The effects of weathering and chemical dispersion on Deepwater Horizon crude oil toxicity to mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) early life stages

Andrew J. Esbaugh, Edward M. Mager, John Stieglitz, Ronald Hoenig, Tanya L. Brown, Barbara L. French, Tiffany L. Linbo, Claire Lay, Heather Forth, Nathaniel L. Scholz, John P. Incardona, Jeffrey M. Morris, Daniel D Benetti, Martin Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Scopus citations

Abstract

To better understand the impact of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident on commercially and ecologically important pelagic fish species, a mahi-mahi spawning program was developed to assess the effect of embryonic exposure to DWH crude oil with particular emphasis on the effects of weathering and dispersant on the magnitude of toxicity. Acute lethality (96h LC50) ranged from 45.8 (28.4-63.1) μgl-1 σPAH for wellhead (source) oil to 8.8 (7.4-10.3) μgl-1 σPAH for samples collected from the surface slick, reinforcing previous work that weathered oil is more toxic on a σPAH basis. Differences in toxicity appear related to the amount of dissolved 3 ringed PAHs. The dispersant Corexit 9500 did not influence acute lethality of oil preparations. Embryonic oil exposure resulted in cardiotoxicity after 48h, as evident from pericardial edema and reduced atrial contractility. Whereas pericardial edema appeared to correlate well with acute lethality at 96h, atrial contractility did not. However, sub-lethal cardiotoxicity may impact long-term performance and survival. Dispersant did not affect the occurrence of pericardial edema; however, there was an apparent reduction in atrial contractility at 48h of exposure. Pericardial edema at 48h and lethality at 96h were equally sensitive endpoints in mahi-mahi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-651
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume543
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • Atrial contractility
  • Corexit 9500
  • Dispersant
  • PAH
  • Pericardial edema
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering

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    Esbaugh, A. J., Mager, E. M., Stieglitz, J., Hoenig, R., Brown, T. L., French, B. L., Linbo, T. L., Lay, C., Forth, H., Scholz, N. L., Incardona, J. P., Morris, J. M., Benetti, D. D., & Grosell, M. (2016). The effects of weathering and chemical dispersion on Deepwater Horizon crude oil toxicity to mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) early life stages. Science of the Total Environment, 543, 644-651. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.068