Antibiotics along an alpine river and in the receiving lake with a catchment dominated by grazing husbandry

Zhiyuan Wang , Jianwei Dong , Dandan Yan , Kangle Mo , Qiuwen Chen , Jianyun Zhang , Yuchen Chen


Received May 21, 2021,Revised , Accepted August 09, 2021, Available online August 24, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 374-382

The livestock breeding industries face overuse of antibiotics, which has been intensively studied in recent years. However, the occurrence and fate of antibiotics as well as their potential threats to the aquatic environments in alpine and arid regions remain unclear. This study investigated the relationship of the occurrence and concentrations of antibiotics between the Kaidu River and Bosten Lake in a typical alpine basin in China. Hot spots with antibiotic pollution source were explored. The antibiotic concentrations in river water and suspended sediment (SPS) were 2.20-99.4 ng/L and 1.03-176 ng/g. The dominant antibiotics were tetracyclines, sulphacetamide, and ofloxacin in river water and sulfonamides, clarithromycin, roxithromycin, and ofloxacin in SPS. The apparent differences in pollution sources and landscapes in different reaches led to the obvious spatial patterns of antibiotics in the Kaidu River. Higher partition coefficient of antibiotic between SPS and water phases for sulfonamides than tetracyclines was because that tetracyclines strongly responded to clay contents while sulfonamides significantly responded to organic carbon contents in SPS. There were significant differences in detected antibiotic categories between the river and the lake. Fluoroquinolones (especially ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin) were detected in the lake while sulphacetamide was only detected in the river. Therefore, the surrounding husbandry and aquaculture around the Bosten Lake was an important antibiotic pollution source in addition to inputs from the Kaidu River. This research suggested that alpine lakes could be an important sink of antibiotics in alpine dry regions, and thus impose greater threats to the aquatic ecosystem.

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