U of M Study: Chemicals in Rivers Lead to Interspecies Mating
A new study by the University of Minnesota shows that chemicals released into rivers have affected the mating choices of fish.
Bisphernol A, or BPA, emits estrogen-like properties, which has been leading to inter-species breeding, the U of M researchers say.
The study focused on Blacktail Shiner and Red Shiner fish, which were collected from streams in Georgia and kept in separate tanks for 14 days, some of which contained BPA. The fish were then introduced to each other on the 15th day, and scientists monitored physiological or signaling differences.
According to the researchers, the BPA disrupts the endocrine system, which affects behavior and appearance. This can lead to animals mistaking a newly-introduced species as a potential mate, which could especially have long-term consequences to areas threatened by invasive species.
The study was published in Evolutionary Applications.