Multiparametric approach for assessing environmental quality variations in West African aquatic ecosystems using the black-chinned tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron) as a sentinel species.
ABSTRACT The study highlights the potential of the black-chinned tilapia to be used as a sentinel to assess environmental contaminants based on the use of a set of biomarkers. The usefulness of fish species as sentinels for assessing aquatic environment contamination was tested using a set of biomarkers in Senegalese environments characterized by multi-pollution sources. The black-chinned tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron) was selected as a sentinel because of its abundance, wide distribution in all coastal aquatic ecosystems and physiological properties. The potential influence of confounding factors such as salinity on biomarker in the tilapia has been examined. Individuals were sampled during two seasons (dry and wet) in eight sites characterized by various degrees of anthropogenic contamination and different salinities (from 0 to 102 psu). Biomarkers-including growth rate (GR), condition factor (CF), biotransformation enzymes such as 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), lipid peroxidation (TBARS) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-were measured. Chemical contaminant [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)] levels showed different sources of contamination with relatively high concentrations of PAHs in the Hann Bay and Foundiougne locations. The most sensitive biomarker present in different sites according to the principal component analysis is EROD. Few variations of the AChE activity and TBARS levels were found. No clear relationship was found between biomarker responses and salinity, but GR and CF were lower in hypersaline conditions. Tilapia is responsive to environmental contaminants such as PAHs, OCPs and PCBs. The S. melanotheron multiparametric approach showed a better discrimination of sites.