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Comparative study on acute effects of water accommodated fractions of an artificially weathered crude oil on Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis (Crustacea: Copepoda)

Hansen, Bjørn Henrik, Altin, Dag, Rørvik, Siv F., Øverjordet, Ida Beathe, Olsen, Anders J., Nordtug, Trond
The Science of the total environment 2011 v.409 no.4 pp. 704-709
Copepoda, acute effects, acute exposure, acute toxicity, ecotoxicology, energy content, environmental assessment, gene induction, glutathione transferase, lethal concentration 50, lipid content, longevity, oils, risk assessment, temperature, Arctic region
Extrapolation of ecotoxicological data from temperate species for use in risk assessment in the polar environments may be difficult since polar organisms as a rule differ from temperate species in terms of life span length, developmental time, surface-to-volume ratios, metabolic rates, total energy usage and lipid content for energy storage. In the current work we performed a comparative study where two closely related and morphologically similar copepod species, Calanus finmarchicus (temperate-boreal) and Calanus glacialis (arctic), were exposed to water accommodated fractions (WAF) of oil in a series of parallel experiments. The two species, adapted to 10°C and 2°C, respectively, were compared on the basis of acute ecotoxicity (LC₅₀) and the WAF-mediated induction of the gene encoding glutathione S-transferase (GST). In addition, an experiment was conducted in order to reveal relationships between lipid content and acute toxicity. LC₅₀ values differed between the two species, and the Arctic copepod appeared less sensitive than the temperate-boreal species. The lipid contents of the two species, measured biometrically, were comparable, and the relationships between lipid content and response (reduced survival) to acute WAF exposure followed the same trend: Lipid-rich copepods survived longer than lipid-poor copepods at the same exposure concentration. In terms of GST expression, both species showed concentration-dependent and exposure time-dependent trends. However, as for the acute toxicity data, the Arctic copepod appeared to respond slower and with a lower intensity. From the study it can be concluded that temperature and lipid content are important factors for assessing differences between temperate and Arctic species, and that a delayed response in organisms adapted to low temperatures needs to be corrected for when extrapolating toxicity data from species with other temperature optimums for use in Arctic environments.