Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | 2019

Toxicity Assessment of Impacted Sediments from Southeast Coast of Tunisia Using a Biomarker Approach with the Polychaete Hediste diversicolor



Toxicity caused by exposure to pollutants from marine sediments is a consequence of the interaction between biota and xenobiotics most frequently released by anthropogenic activities. The present work intended to characterize the toxicity of natural sediments putatively impacted by distinct human activities, collected at several sites located in the south of the Gulf of Gabes, Zarzis area, Tunisia. The selected toxicity criteria were analysed following ecologically relevant test conditions. Organisms of the polychaete species Hediste diversicolor were chronically exposed (28\xa0days) to the mentioned sediments. Toxicity endpoints were biomarkers involved in the toxic response to common anthropogenic chemicals, namely neurotoxic (acetylcholinesterase), anti-oxidant (catalase, glutathione peroxidase), metabolic (glutathione S-transferases) enzymatic activities, and oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation, TBARS assay). The chemical characterization of sediments showed that the samples collected from the site near an aquaculture facility were highly contaminated by heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Pb, and Zn) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene and pyrene). H. diversicolor individuals exposed to the sediments from this specific site showed the highest values among all tested biomarkers, suggesting that these organisms were possibly under a pro-oxidative stress condition potentially promoted by anthropogenic pollution. Moreover, it was possible to conclude that individuals of the polychaete species H. diversicolor responded to the chronic exposure to potentially contaminated sediments from the southeast coast of Tunisia, eliciting adaptive responses of significant biological meaning.

Volume 76
Pages 678-691
DOI 10.1007/s00244-019-00611-2
Language English
Journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Full Text