Impact of pesticides on Baltic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) reproductive success

Field: Zoologi, miljövetenskap
Project leader: Håkan Olsén
Starting year: 2007
Project type: Project

The over all aim of this project is to determine the impact of low levels of frequently occurring pesticides on reproductive function in Baltic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta L.). In particular, in view of the pesticides’ known ability to disrupt the detection of olfactory cues, experiments will concentrate on determining the impact of pesticides on olfactorymediated reproductive functions for detection of female pheromones, with postulated negative effects on the males’hormonal status, courting and spawning behaviour and resulting in low fertilization rates.

Recent studies have shown that pesticides used in agriculture occur frequently in Swedish streams and highly probably also in other streams flowing into the Baltic. Not much is, however, known about the effects of these pesticides on the organisms in streams and lakes. In the present project we will focus on the impact of pesticides on the reproduction success of salmonid fish important for the Baltic fisheries and ecosystems. The long-term goal is to contribute to the efforts to achieve a pesticide risk assessment for streams, lakes and coastal areas.

The study is directly connected to the interaction between the aquatic ecological systems on one hand and human activities based on practice on the other. Is it possible to decrease or change the use of pesticides in agriculture, forestry and gardens to reduce the impact on aquatic organisms?