Anthropogenic impact on the reproductive health of two wild Patagonian fish species with differing reproductive strategies.
Sueiro, M. C., Palacios, M. G., Trudeau, V. L., Somoza, G. M. and Awruch, C. A.
Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos (CESIMAR), Centro Nacional Patagonico - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CENPAT - CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina.
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Instituto Tecnologico de Chascomus (CONICET-UNSAM), Chascomus, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Escuela de Bio y Nanotecnologias (UNSAM). Electronic address: somoza@intech.gov.ar.
Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos (CESIMAR), Centro Nacional Patagonico - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CENPAT - CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina; School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia. Electronic address: awcynthia@cenpat-conicet.gob.ar.
A particularly concerning outcome of environmental pollution is the disturbance of reproductive processes. However, studies on the impacts of pollution on the reproductive health of fish inhabiting South American environments are limited. We studied the impact of anthropogenic pollution on the reproductive health of two sympatric Patagonian marine fish species with different reproductive strategies: the live-bearing rockfish Sebastes oculatus and the egg-laying Brazilian sandperch Pinguipes brasilianus. Our findings reveal that both species presented some degree of reproductive disturbance when inhabiting an affected site, but the specific alterations differed depending on the species, sex, and season. During the reproductive season, 17beta-estradiol levels were elevated in females of both species living in polluted areas, while no differences in androgen levels were observed in either species or season. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) was affected in both sexes of S. oculatus during the non-reproductive season, while the gonadal stages were mainly affected in both sexes of P. brasilianus. No signs of intersex condition were observed. Our results highlight the importance of including diverse reproductive parameters to better understand anthropogenic effects on wild animals. Long-term studies including other fish species and including offspring (to evaluate possible transgenerational effects) will be necessary to determine the consequences of the documented reproductive alterations, particularly whether fish species inhabiting Patagonian marine reef areas will be able to reproductively adapt to increasing marine anthropogenic disturbances.
Science of the Total Environment 838(Pt 2): 155862 (2022)