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Tandem Action of Natural and Chemical Stressors in Stream Ecosystems: Insights from a Population Genetic Perspective

Journal article
Authors Pedro Inostroza
I. Vera-Escalona
R. Wild
H. Norf
M. Brauns
Published in Environmental Science & Technology
Volume 52
Issue 14
Pages 7962-7971
ISSN 0013-936X
Publication year 2018
Published at
Pages 7962-7971
Language en
Keywords maximum-likelihood-estimation, gammarus spp. crustacea, allele frequency, data, waste-water, coalescent approach, computer-program, vibrio-fischeri, somatic-cells, runoff events, land-use, Engineering, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, ates of america, v110, p11039
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Agricultural and urban land use has dramatically increased over the last century and one consequence is the release of anthropogenic chemicals into aquatic ecosystems. One of the rarely studied consequences is the effect of land use change on internal concentrations of organic micropollutants (OMPs) in aquatic invertebrates and its effects on their genotype diversity. Here, we applied population genetic and internal concentrations of OMPs analyses to determine evolutionary implications of chemical pollution on Gammarus pulex populations from a natural and two agricultural streams. Along 14 consecutive months sampled, 26 different OMPs were quantified in G. pulex extracts with the highest number, concentration, and toxic pressure in the anthropogenically stressed stream ecosystems. Our results indicate distinct internal OMP profiles and changes in both genetic variation and genetic structure in streams affected by anthropogenic activity. Genetic variation was attributed to chemical pollution whereas changes in the genetic structure were attributed to environmental disturbances, such as changes in discharge in the impacted stream ecosystems, which worked both independently and in tandem. Finally, we conclude that human-impacted streams are subjected to severe alterations in their population genetic patterns compared to nonimpacted stream ecosystems.

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