Lutjanus jocu (Dog snapper) as a bio-indicator of emerging contaminants and changes in environmental condition.
Published: March 1, 2016
Our research assesses the use of Lutjanus jocu as a bio indicator of changes in environmental condition and water contaminated with toxic substances in estuarine ecosystems. Our two focuses are: assessing the behavioral effects of changes in pH and dissolved oxygen as result of anthropogenic input and assess the behavioral effects of sub-lethal concentrations of toxic substances. Through behavioral endpoints we evaluate the effects of exposure to stressors, because it integrates internal and external factors that can link biochemical and physiological processes, providing an understanding of the effects of environmental change. High speed imaging allows us to study the startle behavior, a quantifiable biological endpoint that can lend valuable insight into changes in the Central Nervous System and the effects of sub-lethal stressors on fish movement and responses to stimuli. Future work will include the analysis of Mauthner cell which are known to initiate the startle behavior. Although other fish models are used for biological essays, Lutjanus jocu could provide essential information for marine specific fishes and insight on effects of anthropogenic input on marine ecosystems at the individual- and population-level.