The effects of environmental stressors on coastal fish : in situ and experimental approach

par Isil Filipuci

Thèse de doctorat en Géosciences, Ecologie, Paléontologie, Océanographie

Sous la direction de Rachid Amara, Melahat Toğulga et de Françoise Henry.

Soutenue le 29-09-2011

à Littoral en cotutelle avec l'Ege Üniversitesi. Faculty of Fisheries , dans le cadre de École doctorale Sciences de la matière, du rayonnement et de l'environnement (Villeneuve d'Ascq, Nord) , en partenariat avec Laboratoire d'océanologie et de géosciences (Wimereux, Pas-de-Calais) (laboratoire) et de Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences / LOG (laboratoire) .

Le président du jury était Wilfried Sanchez.

Les rapporteurs étaient Christophe Minier, Tarik Meziane.


  • Résumé

    Les estuaires et les zones côtières constituent des territoires à fort enjeux stratégiques économiquement et pour l'environnement. Ils assurent de nombreuses fonctions biologiques et écologiques dont celle de nourricerie et de frayère pour les poissons. Ces écosystèmes sont pourtant soumis à de multiples facteurs de stress, à la fois naturels et anthropogéniques, qui peuvent représenter une menace potentielle envers les organismes aquatiques, en particulier pour les espèces commerciales de poissons. Dans ce contexte, les effets de facteurs de stress environnementaux tels que la contamination chimique et les efflorescences algales nuisibles (HABs) ont été étudiés par des approches in situ et expérimentale (microcosme et mésocosme) sur deux espèces de poissons : le flet (Platichthys flesus) et le bar (Dicentrarchus labrax). Durant cette thèse, nous avons utilisé différents indicateurs pour déterminer les réponses des poissons aux stress environnementaux. Parmi ces outils, nous avons utilisés des indices de croissance et condition, des biomarqueurs moléculaires et des paramètres immunologiques.

  • Titre traduit

    Les effets des facteurs de stress environnementaux sur les poissons côtiers : approche expérimentale et in situ


  • Résumé

    Estuaries and coastal areas are essential fish habitat as nursery and spawning but characterized by the presence of multiple interacting stressors, both natural and anthropogenic, which can represent potential threat toward aquatic organisms, especially for commercial fish species. In this context, the impacts of environmental stressors such as chemical contamination and Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been studied by in situ and experimentally (microcosm and mesocosm) approaches on two fish species : European flounder (Platichthys flesus) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). During this thesis, we used various indicators to determine fish responses to environmental stressors. Among these tools, we used the growth and conditions indices, molecular biomarkers and immunological parameters. In situ approach has been realized in two different systems anthropogenically influenced : one is heavily impacted system (Seine estuary) and the others are less impacted and/or considered as "clean" systems (Canche, Authie and Somme estuaries). As juvenile flounders concentrate in estuaries, we have chosen this species as a biological indicator to evaluate the quality of these estuarine habitats. This in situ study emphasized the negative impact of contaminants on the nursery function of estuaries. The Seine estuary exhibited the highest metals and PAHs contents in sediment compared to other estuaries and metal concentration in juvenile flounder of this estuary were also significantly higher than ones collected in the less polluted estuaries. In the same way, fish growth and condition indices were significantly lower in individuals from this estuary in spite of the sufficient food availability. To control environmental parameters such as hydrological parameters and food availability, a microcosm experiment was carried out on sea bass juveniles exposed to fresh sediment from five sites with different chemical concentrations using multi-biomarker approaches. After 21 days exposure, no metal accumulation in fish gills and any significant differences on the physiological performances and immune system responses of fish juveniles could be observed. On the other hand, responses of molecular biomarkers, particularly, EROD, GST and CAT activities increase with the chemical contamination gradient after 7days of exposure in sediment. This microcosm study confirmed the sensibility and relativity of short term molecular biomarkers responses to the chemical contamination. These two studies highlighted the complexity of the fish responses to environmental stressor due to the many variable environmental factors in situ and due to the selection of fish species (pelagic or benthic) and the exposure duration in controlled laboratory assays. Beside the impact of pollution on fish, Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are widespread along the eastern English Channel and may alter ecological functions of coastal zones and thus affecting nursery ground and fish populations. Nevertheless, the effects of two recurrent harmful algal blooms : a) Phaegocystis globosa and its degraded form transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP) with foam accumulation and b) Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima (exponential versus senescent phase) was investigated on the growth and condition of sea bass juveniles. Both mesocosm experiments exhibited any negative impact on juvenile sea bass physiological performance, hence, survival and recruitment success. In conclusion, the results of this thesis contributed to improve the fish responses with multi-biomarker approaches to monitor and assess the health of fish communities and fish habitat quality, as well as the general ecological status of coastal zones and estuaries against the various environmental stressors.


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  • Bibliothèque : Université du Littoral-Côte d'Opale (Dunkerque, Nord). SCD.
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