Food ecology and presence of microplastic in the stomach content of neotropical fish in an urban river of the upper Paraná River Basin

Cristian Wesley de Souza Oliveira, Cláudia dos Santos Corrêa, Welber Senteio Smith


Plastic is a useful material; but along with its benefits also come several disadvantages. One of these is the consequences of the improper discarding of plastic in the environment and its eventual fragmentation into microplastics. Plastic can reach rivers and affect their biota as microparticles from its degradation. The entry of plastic into the food chain occurs by the consumption of fish or other organisms. Furthermore, persistent organic pollutants can accumulate, and the consumption of materials containing plastic pollutants can cause several physiological problems in animals. Such pollutants can reach man when water or fish is consumed. There are numerous studies in the marine environment that show that microplastics significantly interfere with marine biota; but there are relatively few studies addressing this topic in freshwater environments. This work characterized the diet of the most abundant fish species in an urban river of the Upper Paraná Brazil Watershed, investigating the occurrence of microplastic. As much as the studied river suffers from urban river syndrome, a wide variety of food consumed by fish was found. The stomach content of 220 individuals belonging to fourteen species was analyzed. In the stomach content analysis, 16 types of food items were found, most of them autochthonous. The species analyzed were grouped into four trophic categories, with iliophage as dominant one. The presence of microplastics was found in 2% of the studied individuals, two individuals of the species Rhamdia quelen, one specimen of Hoplosternum littorale and one specimen of Astyanax fasciatus.


benthic species, sediment, urbanization.


Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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