John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Stage‐dependent and sex‐dependent sensitivity to water‐soluble fractions of fresh and weathered oil in the marine copepod Calanus finmarchicus

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Acute toxicity differs between species but also varies within a species. Important intraspecific factors are the exposure duration and properties of the animal such as life stage, sex, and physiological status. In the present study, the acute toxicity of water‐soluble fractions (WSFs) from fresh and artificially weathered oil was followed over time in different life stages of the calanoid copepod Calanus finmarchicus, including adult males and females. The life stages differ in size but also in lipid content and physiology. To meaningfully compare the sensitivity of the different stages, the authors fitted a toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic (TKTD) model from the framework of the General Unified Threshold Model of Survival (GUTS) to the mortality patterns over time. The oil WSFs could not be treated as single compounds: the rapid effect at high doses could not be reconciled with the slow effect at low doses. Treating the oil as a mixture of 2 component blocks could, however, capture these patterns satisfactorily. Even though the early life stages of animals are generally considered to be the most vulnerable, the adult males of C. finmarchicus turned out to be most sensitive, followed by the early copepodites. Naupliar larvae were equally susceptible to oil toxicity as late copepodites and adult females. The relationship between the GUTS model parameters and the physiological traits for the different life stages remains, however, unclear. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–8. © 2015 SETAC

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