The effects of wastewater treatment plant effluent and agricultural runoff on the reproductive systems of fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas

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Kromrey, Natalie A.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences, c2009
Endocrine disrupting compounds and pesticides have been detected in rivers and irrigation canals of Southern Alberta, a semiarid region with irrigation-dependent crop production, intensive livestock operations, and a growing human population. However, little is known about the effects of agricultural runoff or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent in Southern Alberta on fish. Reproductive effects of WWTP effluents from the cities of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, as well as agricultural runoff in the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District canals, were investigated in a field study with wild fathead minnows (FHMN) in the Oldman and the South Saskatchewan rivers, in Alberta, Canada, and in a laboratory study with laboratory reared FHMN exposed in vivo to the city of Lethbridge WWTP effluent for 21 days. Biochemical and morphological endpoints were measured to characterize reproductive status. Liver vitellogenin, a biomarker of exposure to estrogen mimics, was analyzed using quantitative RT-PCR, and gonadal histology was used to determine sex, gonadal maturity, and intersex. Adverse reproductive effects were detected in FHMN exposed for 21 days to 10 and 25% of Lethbridge WWTP effluent. In the field, effluents from both Lethbridge and Medicine Hat had an effect on the reproductive systems of FHMN. In canals, reproductive effects were detected in wild fathead minnows in years when water quality in irrigation drain canals decreased. Exposure to pesticides was estimated using acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition. Exposure to Lethbridge WWTP effluent did not inhibit AChE, whereas results from the field study were inconclusive. In conclusion, reproductive systems of fathead minnows in Southern Alberta were impacted by anthropogenic chemicals.
xi, 104 leaves : ill. (some col.), maps ; 29 cm
Endocrine disrupting chemicals in water -- Alberta, Southern , Fathead minnow -- Effect of chemicals on -- Alberta, Southern , Fathead minnow -- Effect of water pollution on -- Alberta, Southern , Fathead minnow -- Abnomalities -- Alberta, Southern , Fathead minnow -- Reproduction -- Endocrine aspects , Agricultural pollution -- Alberta, Southern , Sewage disposal plants -- Alberta, Southern