Sub-lethal effects of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) in two aquatic organisms : Daphnia magna and rainbow trout
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
My thesis contributes to a better understanding of the impacts of OSPW on aquatic organisms by investigating its sub-lethal effects on an invertebrate (Daphnia magna) and a vertebrate (rainbow trout) model species. Studies conducted on D. magna demonstrated that OSPW impairs feeding, reduces hemoglobin content, increases oxygen consumption, and reduces growth, reproduction and macronutrient reserves of exposed animals at 1 to 10% concentrations. I also investigated the interaction of OSPW with the chemosensory system of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). I demonstrated that rainbow trout are able to detect and behaviourally avoid low concentrations (0.1%) of OSPW. However, even a short-term (< 5 min) interaction with OSPW reduced olfactory acuity. The toxic effect of OSPW on the fish olfactory system gradually increased with increasing exposure time. Overall, the results of my thesis suggest that untreated OSPW, even at low concentrations (1% OSPW), can affect different aspects of aquatic animals.
aquatic organisms , contaminants , ecological death , oil sands process-affected water , OSPW , sub-lethal effects