Description: Laboratory studies conducted at 5, 15, 25, and 35 C measured changes in gilling rates and oxygen consumption of green sunfish in response to exposure to bentonite clay suspensions. The tests indicate that gilling rates are not affected by bentonite clay suspensions below 2125 FTU at 5 C, 1012 FTU at 15 C, and 898 FTU at 25 C. At turbidity levels exceeding 1012 FTU at 15 C and 898 at 25 C, gilling rates increased 50-70%. Tests were inconclusive at 35 C. Oxygen consumption rates were found to be unaffected by turbid suspensions below 3500 FTU at all four temperatures. Evidence suggests that increased gilling rates under highly turbid conditions are a means of compensating for reduced respiratory efficiency and a strategy for maintaining a constant oxygen uptake. Evidence indicates that the cost of increased gilling rates is probably met by a reduction in activity.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Horkel, John Duane