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Medium-term dynamics of element concentrations in a sparid fish and its isopod parasite after the Prestige oil-spill: Shifting baselines?

Pérez-del-Olmo, Ana, Nachev, Milen, Zimmermann, Sonja, Fernández, Mercedes, Sures, Bernd
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.686 pp. 648-656
Boops boops, accidents, fish, fuels, habitats, host-parasite relationships, liver, models, multivariate analysis, nickel, oil spills, parasites, tissues
Historically, the European Atlantic is probably the most important oil-spill hotspot worldwide. One of the most recent accidents occurred in 2002 when the oil-tanker Prestige sank over the Galician Bank causing two major oil-spills followed by several small leaks until March 2003. This resulted in contamination of virtually all types of marine habitat. Considering that parasites have proved to be good effect and accumulation bioindicators, the present study addresses the medium-term changes in trace element content after the Prestige oil-spill in a model host-parasite system, the bogue, Boops boops (Sparidae) and the isopod Ceratothoa oestroides. To our knowledge, this study is the first to address trace element concentrations in natural fish and parasite populations associated with the effects of an oil-spill. We observed that both test organisms examined, the host and the parasite, indicate a detectable change in the relative composition of trace element concentrations before and after the Prestige oil-spill. Multivariate analyses also indicated a differential response of the different tissues to the temporal sampling sequence. However, analyses of both host and parasite tissues supported the pattern of a gradual temporal transition to a state of relative trace element content distinctly departing from the pre-spill situation. Moreover, the parasite-host element accumulation ratios better depicted this temporal pattern. Additionally, changes in V concentrations in fish liver tissues and Ni concentrations in the parasite tissues suggest that this host-parasite system may be a useful tool to assess these two element contaminations linked to heavy fuel oil-spill.