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The effect of sub‐lethal concentrations of water soluble fraction of crude oil on the chemosensory function of caspian roach, Rutilus caspicus (Yakovlev, 1870)

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The water‐soluble fraction (WSF) of crude oil is a complex and toxic mixture of hydrocarbons. Since aquatic organisms directly encounter it, WSF plays an important role in the toxicity of crude oil in aquatic environments. To determine whether fish are attracted to or avoid WSF, Caspian roach (Rutilus caspicus) were exposed to different concentrations of WSF in a choice maze apparatus. The results of this experiment showed that Caspian roach can detect and avoid 2 mg/L of WSF. In order to study the effect of WSF on the olfactory function of fish, Caspian roach were exposed to 3.2 and 16 mg/L of WSF for 96 h; afterward, exposed fish encountered food extract in a choice maze apparatus. This experiment showed that WSF significantly impairs the olfactory function of roach. To investigate the effect of olfactory system dysfunction on the feeding behaviour of fish, Caspian roach were exposed to 3.2 and 16 mg/L of WSF. After 4, 8, and 12 d of exposure, feeding behaviour toward the food extract was tested. The results of this experiment showed that both 3.2 and 16 mg/L of WSF suppress the feeding behaviour of Caspian roach. Present study demonstrates that sub‐lethal concentrations of crude oil's WSF impairs the olfactory function of fish and consequently suppresses the feeding behaviour. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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