Morphophysiological Rearrangements in Fish in Response to Pollution (in the Light of S.S. Shvarts' Theory)

Research paper by T. I. Moiseenko

Indexed on: 01 Nov '00Published on: 01 Nov '00Published in: Russian Journal of Ecology


The results of a study on morphophysiological variation in fish inhabiting a subarctic lake exposed to chronic industrial pollution are described using an example of cisco, Coregonus lavaretus. It is shown that indices of the heart, liver, kidneys, gills, and fatness in these fish are increased significantly and have retained increased values for the past 20 years. The observed changes are analyzed on the basis of biochemical data. The results of studies on the dynamics of hematological parameters in fish are used for characterizing the development of toxicosis. Adaptive rearrangements associated with an increase in the metabolic rate and the activation of protective systems in the fish are explained in the context of S.S. Schvarts' concept. The idea is proposed that the additional “energy cost” of detoxification may be responsible for morphophysiological variation in fish under conditions of water pollution.