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An evauation of ammonia as a tool for eradication of aquatic invasive species

Frye, Eric James (2021) An evauation of ammonia as a tool for eradication of aquatic invasive species. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Aquatic invasive species (AIS) can cause significant harm to ecosystems, biodiversity, and the economy. Methods for controlling AIS are currently limited to mechanical removal which can be labor intensive and minimally effective, or a very limited number of chemical piscicides each with their own risks. In many situations, the use of chemicals for removal of invasive aquatic species is the only solution with a high probability for complete eradication. Ammonia-based piscicides may have the potential to effectively euthanize fish with fewer risks than other currently available piscicides. Toxicity of ammonia to gill breathing organisms and its natural denitrification through the nitrogen cycle make it an excellent candidate for controlling AIS. To explain the intended use pattern of ammonia-based piscicides in better detail this document summarizes completed field trials and additional experiments testing the persistence of artificially elevated ammonia. Laboratory toxicity trials exposing green sunfish, fathead minnow and black bullhead catfish to four low level ammonia concentrations suggest that lethal concentrations of ammonia are 5ppm when using a pH increaser. Adding a pH increaser increases the toxicity of ammonia reducing the amount of ammonia needed to effectively eradicate AIS and achieving an effective kill within four hours. Increasing pH did not change the amount of time necessary for ammonia to detoxify in field or laboratory trials. Results from field trials indicate that detoxification of ammonia requires an average of two to three weeks in a lentic system. Although regulations related to the development of aquatic use pesticides are clearly defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, policy created at the state level in Arizona further restricts research activity related to piscicides on public lands. However, obtaining these data may be easier in other states that do not have laws specifically related to the use of piscicides. Incorporating in-situ bioassays prior to experimental trials will help inform where and when a treatment is likely to be effective.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: ammonia; piscicde; Aquatic invasive species;
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences > School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 17:05
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 17:05
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5673

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