The effects of sedimentation on the mortality of the Atlantic Stugeon.Research
Preparation The Acipenser oxyrinchus would be ideal to run the experiment on since it is the species the class is trying to save from extinction, unfortunately as soon as the experiment was developed the Atlantic sturgeon was placed on the endangered species list. This made any experimentation on the Atlantic sturgeon close to impossible. This meant that a comparable species was needed to be acquired. The experiment was set, and was prepared to be run on the Siberian Sturgeon, but Department of Natural Resources in Maryland ameliorated the experiment by providing Atlantic sturgeon.
Prior to obtaining the fish, our class determined that we could coordinate our activities (i.e., Physiological Ecology, Habitat, Threats, and Policy Groups) by focusing on aspects related to sedimentation. Given that suitable sediment is required for spawning and supporting sturgeon life functions while, at the same time, unsuitable habitat poses a threat to the viability and survivability of the sturgeon, we focused our experiment on the harmful impacts of fine-grained sediment on the Atlantic sturgeon. In particular, we set up an experiment to test the hypothesis that suspended sediment, in a concentration equivalent to that found in the James River, poses a threat to the Atlantic sturgeon by abrading gills and diminishing feeding habits which, in turn, leads to mortality.
FutureAs we speak the sturgeon are being held in tanks in the Copley Science Center at Randolph-Macon College. In order for there to be enough time to run the experiment the sediment will not be added into the tanks until the 2011 Spring semester EVST 305 course.