Embryo aberrations in the amphipod Monoporeia affinis as bioindicators of sediment contamination: a field evaluation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
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.
Contaminated sediment, Reproduction, Embryo aberrations, Embryo malformation, In situ effects, Amphipod, Monoporeia affinis, PAHs, PCBs, Metals, Baltic Sea, Bothnian Sea, Bothnian Bay
Research subject Applied Environmental Science; Ecotoxicology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102842OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102842DiVA: diva2:713529
FunderSwedish Environmental Protection AgencyEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme