Event Title

Atrazine Influence on Northern Pike Sperm Motility and Viability in Minnesota

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

9-4-2012 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Shannon Fisher

Mentor's Department

Water Resources Center

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Northern pike Esox lucius populations in southern Minnesota have been found to produce hatchability rates that are significantly lower than populations within northern Minnesota. Hatching reductions have been suggested as a contributing factor in the decline of pike in southern Minnesota. Northern pike are an important game species and declines in population density are a concern to anglers. In addition, the species provides predatory balance to many lake ecosystems. In the areas where hatching success has come into question, watersheds are highly disturbed and substantial agricultural runoff occurs. Research has shown that atrazine, a commonly used agricultural herbicide can impact gamete health. Our objective it to assess differences in sperm motility and density between atrazine- exposed and atrazine-free pike populations. Staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will assist in capturing breeding-age pike. We will collect and assess milt samples at Minnesota State University, Mankato using established methodology from the literature for other fish species. Water samples from the lakes where milt will be collected will be screened for atrazine content. Sperm motility and density are critical attributes to fish reproduction; therefore reductions in these attributes could certainly be linked to reductions in fertility, hatchability, and larval production rates. Significantly different results between the treatment groups would serve as a foundation for future studies to assess declining pike populations.

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM Apr 9th, 11:30 AM

Atrazine Influence on Northern Pike Sperm Motility and Viability in Minnesota

CSU Ballroom

Northern pike Esox lucius populations in southern Minnesota have been found to produce hatchability rates that are significantly lower than populations within northern Minnesota. Hatching reductions have been suggested as a contributing factor in the decline of pike in southern Minnesota. Northern pike are an important game species and declines in population density are a concern to anglers. In addition, the species provides predatory balance to many lake ecosystems. In the areas where hatching success has come into question, watersheds are highly disturbed and substantial agricultural runoff occurs. Research has shown that atrazine, a commonly used agricultural herbicide can impact gamete health. Our objective it to assess differences in sperm motility and density between atrazine- exposed and atrazine-free pike populations. Staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will assist in capturing breeding-age pike. We will collect and assess milt samples at Minnesota State University, Mankato using established methodology from the literature for other fish species. Water samples from the lakes where milt will be collected will be screened for atrazine content. Sperm motility and density are critical attributes to fish reproduction; therefore reductions in these attributes could certainly be linked to reductions in fertility, hatchability, and larval production rates. Significantly different results between the treatment groups would serve as a foundation for future studies to assess declining pike populations.

Recommended Citation

Stevens, Andrew and Paul Pallardy. "Atrazine Influence on Northern Pike Sperm Motility and Viability in Minnesota." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-A/49