Influences of environmental acidification on salmonid reproduction Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z029p8617

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  • Reproduction of salmonid fishes in acidic water was studied using the rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri). Adult trout were exposed to various levels of hydrogen ion (pH levels 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, and control [6.5 to 7.1]) during the final 6 weeks of reproductive maturation. Reduced survival rates of the progeny of acid-exposed females through 7 days of development, hatching, and yolksac absorption demonstrate that oogenesis is sensitive to high hydrogen levels. Similar reductions in the survival of the progeny of acid-exposed males indicate the sensitivity of spermatogenesis to low ambient pH levels. The progeny of unexposed adults had lower survival rates through 7 days of development and hatching when they were reared at pH levels 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5 than did embryos reared at the control pH level. No embryos exposed to pH 4.5 survived to the eyed stage. Plasma estradiol-17β, androgen, and 17α-hydroxy-20β-dihydroprogesterone concentrations in acid-exposed adult trout revealed no gross physiological abnormalities due to acid stress. Plasma calcium levels in adult females showed no apparent effects due to hydrogen ion exposure, but were decreased in adult males exposed to pH 4.5 for 42 days. Plasma sodium levels fell slightly in adult fish after 7 days of exposure to pH levels 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5 and continued to decline in fish exposed to pH 4.5. I conclude that salmonid gametogenesis and early ontogeny are likely to be affected by environmental acidification which results in pH changes to levels below 5.5.
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