Fluctuating asymmetry and exogenous stress in fishes: a review

Fluctuating asymmetry and exogenous stress in fishes: a review Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), which has been examined in a variety of plants and animals, is widely promoted as a useful bioindicator of exogenous stressors in habitats, whether of natural or anthropogenic origin. Wildlife managers and researchers often use a specific group of organisms as an indicator of the health of a given habitat. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate that FA can be an effective fish biomonitoring tool by presenting a vote counting meta-analysis of 81 fish FA studies published between 1966 and the first half of 2009. The vote counts were analyzed with the G test for independence to determine whether the probability of observing significant morphological asymmetry is determined by character type, exogenous stressor type, or fish order. The information obtained from these papers and their analysis is then used to outline areas in which FA studies can be improved: (1) carefully considering character choice; (2) distinguishing between asymmetry types; (3) determining the level of measurement error in between-sides character variation; (4) determining baseline FA levels in populations; (5) increasing the number of laboratory studies which corroborate field observations of FA; (6) conducting true replications of studies to validate previous findings. Only with more critical experimental design and data analysis can FA be used as a powerful tool for assessing environmental degradation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries Springer Journals

Fluctuating asymmetry and exogenous stress in fishes: a review

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Life Sciences; Zoology; Freshwater & Marine Ecology
ISSN
0960-3166
eISSN
1573-5184
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11160-010-9178-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), which has been examined in a variety of plants and animals, is widely promoted as a useful bioindicator of exogenous stressors in habitats, whether of natural or anthropogenic origin. Wildlife managers and researchers often use a specific group of organisms as an indicator of the health of a given habitat. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate that FA can be an effective fish biomonitoring tool by presenting a vote counting meta-analysis of 81 fish FA studies published between 1966 and the first half of 2009. The vote counts were analyzed with the G test for independence to determine whether the probability of observing significant morphological asymmetry is determined by character type, exogenous stressor type, or fish order. The information obtained from these papers and their analysis is then used to outline areas in which FA studies can be improved: (1) carefully considering character choice; (2) distinguishing between asymmetry types; (3) determining the level of measurement error in between-sides character variation; (4) determining baseline FA levels in populations; (5) increasing the number of laboratory studies which corroborate field observations of FA; (6) conducting true replications of studies to validate previous findings. Only with more critical experimental design and data analysis can FA be used as a powerful tool for assessing environmental degradation.

Journal

Reviews in Fish Biology and FisheriesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 28, 2010

References

  • Higher fluctuating asymmetry as a measure of susceptibility to pesticides in fishes
    Allenbach, DM; Brown Sullivan, K; Lydy, MJ
  • Fluctuating asymmetry, abnormalities and parasitism as indicators of environmental stress in cultured stocks of goldfish and carp
    Almeida, D; Almodovar, A; Nicola, GG; Elvira, B

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