Bioaccumulation of Heavy Elements in Laccobius spp. (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) and their Abiotic Environment from Polluted and Unpolluted Areas of Erzurum Wetlands, Turkey

Special Article - Environmental Pollution

Austin Environ Sci. 2018; 3(1): 1030.

Bioaccumulation of Heavy Elements in Laccobius spp. (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) and their Abiotic Environment from Polluted and Unpolluted Areas of Erzurum Wetlands, Turkey

Aydogan Z*, Incekara U and Gürol A

Department of Biology, Atatürk University, Turkey

*Corresponding author: Zeynep Aydogan, Narman Vocational School, Atatürk University, Narman, Erzurum, 25530, Turkey

Received: April 06, 2018; Accepted: May 09, 2018; Published: May 16, 2018


During 2014 (May-September), the genus Laccobius spp. (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), water and sediment samples from the same location were collected and heavy element content of these samples were evaluated at six sampling sites of Erzurum (Turkey).Heavy element concentrations were measured by Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) spectroscopy. Fourteen elements were detected at measurable levels in all the samples. Laccobius spp. was evaluated for the first time as a biomonitor of heavy metal pollution. The results indicated that Laccobius spp. were contaminated by water and sediment from their habitat, and accumulated higher concentration of elements than water and sediment, revealed their role as bioindicators of heavy element pollution. Heavy element concentration levels of the water samples were compared with national water quality guidelines. Some heavy elements’ concentration was found at high level than the acceptable limits. The mean concentration of studied elements in the study region increased in the following order: in sediment samples was Zn

Keywords: Biomonitor; EDXRF; Heavy element; Laccobius spp; Turkey


Heavy element pollution is a byproduct of industrialization, urbanization and intensive usage of different chemicals in human routine activity results in damage to the food chain [1,2]. Therefore, an early detection of heavy element concentrations in ecosystem is vital for nature conservation. Heavy element residues at the poles was widespread during recent years [3].

The use of biota for monitoring quality of environment originated mainly in Europe early in this century and it has been widely used [4,5]. Bioaccumulation of elements from air, soil, water and sediment is currently evaluated with reference to some biological communities such as plankton [6], periphyton [7], fish [8], lichens, mosses [9], algae [10], plant [11], insects [12,13]. To assess and monitor the environment, bioindicators are more useful, because chemical and physical measurements provide information only on conditions when the samples were taken, whereas biologic surveillance reflects long time period conditions [14]. Bioaccumulation process defined as when chemical pollutant enters into the body of an organism, it accumulates in the organism’s tissues due to non-degradable feature of chemicals [15]. Many researchers reported that benthic invertebrates are most useful in monitoring aquatic ecosystems [4,12,13]. Aquatic insects have been widely used as biomonitor systems, because they can accumulate these contaminants in measurable amounts. Even though for a long time passed over, they can reflect element concentrations [15].

Hydrophilidae also called water scavenger beetles are large family and distributed worldwide. These species can live in a wide variety of habitats and are commonly found in temporary or permanent puddles, ditches, margin of shallow lakes and ponds. Many aquatic species of Hydrophilidae, both adults and larvae are abundant in some certain habitats. The larvae are predatory or carnivorous and not scavenging, generally feeding on dipteran larvae, small crustaceans and other hydrophilid larvae. Whereas, adults are scavengers and vegetarians, usually inhabit in richly vegetated water bodies, and generally feed on dead or decaying plants also living plants, especially on algae. They are important in aquatic food chain, since fish, aquatic and birds depend on these insects [16,17]. In this study heavy element content of water, sediment, Laccobius spp. and distribution of Laccobius Erichson 1837 (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) was studied. Laccobius Erichson 1837 is one of the most diverse genus of Hydrophilidae and 257 species are known worldwide [18]. Laccobius spp. were evaluated previously by [19] and last status (abundance or absence) of this genus were evaluated with this study. This genus has greater swimming ability and occurs in swiftly flowing streams. They can be easily distinguished from remaining hydrophilid genera by the combination of abdomen with 6 ventrites, curved posterior tibiae, and short maxillary palpi [20]. These insects are actively moving on the water surface and are tolerant to pollution [21]. Many researchers have reported that, sediment serves as an archive to environmental pollution, because they are open access to the disposal of industrial, agricultural and domestic wastewater [22,23]. Sediment function as a reservoir for industrial contaminants and its quality is a good indicator of environmental pollution. For this purpose sediment, water samples and insects were collected from selected localities of Erzurum. Because of the Aras, Çoruh and Euphrates basins originate in Erzurum province, monitoring these aquatic environments based on abiotic and biotic samples is important for conservation of Erzurum’s wetlands. The study was aimed to assess the effect of pollution on water, sediment of fresh water bodies and to prove Laccobius spp. as a potential bioindicator of heavy element pollution.

Materials and Methods

Erzurum is a city in eastern Anatolia of Turkey and very rich in terms of water resources. In this study, six different sampling sites were selected. Information about these stations was given below (Figure 1).