Exposure to Atrazine Impairs Behaviour and Growth Performance in African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) Juveniles

Opute P. A.* and Oboh I. P.

Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author: ashibudike.opute@uniben.edu

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 Vol. 5 No. 1  | March 2021 | Pages 165 – 172

https://doi.org/10.36263/nijest.2021.01.0263   |   Cite this article

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Clarias gariepinus juveniles of average weight, 17.57±1.95 g and an average length of 14.26±0.39 cm were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of 0 (control), 2.5, 25, 250, and 500 µg L-1 atrazine in a quality-controlled 28-day bioassay. Growth performance was assessed bi-weekly and fish samples were taken from different tanks to determine the relative growth rate, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, condition factor and behaviour. At the end of two weeks of exposure, the relative growth rate and the specific growth rate among exposed fish groups was found to reduce significantly (p<0.05) compared to the control, an indication of poor growth performance. The average specific growth rates (SGR) of control fish is 3.86±0.02 %/w at the end of the exposure duration while recording -0.64±0.09 in the 500 µg L-1 group. Feed conversion ratio increased significantly from control to the group with highest atrazine concentration. Condition factor (K) of fish among treatment groups showed significant decrease in values with increasing concentration of atrazine in a dose-dependent pattern. Atrazine exposure resulted in behavioural anomalies including erratic swimming, clinging to the water surface, loss of equilibrium, lethargy, and discolouration. The behavioural responses were found to be concentration-dependent. The length-weight relationships for both control and atrazine exposed fish exhibited positive allometric growth and significant relationships as depicted by the value of R2 (coefficient of determination) except in the fish group exposed to 500 µg L-1 atrazine which exhibited negative allometric growth. Findings from this study indicate interference with normal behaviour and growth performance of C. gariepinus juveniles with ecological implications in water bodies exposed to atrazine even at reduced concentrations.

Keywords: Clarias gariepinus, Atrazine, Behaviour, Growth, Condition factor

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Opute P. A. and Oboh I. P. 2021. Exposure to Atrazine Impairs Behaviour and Growth Performance in African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) Juveniles. Nigerian Journal of Environmental Sciences and Technology, 5(1), pp. 165-172. https://doi.org/10.36263/nijest.2021.01.0263


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