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Predicting the effects of copper on local population decline of two marine organisms, cobia fish and whiteleg shrimp, based on avoidance response

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Fry of the marine fish Rachycentron canadum (cobia) and larvae of the estuarine shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp) were exposed to a copper gradient which ranged from 0.20 to 1.80 mg Cu/L for the experiments with cobia and from 0.10 to 1.0 mg Cu/L for the experiments with whiteleg shrimp. The experiments focused on the avoidance response to predict the population decline. Avoidance of approximately 60% was recorded for the cobia fry exposed to 1.0, 1.60 and 1.80 mg Cu/L. For the shrimp larvae, avoidance was approximately 80% for all copper concentrations. The population decline of cobia fry was conditioned by the avoidance in the lower concentrations. However, in the higher concentrations mortality begins to play an important role. The displacement towards uncontaminated habitats might determine the shrimp population decline. A copper contaminated environment can determine the habitat selection of both species and, therefore, their local population decline. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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