John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Photo‐induced toxicity of Deepwater Horizon slick oil to blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) larvae

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The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the accidental release of approximately 700 million L of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Photo‐induced toxicity after co‐exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is 1 mechanism by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from oil spills may exert toxicity. Blue crab are an important commercial and ecological resource in the Gulf of Mexico, and their largely transparent larvae may make them sensitive to PAH photo‐induced toxicity. The goal of the present study was to examine the sensitivity of early lifestage blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) zoea to slick oil collected during the Deepwater Horizon spill. Blue crab zoea were exposed to 1 of several dilutions of water accommodated fractions from 1 of 2 sources of oil and gradations of natural sunlight in a factorial design. Two 7‐h solar exposures were carried out with a recovery period (dark) in between. Survival was found to be UV‐ and PAH‐dependent. Toxicity was observed within the range of surface PAH concentrations reported in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon spill. These findings indicate that early lifestage blue crab are sensitive to photo‐induced toxicity from Deepwater Horizon slick oil. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;9999:1–6. © 2015 SETAC

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