Effects of Deepwater Horizon crude oil exposure, temperature and developmental stage on oxygen consumption of embryonic and larval mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)

Christina Pasparakis, Edward M. Mager, John Stieglitz, Daniel D Benetti, Martin Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


The timing and location of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident within the Gulf of Mexico resulted in crude oil exposure of many commercially and ecologically important fish species, such as mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), during the sensitive early life stages. Previous research has shown that oil exposure during the embryonic stage of predatory pelagic fish reduces cardiac function − a particularly important trait for fast-swimming predators with high aerobic demands. However, it is unclear whether reductions in cardiac function translate to impacts on oxygen consumption in these developing embryos and larvae. A 24-channel optical-fluorescence oxygen-sensing system for high-throughput respiration measurements was used to investigate the effects of oil exposure, temperature and developmental stage on oxygen consumption rates in embryonic and larval mahi-mahi. Oil-exposed developing mahi-mahi displayed increased oxygen consumption, despite clear cardiac deformities and bradycardia, confirming oxygen uptake and delivery from a source other than the circulatory system. In addition to metabolic rate measurements, nitrogenous waste excretion was measured to test the hypothesis that increased energy demand was fueled by protein catabolism. This is the first study to our knowledge that demonstrates increased energy demand and energy depletion in oil-exposed developing mahi-mahi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-123
Number of pages11
JournalAquatic Toxicology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016



  • Fish development
  • Metabolic rate
  • Multi stressors
  • Nitrogen excretion
  • Oil spill
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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