5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Chris Martyniuk
Session Name Emerging Diseases and Contaminants in Florida Waters - 2
Author(s) Chris Martyniuk,  Dept. of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (Presenting Author)
  Nancy Denslow,  Dept. of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
  Understanding the biological impacts of legacy and emerging contaminants in Florida water systems using the largemouth bass as a model species
  Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) are apex predators in Florida water ecosystems and can be considered a keystone species. There is a rich history of literature on Floridian largemouth bass regarding legacy pesticides such as organochloride pesticides. This environmental contamination arose from heavy pesticide use and production in the Apopka, Fl. region in the 1970-80s and is still present today. Recent studies by us have shown that animals that are placed into ponds along the Lake Apopka North shore increase their OCP body burden load by 10-100X compared to background levels in only 4 months. These animals show impaired reproduction, and new evidence suggests that there are negative effects on immune system function. Emerging pesticides can also negatively affect largemouth bass populations. For example, perfluorinated chemicals (PFASs) stem from a wide range of sources and have been detected in aquatic ecosystems worldwide including Florida. Largemouth bass collected from Lakes that are high in PFAS concentrations exhibit changes in the expression of genes related to lipid metabolism, energy production, and contaminant detoxification. Thus, there can be significant biological impacts of these contaminants on fish and ecosystem health. Environmental monitoring programs should consider both legacy and emerging pollutants when doing impact assessments on fish and wildlife, with a focus on action following consistent deviations of endpoints from a normal population range established with baseline studies.