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Improved environmental monitoring and assessment: Establishing links between effects of chemical pollution at different levels of biological organization in a Baltic Sea bioindicator species (Monoporeia affinis)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A large number of chemicals enters the marine environment via atmospheric deposition, run-off, rivers and streams, industrial effluents and municipal wastewater. To understand how chemicals affect environmental health, monitoring and assessment approaches need to combine physical, chemical and biological effect parameters from different levels of biological organization. Embryo aberrations and reproductive success in the Baltic Sea key species Monoporeia affinis have been linked to various stressors, including chemicals, and have been applied as a bioindicator of chemical pollution since the 1970s. The current thesis aimed to improve this bioindicator by linking effects at different levels of biological organization. Understanding how effects are linked, from sub-cellular effects, to decreased organism fitness and further on to populations, will improve the ability to give early warnings and understand risks that an ecosystem faces. Paper I links point sources of chemical pollution to embryo aberrations, and shows that effects can be detected 20-30 km from point sources. Paper II demonstrates on a sub-cellular level how M. affinis´ ability to cope with hypoxia is adversely affected by chemical stress, and how it could decrease fitness. Paper III link sub-cellular effects to embryo aberrations and suggests a mechanistic link between oxidative stress and embryo aberrations. Paper III also shows that sub-cellular effects respond more distinctly compared to fecundity, survival and embryo aberrations and can thus improve the ability to detect stress at an early stage. In Paper IV, a population model was developed, which shows that populations could be severely affected if levels of embryo aberrations persist at levels commonly observed in Baltic Sea. This thesis contributes to a more holistic understanding of how chemical pollution affects M. affinis, thereby improving our ability to early detect negative effects and understand potential risks that the Baltic Sea faces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University , 2015. , 32 p.
Keyword [en]
Environmental health assessment, environmental monitoring, chemical pollution, hypoxia, bioindicators, biomarkers, teratogenicity, embryo toxicity, oxidative stress, acetylcholine esterase. Monoporeia affinis, Baltic Sea
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111067ISBN: 978-91-7649-078-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-111067DiVA: diva2:774046
Public defence
2015-01-30, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Note

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

Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-12-21 Last updated: 2014-12-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Embryo development of the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis as a tool for monitoring and assessment of biological effects of contaminants in the field: A meta-analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embryo development of the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis as a tool for monitoring and assessment of biological effects of contaminants in the field: A meta-analysis
2014 (English)In: Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, E-ISSN 1872-7034, Vol. 36, 483-490 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Embryo malformations in the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis have been used as a biological effect indicator of chemical contaminants for more than three decades. The results from field studies along the Swedish Baltic Sea coast, comprising more than 50,000 analyzed embryos, were synthesized using a meta-analytic approach. This approach generated a quantitative and statistically defensible summary and enabled us to explore potential causative factors. The study aimed at evaluating the usefulness of embryo malformations as a biological effect indicator of chemical contaminants in the field. The result shows that malformations in M. affinis are ubiquitous in polluted areas and are negatively correlated with distance from main sources of contaminants. The result also shows that malformations are significantly more frequent up to more than 10 km from point sources. We conclude that embryo malformations in M. affinis can provide useful information for management and environmental policy in the Baltic Sea region as: (1) the present study supports evidence from controlled laboratory studies that there is a cause and effect relationship between embryo malformations and contaminants; (2) the study suggests that the indicator is contaminant-sensitive and can therefore serve as an early warning of biological effects in the field; (3) the indicator is general, suggesting that it has capability to monitor and detect effects of a wide variety of known, and yet unknown, chemical contaminants. The usefulness is further strengthened by the fact that M. affinis is a widely distributed species that plays a fundamental role in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Future research should increase the understanding of how environmental factors affect the indicator response and if the response is related to effects at lower and higher levels of biological organization.

Keyword
Bioindicator, Environmental monitoring and assessment, Pollution, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Monoporeia affinis, Baltic Sea
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100094 (URN)10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.08.021 (DOI)000329081100052 ()
Note

AuthorCount:4;

Available from: 2014-01-31 Created: 2014-01-27 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Exposure to contaminants exacerbates oxidative stress in amphipod Monoporeia affinis subjected to fluctuating hypoxia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exposure to contaminants exacerbates oxidative stress in amphipod Monoporeia affinis subjected to fluctuating hypoxia
Show others...
2013 (English)In: Aquatic Toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X, E-ISSN 1879-1514, Vol. 127, 46-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fitness and survival of an organism depend on its ability to mount a successful stress response when challenged by exposure to damaging agents. We hypothesized that co-exposure to contaminants may exacerbate oxidative stress in hypoxia-challenged benthic animals compromising their ability to recover upon reoxygenation. This was tested using the amphipod Monoporeia affinis exposed to hypoxia followed by reoxygenation in sediments collected in polluted and pristine areas. In both sediment types, oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and antioxidant enzyme activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)] increased during hypoxia, suggesting that M. affinis has a strategy of preparation for oxidative stress that facilitates recovery after a hypoxic episode. Exposure to contaminants altered this anticipatory response as indicated by higher baselines of ORAC and SOD during hypoxia and no response upon reoxygenation. This coincided with significantly elevated oxidative damage evidenced by a marked reduction in glutathione redox status (ratio of reduced GSH/oxidized GSSG) and an increase in lipid peroxidation (TSARS levels). Moreover, RNA:DNA ratio, a proxy for protein synthetic activity, decreased in concert with increased TBARS, indicating a linkage between oxidative damage and fitness. Finally, inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in animals exposed to contaminated sediments suggested a neurotoxic impact, whereas significant correlations between AChE and oxidative biomarkers may indicate connections with redox state regulation. The oxidative responses in pristine sediments suggested a typical scenario of ROS production and removal, with no apparent oxidative damage. By contrast, co-exposure to contaminants caused greater increase in antioxidants, lipid peroxidation, and slowed recovery from hypoxia as indicated by CAT, GSH/GSSG, TBARS and AChE responses. These results support the hypothesized potential of xenobiotics to hamper ability of animals to cope with fluctuating hypoxia. They also emphasize the importance of understanding interactions between antioxidant responses to different stressors and physiological mechanisms of oxidative damage.

Keyword
AChE, Anticipatory response, Antioxidant enzymes, Glutathione redox status, Lipid peroxidation, Recovery from hypoxia, Reoxygenation, RNA:DNA ratio
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88269 (URN)10.1016/j.aquatox.2012.01.022 (DOI)000314623100006 ()
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2013-03-13 Created: 2013-03-12 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Linking sub-cellular biomarkers to embryo aberrations in the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Linking sub-cellular biomarkers to embryo aberrations in the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To adequately assess and monitor environmental status in the aquatic environment a broad approach is needed that integrates physical variables, chemical analyses and biological effects at different levels of the biological organization. Embryo aberrations in the Baltic Sea key species Monoporeia affinis have shown to be inducible by both metals and organic substances as well as by hypoxia, increasing temperatures and malnutrition. This amphipod have therefore been used for more than three decades as a biological effect indicator in monitoring and assessment of chemical pollution and environmental stress. However, little is known about the sub-cellular mechanisms underlying embryo aberrations. An improved mechanistic understanding may open up the possibility of including sub-cellular alterations as sensitive warning signals of stress-induced embryo aberrations. In the present study, M. affinis was exposed in microcosms to 4 different sediments from the Baltic Sea. After 88-95 days of exposure, survival and fecundity was determined as well as the frequency and type of embryo aberrations. Moreover, oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) was assayed as a proxy for antioxidant defence, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) as a measurement of lipid peroxidation and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity as an indicator of neurotoxicity. The results show that AChE and ORAC can be linked to the frequency of malformed embryos and arrested embryo development. The occurrence of dead broods was significantly associated with elevated TBARS levels. It can be concluded that these sub-cellular biomarkers are indicative of effects that could affect Darwinian fitness and that oxidative stress is a likely mechanism in the development of aberrant embryos.

Keyword
Monoporeia affinis, embryo aberrations, oxidative stress, Darwinian fitness
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111065 (URN)
Available from: 2014-12-21 Created: 2014-12-21 Last updated: 2016-01-29Bibliographically approved
4. Extrapolating the effect of embryo aberrations on population dynamics in the benthic key species Monoporeia affinis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extrapolating the effect of embryo aberrations on population dynamics in the benthic key species Monoporeia affinis
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111066 (URN)
Available from: 2014-12-21 Created: 2014-12-21 Last updated: 2014-12-23

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