Behavioral indicators of sublethal toxicity in rainbow trout

  • Edward E. Little
  • Richard D. Archeski
  • Boris A. Flerov
  • Vera I. Kozlovskaya


Four measures of behavior-spontaneous swimming activity, swimming capacity, feeding behavior, and vulnerability to predation-were assessed as indicators of sublethal toxicity in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in 96-hr exposures to sublethal concentrations of six agricultural chemicals: carbaryl, chlordane, dimethylamine salt of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-DMA), tributyl phosphorotrithioate (DBF 1), methyl parathion, and pentachlorophenol. After exposures, behavioral changes consistently demonstrated sublethal toxicity, but effects on specific behaviors varied with contaminants and their concentrations were altered by the water quality criterion concentration for chlordane (2 μg/L), and at a concentration of DEF (5 μg/L) that had previously been shown to inhibit growth and survival after a 90-day exposure. Feeding behavior was inhibited most by exposure to DEF, 2,4-DMA, and methyl parathion. Vulnerability to predation was heightened most by exposure to carbaryl and pentachlorophenol. Although all chemicals inhibited spontaneous swimming activity, only carbaryl, DEF, and 2,4-DMA influenced swimming capacity.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward E. Little
    • 1
  • Richard D. Archeski
    • 1
  • Boris A. Flerov
    • 2
  • Vera I. Kozlovskaya
    • 2
  1. 1.National Fisheries Contaminant Research CenterU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Biology of Inland WatersAcademy of Science USSRBorok, NekouzUSSR

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