jenynsia multidenta ta) to assess the impact of pollution in rivers with mixtures of environmental contaminants. Science of the Total Environment, 595, 711–722.

Biedunkova, O. (2015). K voprosu jekologo-toksikologicheskih ocenok poverh nostnyh vod [On the issue of ecological and toxicological assessments of surface waters]. Vestnik Brestskogo universiteta: Himija, Biologija, Nauki o zemle, 1, 5–13 (in Russian).

Boscher, A., Gobert, S., Guignard, C., Ziebel, J., L'Hoste, L., Gutleb, A. C, Cau chie, H.-M., Hoffmann, L., & Schmidt, G. (2010). Chemical contaminants in fish species from rivers in the North of Luxembourg: Potential impact on the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). Chemosphere, 78, 785–792.

Cavas, T. (2011). Іn vivo genotoxicity evaluation of atrazine and atrazine-based herbicide on fish Carassius auratus using the micronucleus test and the comet assay. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 49, 1431–1435.

Dalzochio, T., Airton, L., Simões, R., Santos de Souza, M., Zimmermann, G., Rodrigues, P., Petry, I. E., Andriguetti, N. B., Silva, G., Gehlen, G., & Basso da Silva, L. (2017). Water quality parameters, biomarkers and metal bioaccu mulation in native fish captured in the Ilha River, southern Brazil. Chemo sphere, 189, 609–618.

Deng, X., Xu, Y., Han, L., Yu, Z., & Yang, M. (2015). Assessment of river health based on an improved entropy-based fuzzy matter-element model in the Taihu Plain China. Ecological Indicators, 57, 85–95.

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establisying a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. Official Journal of the European Communites. 22/22/2000. – L.: 327/1.

Dórea, J. G. (2008). Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances in fish: Hu man health considerations. Science of the Total Environment, 400, 93–114.

Gilvear, D. J., Spray, C. J., & Casas-Mulet, R. (2013). River rehabilitation for the delivery of multiple ecosystem services at the river network scale. Journal of Environmental Management, 126, 30–43.

Gold-Bouchot, G., Rubio-Piña, J., Montero-Muñoz, J., Ramirez-Miss, N., Eche verría-García, A., Patiño-Suarez, V., Puch-Hau, C. A., & Zapata-Pérez, O. (2017). Pollutants and biomarker responses in two reef fish species (Haemu lon aurolineatum and Ocyurus chrysurus) in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 116, 249–247.

Gutiérrez, J. M., Villar, S., & Plavan, A. A. (2015). Micronucleus test in fishes as indicators of environmental quality in subestuaries of the Río de la Plata (Uruguay). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 91, 518–523.

Halsband, C., & Kurihara, H. (2013). Potential acidification impacts on zooplank ton in CCS leakage scenarios. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 73, 495–503.

He, M., Luo, X., Chen, M., Sun, Y., Chen, S., & Mai, B. (2012). Bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and decabromodiphenyl ethane in fish from a river system in a highly industrialized area, South China. Science of the Total Environment, 419, 109–115.

Hoaglin, D. C., Mosteller, F., & Tukey, J. W. (2000). Understanding robust and exploratory data analysis. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Hussain, B., Sultana, T., Sultana, S., Shahreef, M., Ahmed, Z., & Mahboob, S. (2018). Fish eco-genotoxicology: Comet and micronucleus assay in fish erythrocytes as in situ biomarker of freshwater pollution. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 25, 393–398.

Il'inskih, N. N. (1988). Using the micronucleus test in screening and monitoring of mutagens. Citologija i Genetika, 22, 67–71.

Incardona, J. P., & Scholz, N. L. (2017). Environmental pollution and the fish heart. Fish Physiology, 36, 373–433.

Jayaprakash, M., Kumar, R. S., Giridharan, L., Sujitha, S. B., Sarkar, S. K., & Jo nathan, M. P. (2015). Bioaccumulation of metals in fish species from water and sediments in macrotidal Ennore creek, Chennai, SE coast of India: A metropolitan city effect. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 120, 243–255.

Kalogianni, E., Vourka, A., Karaouzas, I., Vardakas, L., Laschou, S., & Skouliki dis, N. (2017). Combined effects of water stress and pollution on macroinver tebrate and fish assemblages in a Mediterranean intermittent river. Science of the Total Environment, 603–604, 639–650.

Karadžić, V., Subakov-Simić, G., Krizmanić, J., & Natić, D. (2010). Phytoplank ton and eutrophication development in the water supply reservoirs. Garaši and Bukulja (Serbia). Desalination, 255, 91–96.

Klimenko, N. A., Pylypenko, Y. V., & Biedunkova, O. O. (2016). Health assess ment of hydro-ecosystems based on homeostasis indicators of fish: Review of approaches. Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, Ecology, 24(1), 61–71.

Lazorchak, J. M., Hill, B. H., Brown, B. S., McCormick, F. H., Engle, V., Lattier, D. J., Bagley, M. J., Griffith, M. B., Maciorowski, A. F., & Toth, G. P. (2003). Chapter 23 USEPA biomonitoring and bioindicator concepts needed to evaluate the biological integrity of aquatic systems. Trace Metals and Other Contaminants in the Environment, 7, 831–834.

Ledebur, L., & Schmid, W. (1973). The micronucleus test methodological aspects Mutation Research. Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagene sis, 19, 109–117.

Lemos, A. T., Rosa, D. P., Vaz, J. A., & Ferrão, V. M. (2009). Mutagenicity as sessment in a river basin influenced by agricultural, urban and industrial sources. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 72, 2058–2065.

Lu, Q., Jürgens, M. D., Johnson, A. C., Graf, C., Sweetman, A., Crosse, J., & Whi tehead, P. (2017). Persistent organic pollutants in sediment and fish in the river Thames catchment (UK). Science of the Total Environment, 576, 78–84.

Minissi, S., Ciccotti, E., & Rizzoni, M. (1996). Micronucleus test in erythrocytes of Barbus plebejus (Teleostei, Pisces) from two natural environments: A bioassay for the in situ detection of mutagens in freshwater. Mutation Research / Genetic Toxicology, 367, 245–251.

Morán, P., Cal, L., Cobelo-García, A., Almécija, C., Caballero, P., & Garcia de Leaniz, C. (2018). Historical legacies of river pollution reconstructed from fish scales. Environmental Pollution, 234, 253–259.

Nunes, E. A., Lemos, C. T., Gavronski, L., Moreira, T. N., Oliveira, N. C. D., & Silva, J. (2011). Genotoxic assessment on river water using different biolo gical systems. Chemosphere, 84, 47–53.

O’Brien, A., Townsend, K., Hale, R., Sharley, D., & Pettigrove, V. (2016). How is ecosystem health defined and measured? A critical review of freshwater and estuarine studies. Ecological Indicators, 69, 722–729.

Ogden, J. C., Baldwin, J. D., Bass, O. L., Browder, J. A., Cook, M. I., Frederick, P. C., Frezza, P. E., Galvez, R. A., Hodgson, A. B., Meyer, K. D., Oberhofer, L. D., Paul, A. F., Fletcher, P. J., Davis, S. M., & Lorenz, J. J. (2014). Water birds as indicators of ecosystem health in the coastal marine habitats of Southern Florida: 2. Conceptual ecological models. Ecological Indicators, 44, 128–147.

Parsons, P. A. (1990). Fluctuating asymmetry: An epigenetic measure of stress. Biological Reviews, 65, 131–145.

Porto, J., Araujo, C., & Feldberg, E. (2005). Mutagenic effects of mercury polluti on as revealed by micronucleus test on three Amazonian fish species. Environmental Research, 97, 287–292.

Ramzy, E. M. (2014). Toxicity and stability of sodium cyanide in fresh water fish Nile tilapia. Water Science, 28, 42–50.

Rocchetta, I., Lomovasky, B. J., Yusseppone, M. S., Sabatini, S. E., Bieczynski, F., Ríos de Molina, M. C., & Luquet, C. M. (2014). Growth, abundance, morphometric and metabolic parameters of three populations of Diplodon chilensis subject to different levels of natural and anthropogenic organic matter input in a glaciar lake of North Patagonia limnologica. Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, 44, 72–80.

Rodriguez-Cea, A., Ayllon, F., & Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2003). Micronucleus test in freshwater fish species: An evaluation of its sensitivity for application in field surveys. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 56, 442–448.

Schinegger, R., Pucher, M., Aschauer, C., & Schmutz, S. (2018). Configuration of multiple human stressors and their impacts on fish assemblages in Alpine river basins of Austria. Science of the Total Environment, 616–617, 17–28.

Statnyk, I. I. (1999). Vyznachennya rivnya antropogennogo navantazhennya na basejn richky Goryn [Determination of the level of anthropogenic loading on the Goryn river basin] Visnyk Rivnenskogo Derzhavnogo Tehnichnogo Universytetu, 2(1), 88–92 (in Ukrainian).

Swaddle, J. P. (2003). Fluctuating asymmetry, animal behavior, and evolution. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 32, 169–205.

Torres, L., Nilsen, E., Grove, R., & Patiño, R. (2014). Health status of Largescale Sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus) collected along an organic contaminant gradient in the lower Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, USA. Science of the Total Environment, 484, 353–364.

Velez, C., Figueira, E., Soares, A., & Freitas, R. (2016). Combined effects of sea water acidification and salinity changes in Ruditapes philippinarum. Aquatic Toxicology, 176, 141–150.

Vinohradov, K. P., Sakun, Y. V., Byelousova, K. M., Honcharov, H. L., & Shaba nov, D. A. (2012). Vyvchennya fluktuyuchoyi asymetriyi richkovogo oku nya (Perca fluviatilis L., 1758) [The study of fluctuating asymmetry of river perch (Perca fluviatilis L., 1758)]. Biolohiya ta Valeolohiya, 14, 9–17 (in Ukrainian).

Xu, F., Yang, Z., Chen, B., & Zhao, Y. (2013). Development of a structurally dy namic model for ecosystem health prognosis of Baiyangdian Lake. Ecologi cal Indicators, 29, 398–410.

Zaharov, V. M., & Chubinishvili, A. T. (2001). Monitoring zdorov'ja sredy na oh ranjaemyh prirodnyh territorijah [Monitoring the health of the environment in protected areas]. Centr Jekologicheskoj Politiki Rossii, Mosow (in Russian).

Zargar, U. R., Chishti, M. Z., Rather, M. I., Rehman, M., & Zargar, N. (2017). Biomonitoring potential of a Caryophyllaeid tapeworm: Evaluation of Ade noscolex oreini infection level and health status in three fish species of the genus Schizothorax across eutrophication and pollution gradients. Ecological Indicators, 81, 503–513.