ArticlePDF Available

Effects of oxygen depletion on the ecology, blood physiology and fishery of the Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus (L.)

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Biomass, population structure, food selection and blood (haemolymph) physiology of the Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus (L.) were investigated in SE Kattegat, an area where low oxygen concentrations (t 2 m1 1-', 30 % 02-saturation) have occurred in the bottom water for 1 to 3 mo periods in most years in the 1980's. During the study period (October 1984 to September 1989) lobster biomass decreased in the area from 10.8 kg h-' (catch per u n ~ t effort) to zero (estimated during the last 12 nlo of the investigation). Males contributed on average 78 % of the population density, except in September 1988 during severe hypoxia when a reversed sex ratio was found and females (even berried) dominated (75 % of density). The food of N. norvegicus belonged to 4 major groups; crustaceans, echinoderms, molluscs and polychaetes. The dominant species eaten within these groups were also found to be dominants in the benthic infauna. This suggests that N. norvegicus are not feeding selectively but taking available organisms indiscriminately. In the field and in laboratory experiments N. norvegicus increased blood pigment (haemocyanin, Hcy) concentration in moderate hypoxia (20 to 40 '10 0 2-saturation), and reduced it in severe hypoxia (10 to 20 % 02-saturation). At 02-saturations below 15 % N. norvegicus ceased feeding and had empty stomachs. Thus in low oxygen concentrations the lobsters suffer from hypoxia-induced starvation rather than lack of food. Survival of N. norvegicus exposed to 15 and 10 % 02-saturation was 4 wk and 2 to 4 d, respectively. After return to normoxia recovery of blood Hcy concentration was slow, probably due to lack of copper in the diet, which is essential for Hcy synthesis. We consider blood Hcy concentration to be a promising 'in situ' biomarker with ecological relevance.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... This creates periods of hypoxia in coastal environments, a phenomenon that is stated as a globally expanding problem (Diaz and Rosenberg, 2008). Hypoxic periods with oxygen saturation of <20%, of 4-10 weeks duration, have also been recorded along the Swedish west coast, often in areas inhabited by N. norvegicus (Baden et al., 1990;Pihl, 1989). During such events, oxidized metals in sediments become reduced and thus bioavailable for benthic species. ...
... All tanks had a measured value of saturated O 2 above 90% during the whole experiment, except for the hypoxia treatments. These were sealed with extra layers of plastic wrapping to prevent oxygen uptake, and nitrogen (N 2 ) was bubbled into the water in the header tanks to lower the oxygen saturation to ∼20% which is moderate and sublethal for N. norvegicus (Baden et al., 1990). The oxygen level was continuously measured with optods, calibrated to 100% O 2 saturation in dampened air and connected to a computer (Qubit Systems, D202 Oxygen Regulation System, Loligo Systems). ...
... Sediment dwellers, such as N. norvegicus, should to some extent tolerate fluctuations of CO 2 and O 2 . During acute exposures to hypoxia, they can maintain aerobic metabolism by modifying physiological activities (Baden et al., 1990;Hagerman and Uglow, 1985;Hagerman and Baden, 1988). The condition of individual lobsters may, however, affect the compensatory success and thereby the vulnerability to hypoxia (Baden et al., 1990), which may explain the high variability of the hemocyte numbers that we found in the hypoxic treatments. ...
... In the mid-1970s, Bagge & Munch-Petersen (1979) noted that the catches of Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus, increased during moderate hypoxia at 30 to 50 m depth in the central Kattegat. This correlation was repeated in the southeast Kattegat in the early 1980s (Baden et al. 1990b). The reason for the enhanced catches was that the lobsters left their burrows when oxygen saturations dropped below -20%. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Eutrophication has been an increasing ecological threat during the past 50 yr in many Scandinavian and Baltic marine waters. Large sedimentary areas are seasonally, or more or less permanently, affected by hypoxia and/or anoxia with devastating effects on the benthic macrofauna in, for example, the Baltic Sea, the Belt Seas and Oresund between Denmark and Sweden, the Kattegat and the Skagerrak coast towards the North Sea. In this review figures for the input of nitrogen and phosphorus to different sea areas are presented, and in several cases also changes of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the water. The nutrient input is related to production levels, and related to macrobenthic infauna. Changes of dominant benthic species, abundance and biomass are presented in relation to both changes in organic enrichment and hypoxia and/or anoxia in time and space. Since the 1950s-60s, the benthic faunal biomass has increased in the Gulf of Bothnia as a result of increased organic enrichment. In the Aland Archipelago, the number of benthic species decreased since the 1970s but abundance and biomass increased. Drifting algae at the sediment surface has also been an increasing problem. The changes were caused by increasing eutrophication. In the Finnish Archipelago Sea, large-scale eutrophication has resulted in periodic bottom water hypoxia and drifting algal mats with negative effects on benthic fauna. In the Gulf of Finland, the benthic fauna has been negatively affected by hypoxic bottom water below 70 in depth since the 1960s, but with a period of improved oxygen conditions during 1987-94. In the Baltic Proper, large sea-bed areas of 70 000-100 000 km(2) below 70-80 in water depth have been more or less hypoxic and/or anoxic since the 1960s with no or reduced sediment-dwelling fauna. This process was a result of increased eutrophication and lack of larger inflows of oxygenated water from the Kattegat. Several coastal areas and larger basins in the southern Baltic (e.g. the Bornholm Basin, the Arkona Basin and the Kiel Bay), have, on occasions, been similarly negatively affected by hypoxic bottom water. Many sedimentary areas below similar to 17 in in the Danish Belt Seas have been affected by seasonal hypoxia since the 1970s with negative consequences for the bottom fauna. On the Danish Kattegat coast, the benthic fauna in the Limfjord, the Mariager fjord and the Roskilde fjord have been particularly negatively affected. In the southeast, open Kattegat, increased input of nutrients in combination with stratification have resulted in seasonal hypoxia since 1980 with negative effects on benthic animals and commercial fish species in most years. Several fjords on the Swedish and Norwegian Skagerrak coast have shown negative temporal trends in bottom water oxygen concentrations, and some of them lack benthic fauna in the deeper parts for several months or more. In this review the temporal development of bottom water hypoxia and/or anoxia is discussed and consequent possible losses of sediment-dwelling faunal biomass are roughly calculated. In total for the areas investigated, the worst years of hypoxia and/or anoxia combined may have reduced the benthic macrofaunal biomass by 3 million t. This loss is partly compensated by the biomass increase that has occurred in well-flushed organically enriched coastal areas. Tolerance of some Baltic species to hypoxia and/or anoxia is discussed and also their different strategies to cope with hypoxia and/or anoxia and H2S.
... Prolonged oxygen depletion not only can disrupt benthic and demersal communities, but also can cause mass mortalities of aquatic life (Diaz and Rosenberg, 1995). Among other problems, the consequences to coastal commercial fisheries can be disastrous (Baden et al., 1990; Zaitsev, 1991 Zaitsev, , 1993). Oxygen depletion results from the combination of several physical and biological processes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Forecasting/prediction considering three decade baseline data on dissolved oxygen (DO) in western and central Indian Sundarbans reveals the probable occurrence of hypoxia in the aquatic system of this World Heritage site during 2050. Starting from the baseline year 1984 a decreasing trend of DO is observed irrespective of seasons and stations. The sudden rise of DO during premonsoon 2009 is the effect of Aila, a super-cyclone that hit the study area with a speed around 110 km/hr. Forecast value during 2050 premonsoon, monsoon and postmonsoon are 3.80 ppm, 6.08 ppm, 5.55 ppm respectively at Sagar South, whereas at Gosaba, the values are 3.25 ppm, 4.63 ppm and 3.85 ppm during premonsoon, monsoon and postmonsoon respectively. The overall result suggests a picture of concern as the aquatic system is gradually approaching towards hypoxia. The super-cyclone Aila caused a massive adverse impact on the salinity profile of the study area as well as on the livelihood, but a congenial situation is observed with respect to DO level in the estuarine waters.
... Prolonged oxygen depletion not only can disrupt benthic and demersal communities, but also can cause mass mortalities of aquatic life (Diaz and Rosenberg, 1995). Among other problems, the consequences to coastal commercial fisheries can be disastrous (Baden et al., 1990; Zaitsev, 1991 Zaitsev, , 1993). Oxygen depletion results from the combination of several physical and biological processes. ...
Article
Abstract: Forecasting/prediction considering three decade baseline data on dissolved oxygen (DO) in western and central Indian Sundarbans reveals the probable occurrence of hypoxia in the aquatic system of this World Heritage site during 2050. Starting from the baseline year 1984 a decreasing trend of DO is observed irrespective of seasons and stations. The sudden rise of DO during premonsoon 2009 is the effect of Aila, a super-cyclone that hit the study area with a speed around 110 km/hr. Forecast value during 2050 premonsoon, monsoon and postmonsoon are 3.80 ppm, 6.08 ppm, 5.55 ppm respectively at Sagar South, whereas at Gosaba, the values are 3.25 ppm, 4.63 ppm and 3.85 ppm during premonsoon, monsoon and postmonsoon respectively. The overall result suggests a picture of concern as the aquatic system is gradually approaching towards hypoxia. The super-cyclone Aila caused a massive adverse impact on the salinity profile of the study area as well as on the livelihood, but a congenial situation is observed with respect to DO level in the estuarine waters.
... Limanda limanda; Duineveld and Noort, 1986; Mattson, 1992) and crustaceans (e.g. Nephrops norvegicus; Baden et al., 1990). Studies have shown a negative OA impact on growth, survival and physiology of adult sea urchins (e.g. ...
... overfishing (Carstensen et al., 2014;Casini et al., 2009;Frank et al., 2005) and exacerbated by increasing water temperatures as a consequence of global warming (IPCC, 2014). Hypoxic periods with oxygen <20% of air saturation, of 4-10 weeks duration, have also been recorded along the Swedish west coast (Baden et al., 1990;Rosenberg and Loo, 1988) and during such events, Mn(II)-concentrations can reach ∼20 mg L −1 (Magnusson et al., 1996). ...
... Anoxic or 'no-oxygen' situations occur when levels of DO fall below 0.2 mg l À1 . Hypoxic condition can have adverse effects on marine organisms including slower growth rates, elevated stress levels and impaired productive capacity and, in severe cases, mortality (Baden et al., 1990; Rose et al., 2009). Frequent fish kills are known to occur in Tapi Estuary. ...
... The crustacean immune system also includes other protein components involved in non-self-recognition, clotting, and foreignagent elimination (Rosas et al. 2004). Alterations in haemolymph protein concentration have been associated with various environmental stressors (Baden et al. 1990; Bjerregaard 1991; Chen et al. 1994; Sánchez et al. 2001). Haemolymph protein concentration has been considered a means of determining the physical condition or vitality of live lobsters (Stewart and Li 1969; Bolton et al. 2009; Celi et al. 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Marine crustaceans are influenced by numerous environmental factors. Environmental stress from pollutants seems to affect their metabolism, growth, moulting, survival, and immune defence. Recently, it has become clear that there is an impact of the global increase in sea noise levels due to shipping traffic on crustacean welfare. Considering the ecological and commercial importance of the European spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787)) in most parts of the Mediterranean coastal area, in the present study we investigated whether shipping noise pollution contribute to changing the immune parameters of stress in the European spiny lobster. The animals were exposed to a mix of noises produced by different typologies of the boat played back in a tank, and the values of cellular and humeral parameters were evaluated. Total haemocyte count (THC), haemolymphatic protein concentration, phenoloxidase (PO) activity in cell-free haemolymph, and heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) expression in haemocyte lysate were considered potential biomarkers of stress. THC and PO activity decreased significantly, whereas total protein and Hsp27 expression increased significantly. Overall, the results demonstrate that the stressful conditions investigated in this study affect both cellular and biochemical parameters in the European spiny lobster.
Data
Full-text available
A method is proposed to estimate an indicator of the potential impacts from hypoxia in benthic marine communities by looking into the stressor intensity (depletion of DO) and its potential effects (based on species sensitivity to hypoxia). As different receiving ecosystems (or spatially differentiated representations of these) hold different species, the resulting sensitivity per spatial unit is expected to differ and spatially differentiated results obtained in a uniform manner for different regional settings on a global scale could be relevant. Such an indicator is useful to represent the damage of eutrophication impacts in LCIA at an adequate resolution. The impact potential to the biological community is derived as Potentially Affected Fraction (PAF) of species by means of a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD) probabilistic method.
Article
The influence of starvation on the tissue concentrations, distributions and uptake of copper and iron in Carcinus mamas is described. In clean seawater, the highest copper and iron concentrations were found in the gills in all crabs. Midgut gland copper levels in starved crabs were raised 3-4,fold compared with levels in fed crabs. In contrast, the haernolymph copper concentration was depressed following starvation.Exposure to seawater contaminated with 0.75 mg 1-1 of both copper and iron resulted in altered tissue metal loads. Copper concentrations increased most in the gill and midgut gland. Iron uptake and distribution were largely unaffected, except in the gill where levels increased.Metal uptake varied with nutritional state in some tissues. Exoskeleton copper concentration in metal-exposed, starved crabs increased to a level 4,-5 fold greater than that in metal-exposed, fed crabs. However, haemolymph protein and copper concentrations decreased in both fed and starved animals following simultaneous exposure to copper and iron.40-80% of the whole body copper load was located in the haemolymph while > 50% ofthe whole body iron load was located in the exoskeleton. In clean seawater, whole body copper and iron loads were largely unaffected by nutritional state while in metal-contaminated seawater, whole body copper load was apparently elevated in starved crabs.