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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2001 Feb;48(2):202-14.

Toxicity of uranium mine-receiving waters to caged fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, 112 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5E2, Canada.


Larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were placed at four exposure sites for 7 days in each of five lakes surrounding the Key Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Fish placed in lakes receiving Mo-contaminated mill effluent demonstrated higher mortalities than those placed in lakes receiving Ni-contaminated mine-dewatering effluent, which was not significantly different from reference sites. No significant differences were detected in fish growth among the study lakes because of the high (90%) mortality in Fox and Unknown lakes. Principal components analysis characterized exposure sites by total and dissolved metal concentration. Stepwise multiple regression of fish mortality on principal components generated from total metal data revealed that principal component 1 could account for 84% of the variance associated with fish mortality. Careful examination of the metals that correlated strongly with principal component 1 and with fish mortality suggested that dietary Se toxicity probably resulted in the differential fathead minnow mortality observed among study lakes.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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