Effect of mercury concentration on asymmetry in fish skulls
Young, Neera Chhabra
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Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from L Lake, Par Pond, and Pond B located on the Savannah River Site in SC, were analyzed for mercury concentration, length, weight, and age. Fish skull asymmetries were assessed using geometric morphometrics by landmarking dorsal and ventral images. Mercury was positively correlated with fish length, weight, and age for all populations, but not with age for Par Pond. Directional asymmetry was significant in each population but not different among populations. Each population had significant levels of fluctuating asymmetry (FA), but the only difference was that Par Pond had greater FA than Pond B for the dorsal view of the skull. Correlations between individual overall asymmetry values and Hg for either view were not significant for any population or for populations considered together. Patterns of variation in asymmetry and mercury concentrations among locations were not consistent.