Rivers originating from the areas of active volcanism in Kamchatka serve a spawning ground for anadromous and resident populations of dolly varden (Salvelinus malma). In some cases, watercourses with a long-term continuous spawning of S. malma are subjected to chronic pollution with dissolved toxicants and suspended mineral particles. The revealed development conditions range from background (“clean” rivers) to critical (most “polluted” rivers). Medium pollution leads to the development of hatchlings with abnormalities in the ethmoidal head segment, lower jaw, operculum, lobes of the paired fins, and axial skeleton (up to 40% of all specimens). Delayed ossification of skeletal elements takes place. Abnormalities in the development of spinous processes occur more often (up to 49–55% compared to 25–30% in the background areas). The average number of asymmetries per specimen (in four bilateral structures) increases from 1.1–1.4 to 1.7–2.5. Similar developmental abnormalities have been registered in underyearlings, both anadromous and resident, influenced by various pollutant combinations. While fish continue to grow, some of them die because of abnormalities; thus, their frequency in 3-year-old specimens nears the background one. Upon extreme pollution, deviant specimens are sampled at earlier developmental stages and characterized by a lower frequency of morphological abnormalities.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 22, 2015
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