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Comp Biochem Physiol C. 1987;87(2):259-68.

The effects of low pH on egg and alevin survival of kokanee and sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada.


1. The effects of low pH water on embryogenesis and vitellogenesis in kokanee and sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) were investigated. Eggs were exposed to low pH from fertilization to 45 days post-median hatch or to an episodic exposure at pH 4.0. Adult kokanee were also exposed to low pH just prior to ovulation and spawning. 2. The most sensitive stages of development during chronic or episodic exposure to low pH were early embryonic development and newly-hatched alevins. 3. Incubation of eggs at low pH caused a lower median survival, delayed hatching, higher alevin mortality and reduced the efficiency of yolk conversion to tissue of yolk-sac alevins. Those effects were more pronounced when the eggs were fertilized at low pH. 4. Exposure of sexually mature kokanee salmon to acidified water reduced egg and alevin survival, delayed embryo hatching and decreased the percent hatch. Those effects were more pronounced when their eggs were incubated at low pH.

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