Lethal and behavioral impacts of diesel and fuel oil on the Antarctic amphipod Paramoera walkeri

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Brown, KT, King, CK & Harrison, PL 2017, 'Lethal and behavioral impacts of diesel and fuel oil on the Antarctic amphipod Paramoera walkeri', Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, vol. 36, no. 9, pp 2444-2455.

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Toxicity testing with Antarctic species is required for risk assessment of fuel spills in Antarctic coastal waters. The lethal and sublethal (movement behavior) sensitivities of adults and juveniles of the Antarctic amphipod Paramoera walkeri to the water accommodated fractions (WAFs) of 3 fuels were estimated in extended-duration tests at –1 °C to 21 d. Response of P. walkeri for lethal hydrocarbon concentrations was slow, with 50% lethal concentrations (LC50s) first able to be estimated at 7 d for adults exposed to Special Antarctic Blend diesel (SAB), which had the highest hydrocarbon concentrations of the 3 fuel WAFs. Juveniles showed greater response to marine gas oil (MGO) and intermediate residual fuel oil (IFO 180) at longer exposure durations and were most sensitive at 21 d to IFO 180 (LC50 = 12 μg/L). Adults were initially more sensitive than juveniles; at 21 d, however, juveniles were more than twice as sensitive as adults to SAB (LC50 = 153 μg/L and 377 μg/L, respectively). Significant effects on movement behavior were evident at earlier time points and lower concentrations than was mortality in all 3 fuel WAFs, and juveniles were highly sensitive to sublethal effects of MGO. These first estimates of Antarctic amphipod sensitivity to diesel and fuel oils in seawater contribute to the development of ecologically relevant risk assessments for management of hydrocarbon contamination in the region.

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