During the spring and fall of 2001 and the spring of 2002 a study was conducted to evaluate the health of the largescale stoneroller (Campostoma oligolepis) populations in streams along an urban land-use gradient. Sites were selected from a pool of naturally similar sub-basins (eco-region, basin size, and geology) of the Mobile River basin (MRB), using an index of urban intensity derived from infrastructure, socioeconomic, and land-use data. This urban land-use gradient (ULUG) is a multimetric indicator of urban intensity, ranging from 0 (background) to 100 (intense urbanization). Campostoma sp. have been used previously as indicators of stream health and are common species found in all sites within the MRB. Endpoints used to determine the effects of urban land-use on the largescale stoneroller included total glutathione, histology, hepatic apoptosis, condition factor and external lesions. Liver glutathione levels were positively associated with increasing urban land-use (r2 = 0.94). Histopathological examination determined that some abnormalities and lesions were correlated with the ULUG and generally increased in prevalence or severity with increasing urbanization. Liver macrophage aggregates were positively correlated to the ULUG. The occurrence of nucleosomal ladders (indicating apoptotic cell death) did not correspond with urban intensity in a linear fashion. Apoptosis, as well as prevalence and severity of a myxozoan parasite, appeared to have a hormetic dose–response relationship. The majority of the biomarkers suggested fish health was compromised in areas where the ULUG ≥ 36.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis