Four groups of larval razorback sucker, an endangered fish, were exposed to selenium-laden zooplankton and survival, growth, and whole-body residues were measured. Studies were conducted with 5, 10, 24, and 28-day-old larvae fed zooplankton collected from six sites adjacent to the Green River, Utah. Water where zooplankton were collected had selenium concentrations ranging from <0.4 to 78 ??g/L, and concentrations in zooplankton ranged from 2.3 to 91 ??g/g dry weight. Static renewal tests were conducted for 20 to 25 days using reference water with selenium concentrations of <1.1 ??g/L. In all studies, 80-100% mortality occurred in 15-20 days. In the 28-day-old larvae, fish weight was significantly reduced 25% in larvae fed zooplankton containing 12 ??g/g selenium. Whole-body concentrations of selenium ranged from 3.7 to 14.3 ??g/g in fish fed zooplankton from the reference site (Sheppard Bottom pond 1) up to 94 ??g/g in fish fed zooplankton from North Roadside Pond. Limited information prior to the studies suggested that the Sheppard pond 1 site was relatively clean and suitable as a reference treatment; however, the nearly complete mortality of larvae and elevated concentrations of selenium in larvae and selenium and other elements in zooplankton indicated that this site was contaminated with selenium and other elements. Selenium concentrations in whole-body larvae and in zooplankton from all sites were close to or greater than toxic thresholds where adverse effects occur in fish. Delayed mortality occurred in larvae fed the two highest selenium concentrations in zooplankton and was thought due to an interaction with other elements. ?? 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Reduced growth and survival of larval razorback sucker fed selenium-laden zooplankton