Health status of native fish (Percilia gillissi and Trichomycterus areolatus) downstream of the discharge of effluent from a tertiary-treated elemental chlorine-free pulp mill in Chile

Gustavo Chiang, Mark E. Mcmaster, Roberto Urrutia, M. Fernanda Saavedra, J. Francisco Gavilán, Felipe Tucca, Ricardo Barra, Kelly R. Munkittrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Few data exist on the possible effects of pulp and paper effluent discharge on native fish populations in the Southern Hemisphere, relative to the research done in the Northern Hemisphere. The present research examined two native fish species (Trichomycterus areolatus and Percilia gillissi) for effects at both the molecular and individual level due to the discharge of effluent from a tertiary treated elemental chlorine-free pulp mill into a fluvial system in Central Chile over three seasons (February 2007, October 2007, January 2008). Different responses were observed between species and between sexes. There was an increase in the production of gonadal 17β-estradiol in the females of both species but a drop in 11-ketotestosterone production in P. gillissi males. Female gonadal size was increased, especially during the summer period, with corresponding increases the frequency of advanced oocyte development, and in the oocyte diameter in both species. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was elevated for both species downstream of the discharge point, although overall it was higher in P. gillissi than T. areolatus. Decreases in the frequency of smaller-sized fish for both species, as well as a drop in the size of the adults downstream of the discharge point, were observed. The present study is the first evidence of endocrine disruption in native freshwater fish associated with modern pulp mills in South America. This study establishes possible links in the reproductive alterations observed at the subindividual and individual levels that could explain the changes observed at the population level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1793-1809
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Altered reproduction
  • Chile
  • Native fish
  • Pulp mill effluent
  • Tertiary treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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