Krywult M., Klich M., Szarek-Gwiazda E. 2008. Metal concentrations in chub, Leuciscus cephalus, from a submontane river. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 38 (1): 47-53.
Background. Fish are often used as indicators of pollution levels in water environments. The omnivorous chub inhabiting rivers of Europe, including their more polluted parts, is a potentially suitable indicator. The information published, however, on the metal accumulation in the tissues of chub living in varyingly polluted waters (both polluted and unpolluted environments) is scarce. The presently reported study was conducted to examine the metal concentrations in selected tissues of chub living in a natural submontane river.
Materials and methods. Sediment samples (0–5 cm layer) and chub, Leuciscus cephalus (L.), were collected from the upper (stations 1–4) and lower (stations 5–8) sections of the Biała Tarnowska River in summer 2003. Fish age was determined from the otoliths. The AAS method was used to determine metal concentrations (Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn) in sediment and chub tissues (spleen, liver, and muscle).
Results. According to the values of the geochemical index (Igeo), the river sediments were not polluted by Pb, Cu, and Zn, while in various degrees polluted by Cd. Despite the low metal concentrations, the mean Cd and Cu concentrations were higher (c. 2× and 4×, respectively) in the upper part of the river compared to the lower section, while concentration of Pb and Zn were similar in the two areas. Chub accumulated the greatest amount of Cu in the liver, while the bulk of Cd, Pb, and Zn was found in the spleen. In the upper part of the river, elevated concentrations of trace elements in selected tissues of chub were found: Cu (spleen, muscle), Cd (spleen), Zn (muscle). The pollution status of the river, on the basis of trace element contents in the sediment, was also determined.
Conclusion. The obtained results indicated tissue-specific metal accumulation in chub. Selected chub tissues are sensitive to Cd and Cu contents in the river sediment.
Keywords: fish, chub, trace elements, sediment