Parasites and pollution: the effectiveness of tiny organisms in assessing the quality of aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on Africa

Parasites and pollution: the effectiveness of tiny organisms in assessing the quality of aquatic... The aquatic environment represents the final repository for many human-generated pollutants associated with anthropogenic activities. The quality of natural freshwater systems is easily disrupted by the introduction of pollutants from urban, industrial and agricultural processes. To assess the extent of chemical perturbation and associated environmental degradation, physico-chemical parameters have been monitored in conjunction with biota in numerous biological monitoring protocols. Most studies incorporating organisms into such approaches have focussed on fish and macroinvertebrates. More recently, interest in the ecology of parasites in relation to environmental monitoring has indicated that these organisms are sensitive towards the quality of the macroenvironment. Variable responses towards exposure to pollution have been identified at the population and component community level of a number of parasites. Furthermore, such responses have been found to differ with the type of pollutant and the lifestyle of the parasite. Generally, endoparasite infection levels have been shown to become elevated in relation to poorer water quality conditions, while ectoparasites are more sensitive, and exposure to contaminated environments resulted in a decline in ectoparasite infections. Furthermore, endoparasites have been found to be suitable accumulation indicators for monitoring levels of several trace elements and metals in the environment. The ability of these organisms to accumulate metals has further been observed to be of benefit to the host, resulting in decreased somatic metal levels in infected hosts. These trends have similarly been found for host–parasite models in African freshwater environments, but such analyses are comparatively sparse compared to other countries. Recently, studies on diplozoids from two freshwater systems have indicated that exposure to poorer water quality resulted in decreased infections. In the Vaal River, the poor water quality resulted in the extinction of the parasite from a site below the Vaal River Barrage. Laboratory exposures have further indicated that oncomiracidia of Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon are sensitive to exposure to dissolved aluminium. Overall, parasites from African freshwater and marine ecosystems have merit as effect and accumulation indicators; however, more research is required to detail the effects of exposure on sensitive biological processes within these organisms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Science and Pollution Research Springer Journals

Parasites and pollution: the effectiveness of tiny organisms in assessing the quality of aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on Africa

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/parasites-and-pollution-the-effectiveness-of-tiny-organisms-in-vvm7gJl27G
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany
Subject
Environment; Environment, general; Environmental Chemistry; Ecotoxicology; Environmental Health; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Waste Water Technology / Water Pollution Control / Water Management / Aquatic Pollution
ISSN
0944-1344
eISSN
1614-7499
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11356-017-9481-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aquatic environment represents the final repository for many human-generated pollutants associated with anthropogenic activities. The quality of natural freshwater systems is easily disrupted by the introduction of pollutants from urban, industrial and agricultural processes. To assess the extent of chemical perturbation and associated environmental degradation, physico-chemical parameters have been monitored in conjunction with biota in numerous biological monitoring protocols. Most studies incorporating organisms into such approaches have focussed on fish and macroinvertebrates. More recently, interest in the ecology of parasites in relation to environmental monitoring has indicated that these organisms are sensitive towards the quality of the macroenvironment. Variable responses towards exposure to pollution have been identified at the population and component community level of a number of parasites. Furthermore, such responses have been found to differ with the type of pollutant and the lifestyle of the parasite. Generally, endoparasite infection levels have been shown to become elevated in relation to poorer water quality conditions, while ectoparasites are more sensitive, and exposure to contaminated environments resulted in a decline in ectoparasite infections. Furthermore, endoparasites have been found to be suitable accumulation indicators for monitoring levels of several trace elements and metals in the environment. The ability of these organisms to accumulate metals has further been observed to be of benefit to the host, resulting in decreased somatic metal levels in infected hosts. These trends have similarly been found for host–parasite models in African freshwater environments, but such analyses are comparatively sparse compared to other countries. Recently, studies on diplozoids from two freshwater systems have indicated that exposure to poorer water quality resulted in decreased infections. In the Vaal River, the poor water quality resulted in the extinction of the parasite from a site below the Vaal River Barrage. Laboratory exposures have further indicated that oncomiracidia of Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon are sensitive to exposure to dissolved aluminium. Overall, parasites from African freshwater and marine ecosystems have merit as effect and accumulation indicators; however, more research is required to detail the effects of exposure on sensitive biological processes within these organisms.

Journal

Environmental Science and Pollution ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 28, 2017

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off