Quantitative analysis of the fine structure of the fish gill: environmental response and relation to welfare

Jenjan, Hussein B.B. (2011) Quantitative analysis of the fine structure of the fish gill: environmental response and relation to welfare. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2011JenjanPhD.pdf] PDF
Download (5MB)
Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2915483


Methods were developed to quantify variation in gill size and microstructure and
applied to three fish species: brown trout, Arctic charr and common carp. Measurements
of arch length, number and length of gill rakers, number and length of gill filaments and
number, length and spacing of the lamellae were taken for each gill arch and combined
by principal component analyses to give length-independent scores of gill size. Levels of
fluctuating asymmetry in gill arch length were also examined. Buccal and gill cavity
volumes were measured from silicon moulds. Standard histological methods were used
to examine gill microstructure.
Benthic-feeding charr from a sample collected in Loch Awe, Scotland had
relatively larger heads and buccal cavities than did sympatric pelagic-feeding fish
Allowing for body size, they also had a more extensive respiratory surface, perhaps
reflecting exposure to poorly oxygenated water while feeding on the loch bottom and/or
a more active life style. Levels of asymmetry in gill arch length were higher in the
pelagic-feeding form, which grow faster than the benthic-feeding form (Chapter 2).
Gill size and structure were compared in carp (Chapter 3) and trout (Chapter 4)
classified by a standard test as having proactive, reactive or intermediate stress copping
styles. Proactive carp and trout had more extensive respiratory surfaces and lower levels
of hyperplasia than did reactive fish, intermediate fish lying in between. The opposite
was the case for density of mucous cells, which was highest in reactive fish and lowest in
proactive ones. These data suggest that maintaining a large respiratory surface may
represent an unrecognised cost of a proactive coping style.
Common carp were held in mixed groups of proactive and reactive fish in one of
6 combinations of temperature (20oC and 25oC) and dissolved oxygen (3-4, 5-6 and 7-8
mg O2 L-¹) for 10 weeks. At the higher temperature fish had relatively larger heads and
longer secondary lamellae, but had fewer mucous cells and a lower percentage of
hyperplasia. At the lowest oxygen levels fish had relatively larger heads and a higher
degree of hyperplasia than those held in normoxic and hyperoxic conditions. These
results suggest that, over weeks, carp are able to “remodel” their respiratory structures in
response to their current oxygen requirements. Few clear differences in response were
found between proactive and reactive fish (Chapter 5).
In semi-extensively farmed carp sampled over their final production year. Shortterm,
acute husbandry stressors (grading and crowding) produced striking changes in several potential welfare indicators, including reduced body condition, increased in
plasma glucose, lactate and cortisol levels and higher level of body damage. Percentage
hyperplasia and secondary lamella number and length also increased. Long-term acute
stress (pre-harvest crowding in concrete tanks) was associated with increased levels of
skin and fin damage and in hyperplasia and mucus cell number, reflecting high stress
levels and/or poor water quality. Glucose, lactate and cortisol levels fell, suggesting
either habituation to current conditions or differential mortality by physiological stress
status (Chapter 6).
The results of Chapters 2-6 are synthesised in a general discussion (Chapter 7)
and considered in the context of the existing literature on trophic polymorphism, on
stress coping strategies, on the effects of environmental conditions of the welfare of
cultured fish and on how gill structure and microstructure relate to other indicators of

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Welfare, coping strategy, gills
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Adams, Prof. Colin and Huntingford, Prof. Felicity
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Mr Hussein Jenjan
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-3033
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2012
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2014 13:41
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3033

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year