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A system was developed to monitor the ventilation frequency of bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) under continuous-flow exposure to test compounds. The nerve-action potential associated with the opening and closing of the buccal cavity, branchial arches, and operculum was simultaneously monitored for 16 fish, four each from three exposure concentrations and four controls.
The system was used to determine the effects of several representative surfactants on the diurnal respiratory activity of the test fish. The test compounds were selected on the basis of previously existing full-life-cycle chronic fish data with which to compare the respiratory data. Good correlations are demonstrated between the chronic maximum acceptable toxicant concentration for fathead minnows and the concentrations of surfactants that elicit statistically significant changes in the diurnal ventilation frequencies of exposed bluegills. A simplified statistical procedure, employing the log 10 of observed rates, was developed, allowing determination of the changes in rates over the entire day and night exposure periods. It appears that the monitoring of aberrant respiratory activity in bluegills for a two-day period has potential predictive value as a scanning tool for a rapid prediction of chronic fish toxicity values.
water quality, aquatic biology, water pollution, monitors, water analysis, toxicity, behavior, aquatic toxicology
Section head, Procter and Gamble Co., Ivorydale Technical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio