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Intraspecific variation in the growth and survival of juvenile fish exposed to Eucalyptus leachate

Morrongiello, John R., Bond, Nicholas R., Crook, David A. and Wong, Bob B. M. (2013). Intraspecific variation in the growth and survival of juvenile fish exposed to Eucalyptus leachate. Ecology and Evolution,3(11):3855-3867.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB485
Title Intraspecific variation in the growth and survival of juvenile fish exposed to Eucalyptus leachate
Author Morrongiello, John R.
Bond, Nicholas R.
Crook, David A.
Wong, Bob B. M.
Journal Name Ecology and Evolution
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 3
Issue Number 11
ISSN 2045-7758   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84887521145
Start Page 3855
End Page 3867
Total Pages 13
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Whilst changes in freshwater assemblages along gradients of environmental stress have been relatively well studied, we know far less about intraspecific variation to these same stressors. A stressor common in fresh waters worldwide is leachates from terrestrial plants. Leachates alter the physiochemical environment of fresh waters by lowering pH and dissolved oxygen and also releasing toxic compounds such as polyphenols and tannins, all of which can be detrimental to aquatic organisms. We investigated how chronic exposure to Eucalyptus leaf leachate affected the growth and survival of juvenile southern pygmy perch (Nannoperca australis) collected from three populations with different litter inputs, hydrology and observed leachate concentrations. Chronic exposure to elevated leachate levels negatively impacted growth and survival, but the magnitude of these lethal and sublethal responses was conditional on body size and source population. Bigger fish had increased survival at high leachate levels but overall slower growth rates. Body size also varied among populations and fish from the population exposed to the lowest natural leachate concentrations had the highest average stress tolerance. Significant intraspecific variation in both growth and survival caused by Eucalyptus leachate exposure indicates that the magnitude (but not direction) of these stress responses varies across the landscape. This raises the potential for leachate-induced selection to operate at an among-population scale. The importance of body size demonstrates that the timing of leachate exposure during ontogeny is central in determining the magnitude of biological response, with early life stages being most vulnerable. Overall, we demonstrate that Eucalyptus leachates are prevalent and potent selective agents that can trigger important sublethal impacts, beyond those associated with more familiar fish kills, and reiterate that dissolved organic carbon is more than just an energy source in aquatic environments.
Keywords Blackwater
Dissolved organic carbon
Local adaptation
Nannoperca australis
Plant secondary metabolite
DOI   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 3.0 License

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