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Description of Fundulus Heteroclitus Ventilatory Data and Water Quality Parameters: A Feasibility Study for Predicting Toxic Pfiesteria Piscicida and P. Piscicida-like Events in Estuarine Environments

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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In the Fall of 1996, watermen who had been working along the lower Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay began to observe fish with lesions exhibiting unusual swimming patterns such as swimming upside down in circles. Shortly thereafter., some watermen reported symptoms of fatigue, skin irritation., and prospective memory loss. 1 These symptoms subsided with the coming of the winter months when the watermen were less exposed to the water. More fish with lesions and more human health concerns were observed during the following spring. It is believed that the fish kills were associated with the organism Pfiesteria piscicida entering a toxic stage of its complicated 24 stage life cycle. Although the organism P. piscicida has been identified, its toxic mechanism has not. Scientists are uncertain as to how to predict fish kills believed to be caused by P. piscicida. One strategy, as described in this thesis, is to use fish as a sentinel species. If a model were to be developed incorporating fish response variable sand water quality parameters, it could be used as a screening tool capable of identifying toxic-Po piscicida conditions that could result in fish kill events.

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  • Water Pollution and Control

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