Juvenile rainbow trout (2-5 g) were chronically exposed (for 22 days) to acidified softwater (Ca2+ = 25 μEq/l, pH 5.2) in the presence or absence sublethal Al (30 μg/l). Al-exposed fish (5.2/Al group) suffered 20% whole body Na+ and Cl- losses and a 30% reduction in the maximum sustainable swimming speed (Ucrit) over the initial 7 days. These disturbances were approximately 2 fold greater than those observed in the fish exposed to low pH alone (5.2/0 group). However, whole body ion levels were completely restored in the 5.2/Al fish by day 22, whereas they merely stabilized at a new reduced level in the 5.2/0 group. Increased resistance to acutely lethal Al (200 μg/l at pH 5.2) was observed from day 17 onwards in the 5.2/Al fish. Despite this acclimation and recovery of whole body ions, Ucrit remained significantly lower than in the 5.2/0 group throughout. Growth on a restricted diet of 1% body wt. /day was normal in the 5.2/0 group compared with controls maintained in pH 6.5 softwater, whereas 5.2/Al fish suffered a 50% reduction in growth rate on the same diet. The 5.2/Al fish accumulated large amounts of Al on the gills, reaching an initial peak after 4 days, followed by a decline at 7 days, and a secondary rise thereafter. Therefore acclimation and recovery of whole body ionic status was not associated with a reduction in the gill Al burden. Some of the metabolic costs of acclimation to Al, namely a continued impairment of swimming speed and growth, are discussed in light of the physiological and structural changes reported to occur at the gills.
- swimming performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Aquatic Science