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Exposure to a Mixture of Zinc and Copper Decreases Survival and Fecundity of Discocotyle sagittata (Leuckart) Parasitizing Juvenile Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar L.

Abstract

We assessed the effects of zinc and copper on freshwater monogenean ectoparasites (Discocotyle sagittata Leuckart) infecting juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Exposure to 47 μg/L zinc and 3 μg/L copper reduced survival and fecundity of adult D. sagittata, while egg hatching success was only reduced at high exposure concentrations (2704 μg/L zinc and 164 μg/L copper). Parasitized salmon had decreased plasma chloride, but this was negated in infected fish exposed to metals. No other effects on Atlantic salmon survival and physiology (plasma osmolality, hematocrit) were noted, suggesting that D. sagittata may be more susceptible to metal toxicity than its host fish.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Collin Arens, Mark Gautreau, Aaron Fraser, and the staff of the Miramichi Salmon Association for their assistance with fish collection; Thijs Bosker, Leslie Carroll, Steven Melvin, and Kelly Cummings for assistance with fish maintenance; and Roshini Kassie and Lilianne Arsenault for physiological data. We thank Sylvie Roberge and her staff at Environment Canada for conducting water quality analysis. David Marcogliese, Jeff Houlahan, Allen Shostak, Simon Courtenay, Remy Rochette, Keith De’Bell, and four anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments that significantly improved the quality of this manuscript. This work was supported by the Miramichi Salmon Association via the Jack T.H. Fenety Conservation Fellowship, and by the Canadian National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) via a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellowship (both to CAB).

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Correspondence to Christopher A. Blanar.

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Blanar, C.A., MacLatchy, D.L., Kieffer, J.D. et al. Exposure to a Mixture of Zinc and Copper Decreases Survival and Fecundity of Discocotyle sagittata (Leuckart) Parasitizing Juvenile Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar L.. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 692–697 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-010-0024-y

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Keywords

  • Parasites
  • Metals
  • Fish physiology