• 2,4,6-tribromophenol;
  • 2,4-dibromophenol;
  • larval survival;
  • metamorphosis;
  • Strongylocentrotus nudus

ABSTRACT:  As a possible factor leading to the low recruitment level of sea urchins in kelp forests, the inhibitory effect of 2,4-dibromophenol (DBP) and 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP) released from the large perennial brown algae Ecklonia kurome and Eisenia bicyclis on survival and metamorphosis of eight-armed larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus was examined. The percentage of larvae that underwent metamorphosis in filtered sea water after 1 h exposure to one-half dilution of saturated dibromomethane solution (∼60 ppm) as a chemical inducer reached approximately 100% after 1 h, while that in filtered sea water containing 1 ppm TBP was reduced to 73%. This was further reduced to less than 40% in the presence of 10 and 20 ppm TBP after 2 h. In filtered sea water containing 1 and 10 ppm DBP, the proportion of metamorphosed larvae was reduced markedly to 43 and 5% after 2 h, respectively. All larvae exposed to 50 ppm TBP and to 20 and 50 ppm DBP died after 1 h. These findings suggest that DBP is more toxic than TBP for sea urchin larvae, strongly inhibiting their metamorphosis.