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Embryo aberrations in the amphipod Monoporeia affinis as bioindicators of sediment contamination: a field evaluation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Reproduction in the amphipod Monoporeia affinis is sensitive to contaminant exposure, and embryo aberrations are used in the Swedish National Monitoring Program (SNMP) to indicate biological effects of contaminants. However, support for a causal relationship between contaminant load and frequency of aberrations is largely based on experimental studies. A field evaluation of various aberration types in relation to contaminant exposure is required if we are to use specific reproductive disorders as indicators of contaminant effects in situ. In this field study, we evaluated whether occurrence and frequency of specific embryo aberrations in M. affinis are related to concentrations of various pollutants in sediments. Gravid M. affinis and surface sediment were sampled from ten sites in the Gulf of Bothnia located at varying proximity to historical and ongoing polluting point sources. Fecundity (eggs/female) and embryo development status were assayed, with focus on morphologically recognizable embryo aberrations (malformed embryos, membrane-damaged embryos, embryos with arrested development and females with dead brood). In sediments, concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trace and heavy metals were determined. A key finding is that different types of embryo aberrations were associated with specific contaminant groups in the sediment. In particular, occurrence of females with embryo malformations was strongly related to elevated concentrations of Cd and PCBs, while females with membrane-damaged embryos were related to PAH concentrations. Also, frequency of embryos with arrested development were linked to elevated concentrations of PAHs and metals. Furthermore, frequency of females carrying dead broods, which was earlier considered to be a hypoxia-induced pathology, was positively related to PAH concentrations. These results suggest that specific reproductive aberrations in M. affinis can serve as contaminant-specific bioindicators of PAH, PCB and heavy metal exposure in biological effect monitoring.

Keyword [en]
Contaminated sediment, Reproduction, Embryo aberrations, Embryo malformation, In situ effects, Amphipod, Monoporeia affinis, PAHs, PCBs, Metals, Baltic Sea, Bothnian Sea, Bothnian Bay
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science; Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102842OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102842DiVA: diva2:713529
Projects
BEAST
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection AgencyEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2014-04-23
In thesis
1. Biomarkers and bioindicators of hypoxia and sediment toxicity in Monoporeia affinis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biomarkers and bioindicators of hypoxia and sediment toxicity in Monoporeia affinis
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two of the most pressing environmental problems in the Baltic Sea are pollution and oxygen deficiency. The aim of this doctoral thesis was to evaluate a set of biomarkers and reproductive variables in the amphipod Monoporeia affinis to test their suitability as indicators of exposure to contaminants and hypoxia. In Paper I and Paper II, field-sampled M. affinis were exposed to varying oxygen conditions in combination with contaminated or reference sediment. Paper I showed that the combined effect of hypoxia and contaminants induced larger increases in antioxidant enzyme activities and higher levels of damaged lipids, resulting from oxidative stress, than single-stress treatments. The biomarkers AChE and GST responded only to the contaminant exposure. Paper II demonstrated that M. affinis can prepare against oxidative stress that facilitates recovery after a hypoxic episode, but that exposure to contaminants altered this response and resulted in higher baselines of antioxidants during hypoxia and no response upon reoxygenation. Paper III linked the occurrence of different embryo aberrations in M. affinis to concentrations of PAHs, PCBs and metals in sediments in the field. A key finding is that different types of embryo aberrations were associated with specific contaminant groups in the sediment. Paper IV addressed the link between biomarkers and bioindicators in M. affinis and found positive associations between increased antioxidant capacity in females and higher occurrence and frequencies of malformed and membrane-damaged embryos. AChE inhibition was linked to frequency of membrane-damaged embryos. Links between biomarker response and fecundity and embryo developmental stage were also established. Further, a large part of the variation in female antioxidant capacity and AChE activity could be explained by variation in concentrations of different metals, PAHs and PCB congeners, in combination with the environmental variables salinity, depth and sediment TOC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 2014. 35 p.
Keyword
Biomarkers, Bioindicators, Embryo aberrations, Hypoxia, Contaminated sediment, PAHs, PCBs, Metals, Baltic Sea, Amphipods, Monoporeia affinis
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102828 (URN)978-91-7447-905-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-28, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript; Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-06 Created: 2014-04-22 Last updated: 2014-04-25Bibliographically approved

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