Homeostasis and Toxicology of Essential Metals synthesizes the explosion of new information on the molecular, cellular, and organismal handling of metals in fish in the past 15 years. These elements are no longer viewed by fish physiologists as "heavy metals" that kill fish by suffocation, but rather as interesting moieties that enter and leave fish by specific pathways, which are subject to physiological regulation. The metals featured in this volume are those about which there has been most public and scientific concern, and therefore are those most widely studied by fish researchers. Metals such as Cu, Zn, Fe, Ni, Co, Se, Mo and Cr are either proven to be or are strongly suspected to be essential in trace amounts, yet are toxic in higher doses.

The companion volume, Homeostasis and Toxicology of Non-Essential Metals, Volume 31B, covers metals that have no known nutritive function in fish at present, but which are toxic at fairly low levels, such as Ag, Al, Cd, Pb, Hg, As, Sr, and U. In addition, three chapters in Volumes 31A and 31B on Basic Principles (Chapter 1, 31A), Field Studies and Ecological Integration (Chapter 9, 31A) and Modeling the Physiology and Toxicology of Metals (Chapter 9, 31B) act as integrative summaries and make these two volumes a vital set for readers.

Key Features

  • All major essential metals of interest are covered in metal-specific chapters
  • Each metal-specific chapter is written by fish physiologists/toxicologists who are recognized authorities for that metal
  • A common format is featured throughout this two volume edition


Fish physiologists, nutritional physiologists, toxicologists and environmental regulators

Table of Contents

Contents of homeostasis and toxicology of non-essential metals, volume 31B



1 An introduction to metals in fish physiology and toxicology: basic principles

1 Background

2 Structure of the book

3 Chemical speciation in freshwater and seawater

4 Sources of metals and economic importance

5 Environmental situations of concern

6 Acute and chronic ambient water quality criteria

7 Mechanisms of toxicity

8 Essentiality or non-essentiality of metals

9 Potential for bioconcentration and/or biomagnification of metals

10 Characterization of uptake routes

11 Characterization of internal handling

12 Characterization of excretion routes

13 Behavioral effects of metals

14 Molecular characterization of metal transporters, storage proteins, and chaperones

15 Genomic and proteomic studies

16 Interactions with other metals

2 Copper

1 Introduction

2 Chemical speciation and other factors affecting toxicity in freshwater and seawater

3 Sources of copper in the environment and its economic importance

4 Environmental situations of concern

5 Acute and chronic ambient water quality criteria

6 Mechanisms of toxicity

7 Essentiality of copper

8 Potential for bioconcentration and biomagnification of copper

9 Characterization of uptake routes

10 Characterization of internal handling

11 Characterization of excretion routes

12 Behavioral effects of copper

13 Molecular characterization of copper transporters, storage proteins, and chaperones

14 Genomic and proteomic studies

15 Interactions with other metals

16 Knowledge gaps and future directions

3 Zinc

1 Introduction

2 Chemical speciation of zinc in freshwater and seawater

3 Sources of zinc and economic importanc


No. of pages:
© 2012
Academic Press
Electronic ISBN:
Print ISBN:


"This ‘‘book’’ (actually 2 companion volumes) provides a comprehensive and accessible review of trace metal essentiality, effects of deficiency or excess, homeostatic processes, and toxicology in fishes. The chapters and volumes are constructed with a parallel structure that helps comparisons across the different metals. In addition to the core focus, each chapter includes a brief summary of geochemical speciation, environmental concentrations in natural and polluted areas, environmental quality criteria from different countries, uses, and arguments for and against essentiality. The chapters are all authoritative…These 2 volumes are likely to stand for some time as the defining compendium on the homeostasis and toxicology of metals in fish. The publisher lists them as the First Edition. Perhaps when the Second Edition is written, it will be feasible to expand the scope to include comparative information on aquatic organisms other than fish."--Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Volume 8, Number 4, pp. 768-772