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Inferring trophic groups of fish in the central-east Atlantic from eco-toxicological characterization

Lozano-Bilbao, Enrique, Clemente, Sabrina, Espinosa, José María, Jurado-Ruzafa, Alba, Lozano, Gonzalo, Raimundo, Joana, Hardisson, Arturo, Rubio, Carmen, González-Weller, Dailos, Jiménez, Sebastián, Gutiérrez, Ángel J.
Chemosphere 2019 v.229 pp. 247-255
aluminum, bioaccumulation, ecosystems, fish, habitats, heavy metals, herbivores, indicator species, iron, omnivores, pollution, predators, trophic levels
The marine organisms are exposed to great human-induced alterations due to the indiscriminate discharges into the sea, which is why the study of marine pollution is of great value for each ecosystem. Each organism bioaccumulates distantly the heavy metals and trace elements in its organism. Because of this it is possible to classify different groups of fish according to their feeding with the content of these metals. Ten fish species were grouped considering their trophic level and habitat ecology (benthic predators, herbivores, omnivores, pelagic predators and superpredator) and analyzed for its metal content. Statistically significant differences were found among all the fish groups, with the Superpredator group containing the highest concentrations in all metals, mainly Fe (103.751 ± 92.151 mg/kg) and Al (28.908 ± 21.221 mg/kg). Therefore, this study highlights that the selection of the species taking into account feeding and habitat partitioning must be carefully considered being crucial to identify fish groups as biological indicators of marine pollution.