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Title: Osmoregulation in glass eels and elvers of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla
Author: Birrell, Lynne M.
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 1999
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Glass eels of the European eel migrate from coastal waters inland to freshwater as part of the catadromous lifecycle. The osmotic challenge faced at this time is augmented by their large surface area to volume ratio, and by the fact that the migration may only be completed after several attempts, due to the effects of tide and river flow. Glass eels and elvers developed normally when maintained in waters of differing salinity over a six month period. Drinking rates increased with environmental acclimation salinity (from 0.072 +/- 0.023 mul/g/h to 0.698 +/- 0.099 mul/g/h in FW and SW respectively), and freshwater acclimated fish exhibited a rapid drinking response upon contact with seawater. These accounts of dipsogenic behaviour are similar to those previously reported for adult eels. Results obtained from determinations of branchial Na+K+ATPase activities were more equivocal. Only after nearly five months were activities higher in SW (508.52 +/- 99.76 nmoles/Spairs gills/h) as compared to FW fish (151.65 +/- 8.9 nmoles/5pairs gills/h). Following the transfer of FW acclimated fish to SW there was a trend towards increased Na+K+ATPase activity after seven days post-transfer, which reached a significant peak after two months post-transfer. A transient increase in whole body cortisol content was noted following the transfer of fish from freshwater (388.02 + 90.38 pg/g) to seawater (6268.44 +/- 773.14 pg/g). However, it was not possible to ascertain that this was due to a direct effect of environmental salinity change. There were no clear changes in interrenal cell morphology between salinity groups, although the cells did appear reduced in size with time, regardless of environmental salinity. Total body Na+ content increased with time, and was higher in SW (58.66 +/- 1.66 mumoles/g) as compared to FW reared fish (44.85 +/-1.01 mumoles/g).
Supervisor: Hazon, Neil ; Cramb, Gordon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QL638.A55B5 ; Anguilla anguilla