The Role of Calcium in the Survival of Marine Teleosts in Dilute Sea Water
Abstract:A number of marine teleost fishes habitually invade the calcium-rich freshwater streams and lakes of south Florida. Adaptation to these habitats requires a marked change in the osmoregulatory process. Salt loss to the environment must cease and dilution of body fluids from the inward diffusion of water must be prevented. Calcium salts have an inhibitory effect on the diffusion of water across biological membranes, and their presence in local freshwater streams at relatively high concentration may play a decisive role in permitting the invasion of marine fishes. The present study examines the ability of several species of typical marine teleost fishes to survive in dilute sea water with and without the possible protective effect of dissolved calcium salts. The experiments show that in the presence of a high concentration of calcium (ca. 20 mEq per liter), marine fishes are able to thrive in a markedly hypo-osmotic environment (< 100 milliosmols per liter).
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1967
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