The effect of pollution on the macro benthos and fishes in water bodies of Iran

Anthropogenic nutrient and trace element loadings of marine environments significantly impact ecosystem structure and functioning, leading to increased productivity, eutrophication, changes in microbial abundance and in both producer and consumer community composition, accumulation of contaminants in biomasses and their transfer along food chains. In turn, this can result in biodiversity loss, fish kills and trophic disruption, with important implications for water body related economic activities, environmental treatment and public health. Anthropogenic organic nitrogen is relatively enriched in 15N with respect to synthetic-derived nitrogen, and both can be distinguished from atmospheric-derived (i.e. natural) nitrogen and carbon based on their δ15N and δ13C signatures. According to this, stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon have been shown to be a powerful tool to track the origin of nutrient loadings in aquatic systems. In addition, isotopic signatures of carbon and nitrogen can discriminate the relative contribution of various sources to nutrients accumulated in fishes and benthoses or assimilated by consumers, making it possible to describe trophic pathways and food web structure across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Isotopic signatures will be determined in primary producers, fishes, benthoses and consumers collected in multiple sampling sites and occasions within each study sites. Isotopic gradients will be described and isotopic variations compared along gradients of anthropogenic pressure and with respect to reference sites.

Key words: Benthos, Environmental pollutions, Fish, Nutrients, Stable Isotopes.

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