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The survival of early life stages of brown trout salmo trutta l. in relation to aluminum speciation in upland welsh streams



The survival of early life stages of brown trout salmo trutta l. in relation to aluminum speciation in upland welsh streams



Aquatic Toxicology (Amsterdam) 17(3): 213-230



The survival of artificially implanted eggs, alevins and parr of brown trout Salmo trutta (L.) was assessed in streams of different acidity. Chemical analysis included detailed aluminium speciation of surface and interstitial water samples, taken over the duration of intragravel life stages. Egg survival, from two minutes after fertilization to hatching, was usually above 71%, and was independent of the mean concentration of total monomeric aluminium (Altm) over the range 3-397 .mu.g l-1. The survival of alevins exposed for 28 days (before 'swim-up') or 42 days ('swim-up') was most strongly related to mean Altm concentration and to pH. For 28- and 42-day exposures, LC50 values for Altm were approximately 19 and 15 .mu.g l-1, respectively, or 79 and 72 .mu.g l-1 for 0.45 .mu.m filterable aluminium (Alfil). The 21-day LC50 of parr ca 3 mth old, was between 84 and 105 .mu.g l-1 mean Alfil. During a simulated acid episode of mean pH 4.8 and 880 .mu.g Alfil l-1, parr showed 100% mortality after only 18 h. We discuss the problems of quantifying toxic responses in soft-water streams. As exemplified in this study, chemical variables show wide and rapid fluctuations, and are often co-correlated. These features confuse interpretation of field experiments or prediction from laboratory data.

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