The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill coincided with the spawning season of many pelagic fish species in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet, few studies have investigated physiological responses of larval fish to interactions between anthropogenic crude oil exposure and natural factors (e.g. temperature, oxygen levels). Consequently, mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) embryos were exposed for 24 hours to combinations of two temperatures (26 and 30EC) and six concentrations of oiled fractions of weathered oil (from 0 to 44.1 μg 50PAHsL -1 ). In 56 hours post-fertilization larvae, heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output were measured as indicators of functional cardiac phenotypes. Fluid accumulation and incidence of edema and hematomas were quantified as indicators of morphological impairments. At both 26 and 30EC, oil-exposed larvae suffered dose-dependent morphological impairments and functional heart failure. Elevation of temperature to 30EC appeared to induce greater physiological responses (bradycardia) at PAH concentrations in the range of 3.0-14.9 μgL -1 . Conversely, elevated temperature in oil-exposed larvae reduced edema severity and hematoma incidence. However, the apparent protective role of warmer temperature does not appear to protect against enhanced mortality. Collectively, our findings show that elevated temperature may slightly decrease larval resilience to concurrent oil exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)