Til hovedinnhold

Fish mortality during sea salt episodes - catchment liming as countermeasure

Vitenskapelig artikkel
Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Eksterne nettsted
Hans-Christian Teien, Brit Salbu, Lene Sørlie Heier, Frode Kroglund, Bjørn Olav Rosseland


Aluminium (Al) toxicity is usually associated with acid rain and acidified freshwater systems. The present work demonstrates that acute fish mortality (50 %) also occurs in moderate acidified salmon rivers during sea salt episodes. Furthermore, catchment liming was proved to be an efficient measure to counteract the fish toxicity. The impact of sea salt episodes on river water qualities and on Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.) was studied in two rivers situated at the west coast of Norway. During February?May 2002, fish were kept in tanks and continually exposed to the changing water qualities. Changes in Al-species were followed using in situ fractionation techniques. During storm events and high sea salt deposition, the sea salt concentration increased (190 to 580 µM Cl), pH decreased (pH 5.3 to 4.6) and the concentration of low molecular mass (LMM) cationic Al-species (Ali) increased (0.7 to 3.0 µM) in the river. Subsequently, Al accumulated in fish gills (6 to 19 µmol g-1 dw) causing ionoregulatory and respiratory failures as well as mortality. In water the concentration of LMM Ali stayed enhanced during four weeks, while the physiological stress responses in surviving fish remained high for a longer time (>eight weeks). To counteract Al toxicity, one of the tributary catchments had been limed four years earlier. Due to catchment liming (1000 kg ha-1) the water concentration of LMM Ali (<0.7 µM) and the Al accumulation in gills remained relatively low (<7 µmol g-1 dw) during the storm and no fish mortality occurred.