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Influence of sea water on the osmoregulatory mechanisms of the rainbow trout (Salmo Gairdneri) Milne, Robert Stephen

Abstract

The effect of S.W. on the osmoregulatory processes of Rainbow trout was studied. Rainbow trout were monitered for various acid--ba.se and respiratory parameters during F.W. - S.W. transfer. Plasma Cl⁻, total CO₂ and HCO₃⁻ concentrations were measured, as well as blood pH, Pa0₂ and PC0₂- V02₂, VG, VCO₂, and VH⁺ were calculated from the measured parameters. During the exposure to S.W. for 3 hours none of the measured variables changed significently, indicating that the Rainbow trout is indeed euryhaline. It appears that unlike the goldfish the trout has a branchial Cl⁻/HCO₃⁻ exchange diffusion pump that is of small capacity, because changes in the external concentrations of CI⁻ and HCO₃⁻ did not affect internal levels of these ions. Raising external Cl⁻ levels would cause a lowering in plasma HCO₃⁻ if there was a Cl⁻/HCO₃⁻ exchange diffusion pump in the gills. A second group of experiments involved the use of Cl⁻ to measure Cl⁻ fluxes in the gills of intact trout. Injections of HCO₃⁻ into the fish did not stimulate Cl⁻ efflux, indicating that if there is a Cl⁻/HCO₃⁻ exchange diffusion pump, it is of small capacity. Gill carbonic anhydrase levels were measured in the gills of F.W. and S.W. trout, S.W. and F.W. coho, and goldfish. Goldfish have a high level as does the S.W. coho. Carbonic anhydrase catalyses the formation of HCO₃ from C02 for the Cl⁻/HCO₃⁻ pump, and is thus indicative of the importance of the pump in Cl⁻ and HCO₃⁻ fluxes.. The significance of the differences in the ionic pumps of trout, coho, and goldfish are discussed in relation to their life histories. Trout having a flexible osmoregulatory system (being euryhaline) while the coho and goldfish are more specialised being essentially stenohaline.

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