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Title: Preliminary biochemical observations of fishes inhabiting an acidified lake in Ontario, Canada

Author: Lockhart, W. L.; Lutz, A.;

Date: 1976

Source: In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 545-569

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Blood serum and other tissues of white suckers (Catostomus commersoni) and other species of fish have been examined in a preliminary effort to understand losses of fish from acid lakes. Maturing females of highly acid George Lake failed to show the normal degree of increase in serum calcium over males captured in the same location. Elevated serum calcium was always observed in females, relative to males, from nonacid locations when maturation stages were similar. A number of body tissues were examined to determine whether the distributions of calcium or other elements were altered and the only striking change evident in fish from George Lake was their high manganese content. Bone in particular was examined for N, Na, Mg, P, K, and Ca and no evidence of demineralization was found. Other tests such as hemoglobin indicated that an anticipated adaptive response to asphyxia was absent. Our results indicated that potential mechanisms of fish losses such as asphyxia and starvation are unlikely to have been significant. However, they do not firmly establish any alternate mechanism. As a working hypothesis we suggest that calcium dynamics may limit ovarian development and that absorption of this metal at exchange surfaces may be impaired.

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Lockhart, W. L.; Lutz, A. 1976. Preliminary biochemical observations of fishes inhabiting an acidified lake in Ontario, Canada. In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 545-569

 


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