Effects of suspended coal particles on gill structure and oxygen consumption rates in a coral reef fish

Berry, K.L.E., Hess, S., Clark, T.D., Wenger, A.S., Hoogenboom, M.O., and Negri, A.P. (2021) Effects of suspended coal particles on gill structure and oxygen consumption rates in a coral reef fish. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 169. 112459.

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Abstract

Large quantities of coal are transported through tropical regions; however, little is known about the sub-lethal effects of coal contamination on tropical marine organisms, including fish. Here, we measured aerobic metabolism and gill morphology in a planktivorous coral reef damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus to elucidate the sub-lethal effects of suspended coal particles over a range of coal concentrations and exposure durations. Differences in the standard oxygen consumption rates (MO2) between control fish and fish exposed to coal particles (38 and 73 mg L−1) were minimal and generally not dose dependent; however, the MO2 of fish exposed to 38 mg coal L−1 (21 days) and 73 mg coal L−1 (31 days) were both significantly higher than the MO2 of control fish. Chronic coal exposure (31 days) altered gill structure in the higher coal treatments (73 and 275 mg L−1), with fish exposed to 275 mg L−1 exhibiting significant reductions in gill mucous and thinning of lamellar and filament epithelium. These findings contribute to our limited understanding of the potential impacts of coal on tropical reef species; however, most of the observed effects occurred at high coal concentrations that are unlikely under most coal spill scenarios. Future studies should investigate other contamination scenarios such as the impacts of chronic exposures to lower concentrations of coal.

Item ID: 70233
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Gill remodeling, Pollution, Respirometry
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: ARC
Projects and Grants: ARC FT180100154
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 22:56
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410599 Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180505 Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 10%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180502 Assessment and management of pelagic marine ecosystems @ 40%
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