Effect of Landscape Changes on Water Quality and Health Status of Heptapterus mustelinus (Siluriformes, Heptapteridae)

  • N. Vreys
  • M. V. Amé
  • I. Filippi
  • J. Cazenave
  • M. E. Valdés
  • M. A. BistoniEmail author


Substances derived from anthropogenic activities induce changes in the physical and chemical characteristics of the aquatic environment. Physicochemical and biological studies are necessary to understand how changes in landscape affect the health of the aquatic environment. The main goal of this study was to evaluate how the landscape at different spatial scales affects (1) water quality and (2) the health status of Heptapterus mustelinus, based on several biomarkers. During the dry season, individuals were caught in three sites with different degrees of anthropogenic activity. The quality of the terrestrial environment was assessed using the Riparian Quality and Land Use Indices. The water quality condition was evaluated using a water quality index, and pesticides and pharmaceuticals were measured in water. The following biomarkers were analyzed in the fish: general health status (Condition Factor, Hepatosomatic index and energetic costs), enzymatic activity (GST, CAT, AchE), carbonyl content in proteins and histopathological responses in liver and gills. The most impacted sites by the presence of pesticides showed more alterations in the surrounding landscape; specially, changes in the riparian area. In this area, biomarkers denoted more damage than in sites with protected riparian zone. Conservation status of riparian ecosystems is crucial in the determination of rivers ecological quality. Our results demonstrate the importance of monitoring the environmental quality through an integrated analysis, using native fish to understand the effects of human activities on the biota.

Graphical abstract



This study was supported by grants from National Research Council (CONICET, PIP 112-201101-01084) and Secretaría de Ciencia y Técnica of the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (SECYT, 2015/2016.).

Supplementary material

244_2018_593_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Vreys
    • 1
  • M. V. Amé
    • 2
  • I. Filippi
    • 2
  • J. Cazenave
    • 3
  • M. E. Valdés
    • 2
  • M. A. Bistoni
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Diversidad Biológica y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica, Centro de Investigaciones en Bioquímica Clínica e Inmunología de Córdoba (CIBICI), CONICET-UNC and Facultad de Ciencias QuímicasUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Ictiología, Instituto Nacional de Limnología (INALI-CONICET-UNL)Santa Fe, Argentina and Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias (FHUC-UNL)Santa FeArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto de Diversidad y Ecología Animal (IDEA), CONICET-UNC and Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina

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