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dc.contributor.advisor Luus-Powell, W. J. Lebepe, Jeffrey
dc.contributor.other Ncube, I. 2019-04-11T08:20:35Z 2019-04-11T08:20:35Z 2018 2018
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D (Zoology)) --University of Limpopo, 2018 en_US
dc.description.abstract Freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened systems globally, suffering from channel modification, over extraction of water and, of particular concern, pollution. In South Africa, Olifants River is categorised as the third most polluted river system. Acid mine drainage seeping from derelict and abandoned mines has been described as the primary stressor in the upper Olifants catchment. The increase of metal concentration in the water, sediment and fish tissues has been evident over the past few decades. As a result, there has been an increasing concern regarding the effects of increased metal concentrations on the health of fish and the safety of communities consuming fish from the polluted Olifants River system. This study used enzymatic and histopathologic biomarkers to assess the physiological response of Oreochromis mossambicus and Labeo rosae to environmental contaminants. The study further investigated the metal accumulation trend of across different fish tissues and assessed the edibility of O. mossambicus and L. rosae from Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams. Water, sediment and fish samplings were carried out concurrently during low flow and high flow seasons in 2014. Water and sediment sampling were done at the inflow, middle and dam wall. A minimum of 10 fish specimens for each species were collected from Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams during each sampling. For bioaccumulation analysis, liver, gill and muscle tissues were dissected out, wrapped with aluminium foil and frozen. Frozen samples were sent to SANAS accredited laboratory for metal analysis. For Histopathology, tissues were fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin prior processing. Tissue processing was done at the Pathology laboratory of the University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort campus. For biomarker analysis, liver and brain tissues were fixed in liquid nitrogen in the field and transferred to the -80°C biofreezer at the University of Limpopo, Biotechnology Unit laboratory. Metal concentrations in the muscle tissue were used to calculate hazard quotient for human health risk assessment which was based on the assumptions that an adult weighting 70 kg consume 150 g portion once per week. Alkaline pH was observed in the water throughout the study. Most water constituents were within the guidelines at both dams. The water at Flag Boshielo Dam was oligotrophic with Loskop Dam showing mesotrophic conditions. Concentrations were below detection level for most metals; however, significant concentrations were recorded in the bottom sediment. Although Loskop Dam is being described as a repository for pollutants from the upper Olifants catchment, no significant differences (p>0.05) were observed for metal concentrations in sediment between the two dams. Coinciding with sediment metal concentrations, liver, gills and muscle have shown notable concentrations for both species at Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams. The common trend of liver accumulating higher metal concentration followed by gill and muscle (liver>gills>muscle) was observed for most metals on O. mossambicus and L. rosae at both dams. In contrast, lead, strontium and manganese showed higher concentrations in the gills. Muscle exhibited lowest concentrations for most metals. Remarkable trends on the activities of biomarkers, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) were detected for both species at Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams. Labeo rosae population have shown a significantly high (p<0.05) LDH activities at Loskop Dam and no significant difference (p>0.05) was observed for Oreochromis mossambicus. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities exhibited no significant difference (p>0.05) for both species between the two dams. Labeo rosae have shown a significantly high (p<0.05) GST activities at Loskop Dam whereas Oreochromis mossambicus exhibited no significant difference (p>0.05) between the two dams. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) has shown no significant difference (p>0.05) for both species between the Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams. LDH, G6PDH and GST activities have shown relationship with metal concentrations, which makes them good biomarkers of metal exposure.The condition factor indicated that overall conditions of O. mossambicus and L. rosae from Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams were good. Hepatosomatic index results were not conclusive. Most histopathological alterations were recorded on both species at both dams, but with different magnitude of severity. Regressive changes were more prominent in the liver and gills of both species at Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams followed by progressive change. Gills of Oreochromis mossambicus exhibited moderate modifications (score >20) at Loskop Dam and slight modification (score <20) at Flag Boshielo Dam. Labeo rosae populations have shown slight modifications (score <20) in the gills at both dams. Both species have shown significant difference (p<0.05) on the gill index between the two dams. Liver index has also exhibited significant difference (p<0.05) for each species between Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams. Slight modifications (score <20) were observed in the liver for both species at Loskop and Flag Boshielo dams. Both species have shown to accumulate metals within their tissues with liver accumulating higher concentration for most metals, followed by gills and muscle, respectively. Although muscle showed to accumulate lesser metal concentrations, it still raise a serious concern as it is the tissue consumed by human. Lead, chromium, cobalt and antimony concentrations have been the only metals of concern in this river system over the past few years; nevertheless, the present study has shown that other metals viz. arsenic, silver and selenium have exceeded international levels for safe consumption. Given the metal concentration trend reported over the past two decade in fish tissues, there is a need for urgent intervention to address the acid mine drainage problem to ensure sustainable development of the Olifants River and safety of communities depending on it for their livelihood. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRFand RAD en_US
dc.format.extent xx, 186 leaves:illustrations+ CD-ROM en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Limpopo en_US
dc.relation.requires PDF en_US
dc.subject Olifants river en_US
dc.subject Freshwater en_US
dc.subject Pollution en_US
dc.subject Fish population en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Environmental pollution en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Fish populations en_US
dc.title Assessment of the effects of environmental contaminants on feral fish populations in the Olifants river system en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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