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Environmental Sex Differentiation in Fish

  • Explores the concern of fishery biologists and global food security policy makers about overexploitation and collapse of some capture fisheries
  • Addresses concerns about the decreasing male ratio, especially in eels and sea bass, in which males grow more slowly than females
  • Presents information about climate change and consequent acidification, hypoxia, and global warming, as reflected in increased male ratio of fishes
  • Describes endocrine disruption of sex differentiation in fishes, which has attracted the attention of toxicologists, geneticists, and aquaculturists

Series: Sex Differentiation in Fish Volume: 3

By: TJ Pandian(Author)

299 pages, 11 plates with 13 colour illustrations; 44 b/w illustrations, tables

CRC Press

Hardback | Jan 2015 | #213994 | ISBN-13: 9781482254372
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £85.99 $111/€95 approx

About this book

Fish constitute an important natural renewable resource and any reduction in their ability to propagate as a result of human interference may have significant socioeconomic consequences. The negative effect of human activity on sex differentiation and reproductive output in fish is so diverse that it has been difficult to encompass it in a single book. Environmental Sex Differentiation in Fish serves as the first attempt to do so.

Unlike in mammals, the expression of a host of sex differentiation genes in fish is mostly controlled by environmental factors. Not surprisingly, environmental sex differentiation is ubiquitous in fish. Overexploitation by capture fisheries does not disrupt sex differentiation but crowding in aqua-farms does, by reducing accessibility to food supply.

Some of the man-made chemicals routinely used worldwide mimic endogenous hormones. For example endosulfan, which is widely used in developing countries, disrupts endogenous hormones and feminizes fish. For the first time, Environmental Sex Differentiation in Fish views endocrine disruption from the point of labile early life and non-labile adult stages. It shows that sex can irreversibly be reversed, when exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during early labile stages but reversibly impairs reproductive output on exposure to EDCs during non-labile adult stage. A consequence of climate change, elevated temperature, and declining oxygen and pH levels is that it masculinises genetic female fish.

Fish display a remarkable ability to postpone the labile period. Besides postponement, some primary and tertiary gonochores have two distinct labile periods amenable to temperature and hormonal manipulations. Hermaphrodites have retained the period until the end of the adult stage and are capable of sex change/reversal more than once in both male and female directions.



Genetic basis

Genes meet environment

Social structure

Mating system

Parental care


Model fishes


Overexploitation by fisheries

Fisheries scenario

Sexual maturity


Spawning stress

Collapse of fishery

Sex change

Sperm economy

Social induction

Reproductive life span


Aquaculture and crowding

Human interventions

Crowding and consequences


Endocrine disruption

Labile and non-labile stages

History and prevalence

Routes of entry

Mechanism of disruption

Selected labile stages

Morphology and anatomy

Ovotestis and testis-ova



Courting and mating

Spawning and spermiation

Fertilization and fecundity

Hatching and survival

New from old


Hypoxia and anoxia

Hypoxic habitats and fisheries

Hypoxia and differentiation

Hypoxia and impairments



pH and precipitation

pH and sex ratio



Temperature and sex ratio

Identification of GSD and TSD

Patterns 2 and 3

Parental genetic role

Insensitive fishes

Germ cells and aromatase

Model fishes

Prevalence and patterns


Climate change and differentiation

Model systems

Impairment and distribution

Global food security








Tissue culture



Labile period and new hypothesis

Author index

Species index

Subject index

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