Metal bioaccumulation in Clarias gariepinus in the Olifants River catchment area

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. A. Avenant-Oldewage en_US
dc.contributor.author Watson, Raylene Mullineux
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-13T07:02:41Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-13T07:02:41Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-13
dc.date.submitted 1998
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7723
dc.description M.Sc. en_US
dc.description.abstract A comparative study was undertaken in the Olifants River catchment, to determine the water quality at two dam sites, namely, Bronkhorstspruit Dam (control) and Loskop Dam (polluted) in the upper Olifants River system and two river point, namely, at Mamba and Balule in the Kruger National Park, in the lower Olifants River system. Data was obtained during the physical and chemical analysis of water and sediment samples, and during bioaccumulation studies using Atomic Absorption spectrometry, testing for aluminium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, strontium and zinc. These tests were conducted on the liver, skin, muscle and gills of Clarias gariepinus. The information collected from Mamba and Balule, was compared with a previous study carried out primarily in the Kruger National Park by Marx, (1996). The study undertaken by Marx (1996) was carried out during a drought period, which allowed for the comparison with results recorded after flooding during the present study. This current research project therefore allowed for the comparison between two different water sources, namely, that of dams and rivers, and under varying environmental conditions. The Aquatic Toxicity index (ATI) developed by Wepener et al. (1992) was employed to facilitate the comparison between the water physical and chemical parameters that were measured, at each sample site, with a single variable being calculated for each sample site per survey. The water quality (ATI values) at the two control sites namely, Bronkhorstspruit Dam and Balule deteriorated substantially after the floods. High water levels due to the floods had a dilution effect on the concentration of pollutants however, toxicants were washed in from upstream and due to surface runoff. The removal of the purifying reed beds upstream of Balule and at the inflow to Bronkhorstspruit Dam, resulted in the release of latent sludge containing metals and organic pollutants into the water column. The ATI value's obtained for the two control points were similar or even higher than those obtained for the two polluted sites namely at, Loskop Dam and Mamba for the autumn and winter sampling periods. During following surveys the water quality at all four sample sites improved, returning to pre flood values by the last survey in summer, namely reflecting similar values as those recorded by Marx (1996) at Balule, Mamba and Loskop Dam for the same period. Sediment concentrations recorded a similar trend to that for water at all four sample sites throughout the study. The bioaccumulation study indicated that the gill concentrations recorded were generally the highest, followed by the liver concentrations. From this one may deduce that gills were the dominant site for metal absorption by the fish, with the excretion of metals also taking place via this route. Liver concentrations are an indication of the activation of protective _mechanisms in the fish sampled, the high concentrations recorded indicate the high physiological response the fish have had to the various levels of exposure. The low concentrations recorded in the muscle indicates the effectiveness of the liver in the detoxification of the fish, indicating that only limited storage of the various metals tested for took place at this site. Skin concentrations were quite high, these concentrations represent the products of an excretory process, which takes place via the skin. The order of concentrations recorded during the present study, were similar to the orders recorded by Marx, (1996) and other authors, however, the order of the skin and muscle concentrations were often reversed. This may be due to the increased excretion of these metals via the skin, resulting from increased exposure to these metals after the floods. Thus the increased exposure en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Clarias gariepinus en_US
dc.subject Bioaccumulation en_US
dc.subject Metal wastes - South Africa - Olifants River en_US
dc.subject Water - Pollution - Environmental aspects - South Africa - Olifants River en_US
dc.title Metal bioaccumulation in Clarias gariepinus in the Olifants River catchment area en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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