The respiratory development of Atlantic salmon .1. Morphometry of gills, yolk sac and body surface
Pinder, Alan W.
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During development from larva to juvenile in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, there is a change in the anatomical potential for gas exchange among gills, body skin and yolk sac as the larvae resorb yolk, grow and develop gills. Newly hatched Atlantic salmon have poorly developed gills but do have a high skin area to mass ratio and a large well-vascularized yolk sac. Cutaneous surfaces accounted for over 95 % of the total area available for respiration in newly hatched Atlantic salmon (body mass 0.032-0.060 g). The branchial contribution to total area increased rapidly, however, so that by the end of yolk absorption (body mass 0.19-0.23 g) it constituted 22 % of the total area and overtook cutaneous surface area between 5 and 6g wet body mass. Harmonic mean diffusion distance across the skin increased through development from 20 mu m at hatch (14 mu m across the yolk sac) to 70 mu m in an 11g fish. Diffusion distances across both the filaments and lamellae of the gills decreased through development, from 3.7 to 2.4 mu m for lamellae and from 14.5 to 10.8 mu m for filaments. The total anatomical diffusion factor (ADF, mass-specific surface area per unit diffusion distance) remained constant over early development and appeared to be higher than in adult fish. The distribution of ADF changed over early development from 50% yolk sac, 42 % body surface and 8 % branchial in newly hatched fish to 68 % branchial and 32 % cutaneous at the end of yolk resorption. Generally, early post-hatch development of gills, ADF and some cutaneous surfaces showed high mass exponents, After yolk resorption (body mass 0.2g), however, these coefficients were lower and closer to unity. The change in scaling at the end of yolk resorption in this study may reflect the completion of larva to juvenile metamorphosis in Atlantic salmon. Comparison between our data and values in the literature suggests that the timing of gill development is related more to developmental stage than to body size.
Wells, PR, and AW Pinder. 1996. "The respiratory development of Atlantic salmon .1. Morphometry of gills, yolk sac and body surface." Journal of Experimental Biology 199(12): 2725-2736.