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Metabolic and Structural Role of Major Fish Organs as an Early Warning System in Population Assessment pp. 1-38 $100.00
Authors:  (C. Fernandes, A. Afonso, M.A. Salgado, IPB-Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, CIMO-Centro de Investigação de Montanha, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Bragança, Portugal, and others)
Abstract:
There are thousands of pollutants that affect aquatic environment and their effects have long been a concern and cause of research. This number grows annually since new compounds and formulations are synthesized. At present the concept of pollution involves knowledge of environmental fate and effects of chemical pollutants and their impacts on both, ecosystems and on social and economic development.
Some aquatic environments are vital because of their critical ecological and economic importance. There are numerous lakes, lagoons and coastal lagoons playing a social and economic role on adjacent human populations, as they support fishing and recreational activities, and an ecological role, as they also support a characteristic flora and fauna, becoming important habitats. Additionally, several of these fresh waters reservoirs become a vital supply of potable water.
In many cases, even in sub-lethal concentrations, aquatic pollutants affect structure and normal functioning of natural populations as they can cause impacts at multiple levels of organization, including cells, tissues, organs, individuals and community level. Several aquatic species can be used to study these issues and fish has been proved to be a suitable test-organism. Fish organs, such as liver, spleen and kidney can be very helpful to understand the response mechanisms to pollutant exposure. Fish liver is the main target organ of dietary route and the central metabolic organ, where detoxification mechanisms occur; spleen is involved in development of circulating blood cells, as well as immunity; and kidney is involved with excretion and thus, with electrolyte balance and acid-base regulation. Moreover, the anterior part of kidney supports the main pool of several fish leukocyte types.
Assessment of coastal and shallow lagoon waters is a top priority among environmental monitoring activities, due to high ecological and economical importance of these relevant resources. In particular in enclosed communities, such as lakes and lagoons, this issue is enhanced according to the abundance and diversity of wildlife and increased need for water quality. Fish are relatively sensitive to changes in the environment and toxic effects of pollutants may start to occur in the cell and in metabolic pathways, before significant alterations in behaviour or morphology can be identified.
The knowledge of normal metabolic processes of these major fish organs and alterations induced by exposure to pollutants can be a tool for an early warning system in the evaluation and analysis of the wealth of a fish population and their natural environment. 


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Metabolic and Structural Role of Major Fish Organs as an Early Warning System in Population Assessment pp. 1-38