Master of Science (MS)
First Advisor's Name
Dr. Todd Crowl
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Dr. Philip Stoddard
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Dr. Gary Rand
Third Advisor's Committee Title
copper, behavior, swimming performance, metals, predator-prey interactions, Ucrit, locomotory, sailfin mollies
Date of Defense
This study determined the effects of the copper water quality criterion (WQC) by the EPA on  swimming performance and  predator-prey interactions of the Sailfin Molly, across a salinity gradient. Fish acclimated to FW (0 ppt) and 8-ppt saltwater were exposed to 11.3 and 8.44 µg/L Cu for 96 h, respectively. At the end of the exposures, fish swimming performance was determined by using the critical swimming speed, Ucrit, the speed at which a fish cannot longer maintain position in the water column. Ucritwas then measured again after a 4-week depuration period to determine if the fish were able to perform as well as control fish. Fish tissues were not analyzed for these experiments; therefore, the 4-week depuration period is hypothetical. In a separate study, mollies were presented with a predator model and isolated chemical cues of predation, then tested for predator avoidance behaviors. Copper exposures had opposite effects on visual and chemical cues. It was found that adverse effects of copper have the potential to harm fish populations.
Yanez, Tiffany N., "The Effects of Copper Exposure on Fish Locomotion and Predator-Prey Interactions" (2018). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4065.
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