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Effects of dispersed oil on reproduction in the cold water copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus)


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Following a 120-h exposure period to 3 concentrations of oil dispersions (0.022 mg L−1, 1.8 mg L−1, and 16.5 mg L−1, plus controls) generated from a North Sea crude oil and a subsequent 21-d recovery, mortality, and several reproduction endpoints (egg production rates, egg hatching success, and fraction of females participating in reproduction) in Calanus finmarchicus were studied. Concentration-dependent mortality was found during exposure, averaging to 6%, 3%, 15%, and 42% for the controls and 3 exposure levels, respectively. At the start of the recovery period, mean egg production rates of surviving females from the highest concentrations were very low, but reproduction subsequently improved. In a 4-d single female reproduction test starting 13 d postexposure, no significant differences in egg production rates or hatching success were found between reproducing control and exposed copepods. However, a significantly lower portion of the surviving females from the highest exposure participated in egg production. The results indicate that although short-term exposure to oil-polluted water after an oil spill can induce severe mortality and temporarily suspend reproduction, copepods may recover and produce viable offspring soon after exposure. The results might imply that for C. finmarchicus populations, the impact from short-term exposure to an oil spill might be predicted from acute mortality and that delayed effects make only a limited contribution to population decrease. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:2045–2055. © 2013 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of SETAC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.