[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Offshore oil and gas drilling processes generate operational discharges such as produced water (PW), a complex mixture of seawater with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and alkylphenols (AP). Some of these compounds may interact with the endocrine system of marine organisms and alter reproductive functions. In this study, polar cod were exposed for up to 28 d to a mixture of PAH, alkylated PAH, and AP simulating the composition of North Sea PW, at low and high concentrations (1:2000 and 1:1000 dilution of the original concentrate, respectively). Potential adverse effects of PW on polar cod physiology were investigated through biomarkers of biotransformation (hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase [EROD] activity and bile PAH metabolites), endocrine disruption (plasma vitellogenin [VTG] levels and sex steroid concentrations), and gonad histology. Plasma sexual steroid levels in fish were not markedly affected by PW exposure, while higher plasma VTG concentrations were measured in females exposed to the high PW treatment for 7 and 28 d. In males exposed to the higher PW concentration, inhibition of spermatogenesis was observed after 28 d in addition to increase of melano-macrophage occurrence in testis. Females exposed to the high PW treatment for 21 d showed a significant increase of atresia incidence. Finally, a significant decrease in oocyte number was observed in high PW exposed female ovaries after 28 d of exposure.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 04/2014; 77(9-11):557-73. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, impact of dispersed oil on cardiac mitochondrial function was assessed in a key species of Arctic marine ecosystem, the polar cod Boreogadus saida. Mature polar cod were exposed during 48 h to dispersed oil (mechanically and chemically) and dispersants alone. The increase observed in ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites in bile indicated no difference in contamination level between fish exposed to chemical or mechanical dispersion of oil. Oil induced alterations of O2 consumption of permeabilised cardiac fibres showing inhibitions of complexes I and IV of the respiratory chain. Oil did not induce any modification of mitochondrial proton leak. Dispersants did not induce alteration of mitochondrial activity and did not increase oil toxicity. These data suggest that oil exposure may limit the fitness of polar cod and consequently could lead to major disruption in the energy flow of polar ecosystem.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research 02/2014; · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biologically treated wastewater (WW) from the Hammerfest LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant is discharged to the sea. A study using biomarkers in mussels and Atlantic cod was performed to examine whether this discharge meets a zero harmful emission requirement. Caging of mussels close to the outfall and exposure of mussels and fish to WW in the laboratory were conducted, and a suite of contaminant responsive markers was assessed in exposed animals. In mussels the markers included chemical contaminant levels, haemocyte lysosomal instability and nucleus integrity, cellular energy allocation, digestive gland and gonad histopathology and shell-opening behaviour. In fish, biliary PAH metabolites and gill histopathology biomarkers were measured. A consistent cause-effect relationship between WW treatments and markers measured in test animals was not found. The results therefore indicate that the WW emission is unlikely to represent a significant stress factor for the local marine environment under the conditions studied.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to a northward shift in oil and gas activities, there is an increasing need to understand the potential anthropogenic impacts of oil-related compounds on sub-Arctic and Arctic organisms, particularly those in coastal habitats. Capelin (Mallotus villosus), a key fish species in the Barents Sea ecosystem, undertakes aggregated spawning at both intertidal and subtidal coastal localities in northern Norway. To investigate the sensitivity of capelin embryos to oil compounds, newly fertilized capelin eggs were collected from a spawning beach and exposed until hatch (32 days) to either the water soluble fraction of crude oil or the single PAH compound, pyrene. Threshold levels for egg mortality, development and hatching success were determined. Concentrations of 40 μg/L crude oil (∑26 PAHs) and 55 μg/L pyrene significantly increased embryonic mortality rates and decreased hatching success, compared with controls, indicating that a potential oil spill in the vicinity of capelin spawning grounds may cause significant impacts. No significant incidence of adverse effects such as yolk sac oedema, pericardia oedema, haemorrhages, craniofacial abnormalities, premature hatch or inhibited growth was observed. Histological studies of hatched larvae did not reveal specific sublethal effects in tissues and organs. Developmental delays and subsequent embryo death were noticed at the period of eye pigmentation in affected groups. Early life-history stages of capelin are sensitive indicators of PAH impacts, but the mechanisms responsible for the toxic effects require further investigation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Barents Sea, the limited data on biological relevant indicators and their responses to various anthropogenic stressors have hindered the development of a consistent scientific basis for selecting indicator species and developing practical procedures for environmental monitoring. Accordingly, the main aim of the present study was to develop a common set of baseline values for contaminants and biomarkers in three species, and to identify their strengths and limitations in monitoring of the Barents Sea. Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), Icelandic scallop (Chlamys islandica) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were sampled from a north Norwegian fjord in March, June, September and December 2010. Digestive glands from the bivalve species and liver from Atlantic cod were analysed for biomarkers of oxidative stress (catalase [CAT], glutathione peroxidase [GPX], glutathione-S-transferase activities [GST], lipid peroxidation as thiobarbituric reactive substances [TBARS] and total oxyradical scavenging capacity [TOSC]), biotransformation (ethoxyresorufine-O-deethylase activity [EROD]) and general stress (lysosomal membrane stability [LMS]). Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals in the bivalves and PAH metabolites in fish bile were quantified. Finally, energy reserves (total lipids, proteins and carbohydrates) and electron transport system (ETS) activity in the digestive gland of the bivalves and liver of Atlantic cod provided background information for reproductive cycle and general physiological status of the organisms. Blue mussel and Icelandic scallop showed very similar trends in biological cycle, biomarker expression and seasonality. Biomarker baselines in Atlantic cod showed weaker seasonal variability. However, important biological events may have been undetected due to the large time intervals between sampling occasions. Physiological biomarkers such as energy reserves and ETS activity were recommended as complementary parameters to the commonly used stress biomarkers, as they provided valuable information on the physiological status of the studied organisms. Interpretation of the seasonality in oxidative stress biomarkers was in general difficult but TOSC and lipid peroxidation were preferred over the antioxidant enzyme activities. This study is the first reporting seasonal baseline in these three species in a sub-Arctic location. Overall, the Icelandic scallop was considered the most adequate organism for environmental monitoring in the Barents Sea due to the interpretability of the biomarker data as well as its abundance, ease to handle and wide distribution from the southern Barents Sea to Svalbard.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reliable risk assessment approaches for Arctic environments are requested to manage potential impacts associated with increased activities in Arctic regions. We performed toxicity tests on Arctic and temperate species exposed to the narcotic acting oil component, 2-methyl naphthalene. The experimental results were used to quantify concentration causing lethality to 50% of exposed individuals and no-effect concentration (individual level). For estimates at community level, the hazardous concentrations affecting 5% and 50% of the species were calculated from sensitivity distribution curves. These survival metrics were then used to elucidate whether temperate toxicity data used in risk assessment are sufficiently representative for the Arctic. Taking data uncertainty into consideration, we found no regional difference in tolerances to 2-methyl naphthalene either at the species level or at the community level. Hence these data support a conclusion that values of survival metrics for temperate regions are transferrable to the Arctic for the chemical 2-methyl naphthalene, as long as extrapolation techniques are properly applied and uncertainties are taken into consideration.
Marine environmental research 08/2011; 72(4):179-87. · 2.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysosomal membrane stability, lipofuscin (LF), malondialdehyde (MDA), neutral lipid (NL) levels, as well as halogenated organic compounds (HOCs), Cr, Cd, Pb and Fe concentrations were analyzed in liver of black-legged kittiwake (BK), herring gull (HG), and northern fulmar (NF) chicks. There were significant species differences in the levels of NL, LF and lysosomal membrane stability. These parameters were not associated with the respective HOC concentrations. LF accumulation was associated with increasing Cr, Cd and Pb concentrations. HG presented the lowest lysosomal membrane stability and the highest. LF and NL levels, which indicated impaired lysosomes in HG compared to NF and BK. Lipid peroxidation was associated with HOC and Fe2+ levels. Specific HOCs showed positive and significant correlations with MDA levels in HG. The study indicates that contaminant exposure can affect lysosomal and lipid associated parameters in seabird chicks even at low exposure levels. These parameters may be suitable markers of contaminant induced stress in arctic seabirds.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Herring gull (HG) (Larus argentatus) is naturally exposed to halogenated organic compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through its diet. During periods of food scarcity, arctic seabirds experience lipid mobilization, allowing stored lipid soluble contaminants to re-enter the body circulation. In the present study, we investigated the effects of PCB exposure and fasting on the antioxidant defense system in HG chicks. Forty newly hatched chicks were exposed to contaminated cod liver oil for 6weeks and then fasted for 1week. We assessed the hepatic total oxyradical scavenging capacity (TOSC) against peroxynitrite, hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals, and measured glutathione (reduced: GSH, and oxidized: GSSG) levels and the enzymatic activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase. The results show that fasting significantly increased the HOC levels in the HG chick livers. Limited effects were observed on antioxidant responses; significant effects were only found for catalase (CAT) activity, Se-dependent GPX activity and the GSH/GSSG ratio in the exposed and fasted group. CAT and Se-dependent GPX activities correlated negatively with the PCB concentrations within this group, and a nonlinear relationship between glutathione and contaminant levels was also found. These effects were generally not observed after exposure or fasting alone and were likely related to the high PCB levels induced by the combination of exposure and fasting.
Science of The Total Environment 06/2011; 409(14):2717-24. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In an international collaborative effort, an impact analysis tool is being developed to predict the effect of accidental oil spills on recruitment and production of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the Barents Sea. The tool consisted of three coupled ecological models that describe (1) plankton biomass dynamics, (2) cod larvae growth, and (3) fish stock dynamics. The discussions from a series of workshops are presented in which variables and parameters of the first two ecological models were listed that may be affected by oil-related compounds. In addition, ecotoxicological algorithms are suggested that may be used to quantify such effects and what the challenges and opportunities are for algorithm parameterization. Based on model exercises described in the literature, survival and individual growth of cod larvae, survival and reproduction of zooplankton, and phytoplankton population growth are denoted as variables and parameters from the ecological models that might be affected in case of an oil spill. Because toxicity databases mostly (67%) contain data for freshwater species in temperate environments, parameterization of the ecotoxicological algorithms describing effects on these endpoints in the subarctic marine environment is not straightforward. Therefore, it is proposed that metadata analyses be used to estimate the sensitivity of subarctic marine species from available databases. To perform such analyses and reduce associated uncertainty and variability, mechanistic models of varying complexity, possibly aided by new experimental data, are proposed. Lastly, examples are given of how seasonality in ecosystems may influence chemical effects, in particular in the subarctic environment. Food availability and length of day were identified as important characteristics as these determine nutritional status and phototoxicity, respectively.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 03/2011; 74(7-9):605-19. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The past decades of monitoring discharges from oil and gas industry have revealed that although there are indications of adverse effects in tissues of aquatic organisms, little is known about their temporal development. Furthermore, observations in wild-caught individuals have not been clearly reproduced in laboratory studies or caging studies, and vice versa, and the results are therefore not easily interpretable. There is clearly a need for exposure studies designed for monitoring the development of effect markers in individual fish over chronic periods to low contaminant levels. Through repetitive nondestructive sampling, the progression of effects may be monitored in individuals, significantly reducing the number of fish needed in exposure studies. A laboratory exposure study was designed to be able to monitor selected parameters in individual Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Passive integrated transponders in combination with visible implant elastomers were used to study individual fish during the exposure period (44 wk). Fish were measured (weight and length) and a blood sample was taken for analysis of hematocrit, DNA damage (micronucleus), and oxidative stress (total oxyradical scavenging capacity) at up to seven time points. There were no apparent adverse effects of treatments on the health of experimental fish, frequency of micronucleated erythrocytes, or oxidative stress in whole blood. It is possible that the time scale was not sufficient for development and detection of parameters included here or that red blood cells may not be a suitable matrix for the selected analyses. Future studies need to include other parameters in blood to investigate their sensitivity to low-concentration exposures.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 03/2011; 74(7-9):555-68. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficiency of antioxidant defenses and relationship with body burden of metal and organic contaminants has not been previously investigated in arctic seabirds, neither in chicks nor in adults. The objective of this study was to compare such defenses in chicks from three species, Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), and Herring gull (Larus argentatus), and the relationship with tissue concentrations of essential metals such as selenium and iron and halogenated organic compounds, represented by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). The results showed significant species-specific differences in the antioxidant responses which also corresponded with metal and PCB levels in different ways. The capability to neutralize hydroxyl radicals (TOSC-HO•) and the activities of catalase and Se-dependent glutathione peroxidases (GPX) clearly increased in species with the higher levels of metals and PCBs, while the opposite trend was observed for Se-independent GPX, TOSC against peroxyl radicals (ROO•) and peroxynitrite (ONOOH). Less clear relationships were obtained for glutathione levels, GSH/GSSG ratio, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase. The results showed differences in antioxidant efficiency between the species, and some of these defenses exhibited dose-response-like relationships with measured levels of selenium, iron and ΣPCBs. PCBs, selenium and iron levels were positively related to the responses of antioxidants with potential to reduce HO•/H₂O₂ (Se-dependent GPX, CAT and TOSC against HO•). However, direct causal relationships between antioxidant responses and contaminant concentrations could not be shown on individual level. Varying levels of metals and contaminants due to different diet and age were probably the main explanations for the species differences in antioxidant defense.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 03/2011; 154(1):28-35. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The scheduling of life history events over the year is a central characteristic of organisms in seasonal environments. Here, we report on seasonality in growth rate and cellular energy allocation, as well as timing of maturation, egg production and brood release, through a full annual cycle of Onisimus litoralis, a lysianassoid amphipod dominating soft bottoms in the intertidal zone in the high Arctic. We observed that O. litoralis follows a semelparous 2 yr life cycle, with growth and development mainly taking place in summer, but with slow growth also in winter, which with the lack of energy reserves suggests that it feeds year-round. The importance of the spring bloom of phytoplankton in fueling growth and development is reflected in carbohydrate and protein content. Relatively stable lipid content and no build-up of energy stores prior to egg production indicate income breeding. Seasonal differences in energy consumption are apparent, with higher consumption in summer, but as a result of increased energy content during summer, the energy budget remains relatively stable during the whole year. The life history observed is similar to that of previous studies, but our observations do not support iteroparity, which has been suggested by others. Parental care, through a `start pack' of energy to the offspring and the ability to time the brood release to favorable conditions, add flexibility to the life history strategy. Easy access to the species and a good understanding of its biology support further use of O. litoralis as an indicator species for environmental change in the Arctic.
Marine Ecology Progress Series 11/2010; 417:115-U135. · 2.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to assess the ecological situation in the Pechora River Basin (east part of Sub-Arctic Russia) using histopathologies of fish and to relate fish health to environmental quality. This paper reports histopathological alterations of fish kidney, liver, and gills and their association with chemical contamination of the Pechora River. A variety of histopathological changes was found. Differences between studied species and sites of the Pechora River with regard to the type, prevalence, and severity of lesions were studied. The types of the lesions indicated that fish respond to both direct toxicant effects of contaminated water and sediment, and secondary stress effects caused by factors such as parasitism. The structural modifications found in this study are a result of acute damage associated with short-term exposure as much as chronic response due to long-term pollution.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 10/2010; 74(3):355-65. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential effects of sucralose on the Arctic copepods Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis were studied in Disko Bay, Greenland. Sucralose is a non-calorie sweetener and chlorine derivate of sucrose containing three chlorine atoms. Scandinavian screening studies of sucralose in 2007, revealed sucralose in all effluent samples. To investigate whether sucralose is harmful to the Arctic aquatic ecosystems, possible short-term effects were investigated on egg production, hatching rate, food intake and mortality of two species of Arctic copepods. The copepods were exposed to six different concentrations (0–50,000 ng · L) of sucralose, which spans the range of concentrations found in the screening studies. Exposure led to no mortality among the copepods. Food intake by C. glacialis increased with increasing concentrations of sucralose. In C. finmarchicus, food intake did not differ with increasing concentrations. No effect of sucralose was observed on egg production of C. finmarchicus. Despite increased food intake with increasing concentrations of sucralose, C. glacialis did not increase its egg production. The results show that both species responded weakly to sucralose, but with C. glacialis being possibly slightly more sensitive to sucralose than C. finmarchicus.
Chemistry and Ecology 10/2010; 26(5):385-393. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to mimic the biological effects of an oil spill in Arctic waters, we examined several types of biomarkers (genes, enzymes, metabolites, and DNA damage) in polar cod Boreogadus saida experimentally exposed to the water soluble fractions of crude oil. During 4 weeks of exposure, induction of the studied biomarkers exceeded baseline levels. The mRNA expression of the cytochrome P4501A1 (cyp1a1) gene was the most promising biomarker, with glutathione S-transferase (gst) as a suitable complement. The delayed ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) and GST activities and their persistence following 2 weeks of depuration may allow detection of previous exposures in field samples. The composition of PAH metabolites in the bile indicated the bioavailability of different PAH size-classes. Although mRNA expressions of antioxidant defense genes were induced at start of the exposure, with the strongest responses from catalase and cytosolic superoxide dismutase, they were poor for oil monitoring purposes due to their very short response times. Significant DNA damage demonstrated genotoxicity even at low PAH concentrations (<15 μg L−1) and was correlated with benzo(a)pyrene and pyrene metabolites in the bile.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seasonality of biomarker baseline levels were studied in polar cod (Boreogadus saida), caught in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, in April, July, September and December, 2006-2007. Physiological parameters (condition factor, gonado- and hepato-somatic indexes, energy reserves, potential metabolic activity and antifreeze activity) in polar cod were used to interpret the seasonality of potential biomarkers. The highest levels of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity occurred concomitantly with the highest potential metabolic activity in July due to e.g. intense feeding. During pre-spawning, EROD showed significant inhibition and gender differences. Hence, its potential use in environmental monitoring should imply gender differentiation at least during this period. Glutathione S-transferase and catalase activities were stable from April to September, but changed in December suggesting a link to low biological activity. Knowledge of the biomarker baseline levels and their seasonal trends in polar cod is essential for a trustworthy interpretation of forthcoming toxicity data and environmental monitoring in the Arctic.