Physiological health of common bully (Gobiomorphus ...

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Title Physiological health of common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus) in the Tarawera and Rangitaiki Rivers of New Zealand: evidence of diminished ecological effects of pulp and paper effluents in wild fish populations
Author(s) M. J. Landman, N. A. Bleackley, N. Ling, M. R. Heuvel
Journal Water Quality Research Journal of Canada
Date 2010
Volume 45
Issue 2
Start page 223
End page 233
Abstract This study examined the comparative physiological health of the endemic New Zealand common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus) in the Tarawera and Rangitaiki Rivers. Bully were sampled downstream of pulp and paper effluent inputs in the Tarawera River and compared with a similar inland population in the Rangitaiki River. Condition factor and liver somatic index did not differ between populations, but Tarawera River bullies possessed larger gonads. Haematological assessments found smaller erythrocytes with reduced haemoglobin content, and increased leukocyte concentrations in Tarawera River females. Male and female Tarawera River bullies had significantly induced hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity. Greater ovarian follicular steroid production was also found for Tarawera River females. Microscopic analysis of ovarian tissue samples found no histopathological abnormalities in either population and indicated a slightly advanced vitellogenic stage of development in the Tarawera River population. It is concluded that the difference in steroid production between populations was most likely linked to gonad size and developmental status. In line with the disappearance of physiological effects in recent controlled laboratory and mesocosm pulp and paper effluent exposures, this study further demonstrates that, with the exception of EROD induction, characteristic pulp and paper effluent effects are not obvious in wild Tarawera fish.

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