The influence of calcium on the physiological responses of the rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri, to low environmental pH.

D. G. McDonald, H. Hobe, C. M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Scopus citations

Abstract

The physiological responses of 1- to 2-year-old rainbow trout to low pH are dependent on the environmental calcium concentration. Trout, maintained for 5 days in moderately hard water ([Ca2+] = 1.6-2.7 m-equiv/l) at a mean pH of 4.3, developed a major blood acidosis but exhibited only a minor depression in plasma ion levels. In acidified soft water ([Ca2+] = 0.3 m-equiv/l), only a minor acidosis occurred, but plasma ion levels fell and there were substantially greater mortalities. Lethal bioassays performed on fingerling trout over a range of pH levels (3.0-4.8) revealed an important influence of external [Ca2+] on resistance to acid exposure. Terminal physiological measurements on adult fish succumbing to low pH in soft water indicate the singular importance of iono-regulatory failure as the toxic mechanism of action under these circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-131
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume88
StatePublished - Oct 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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