A long-term study of the effects of water-soluble fractions of No. 2 fuel oil on the survival, development rate, and growth of the mud crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii
Mud crabs, Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould), were exposed continuously for 6 months after hatching to water-soluble fractions (WSF) of No. 2 fuel oil. Survival, growth and development rate were monitored during this time. The zoeal stages were the most sensitive to fuel oil. A 20% WSF (0.36 ppm total naphthalenes, 1.26 ppm total hydrocarbons) was acutely toxic to these stages. Of the zoeal stages, the first stage appeared to be the most sensitive. The combined duration of the 4 zoeal stages was significantly increased by increasing WSF exposure concentrations. The megalopa and crab stages were not particularly sensitive to continued petroleum hydrocarbon exposure, particularly when compared to zoeal stages. However, mean duration of the megalopa and first crab stages was significantly affected by oil exposure. Individuals which survived the highest exposure concentrations as larvae appeared to grow larger during the crab stages, so that at the end of 6 months comparably staged crabs were equal to or larger than both control crabs and those exposed to low WSF concentrations. Stage distributions at the end of 6 months showed no differences due to WSF exposure. Sex ratios, which could be determined at the end of 6 months, were approximately 1, indicating no sex-related differential sensitivity to WSF exposure, at least as larvae or juveniles. The data indicate that these crabs possess considerable ability to recover from the effects of chronic sublethal exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons. The most deleterious effects of oil pollution on this species may be due to its impact on larval recruitment into the adult population.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics