Prioritization of contaminated watercourses using an integrated biomarker approach in caged carp
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Water research / International Association on Water Pollution Research. - Oxford, 1967, currens
, p. 129-139
University of Antwerp
Because of the ever increasing complexity of environmental contamination profiles, there are limitations to the use of analytical pollutant measurements for monitoring and prioritization of watercourses. The potential of biomarkers has been debated for many years, especially in laboratory settings, but there is a need for studies evaluating these approaches in the field. We evaluated the usefulness of a selection of biomarkers, mostly indicators of general physiological status and common stress responses such as oxidative stress, to discriminate among environmental pollution profiles, with the aim of prioritizing contaminated watercourses for targeted remediation efforts. To this end, juvenile common carp (Cyprinus carpio Lin.) were exposed in cages in the field to Flemish watercourses with varying pollution profiles. After six weeks of exposure, the bioaccumulation of key pollutants was measured, and a set of organismal, biochemical and transcriptional endpoints was determined in several tissue types. After data integration a discrete set of 14 parameters was identified, that could successfully distinguish all watercourses from each other. We show that an integrated biomarker approach, mainly targeting common stress responses, can offer the resolving power to discriminate among environmentally relevant exposure scenarios, and a means to prioritize watercourses for targeted remediation.