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Few ecotoxicological studies consider the roles of maternal influences and suboptimal environmental conditions when assessing the impact of pollutants on organisms. We studied the combined effects of pharmaceutical compounds, food condition and maternal body size on growth, development, body mass and morphology of larvae of the marine shrimp Palaemon serratus. Limited food availability is considered a factor leading to reduced survival and growth in marine crustacean larvae. It is known that P. serratus responses to food limitation vary among larvae hatched from females of different body length. The pharmaceuticals tested were the anti-inflammatory and analgesic diclofenac sodium (DS: at 77 μg L-1 and 720 μg L-1) the lipid regulator clofibric acid (CA: at 42 μg L-1 and 394 μg L-1) and the fungicide clotrimazole (CLZ: at 0.07 μg L-1 and 3.16 μg L-1). We observed morphological abnormalities in larvae exposed to CLZ. In addition, effects of this compound were stronger under food limitation leading to (1) reduced survival by 30%, (2) reduced juvenile body mass (22%) and (3) reduction in the number of molt stages (from 13 to 9) during larval development. This latter effect may indicate that CLZ reduced the larval capacity to respond to food limitation because development through a longer route, with additional stages, is considered an adaptive response to prioritize maintenance over morphogenesis. CA and DS affected developmental rate under food limitation but not growth or body mass. The toxic effects of CLZ, at lower concentrations than CA and DS, were stronger in larvae with higher body mass, hatched from the largest females. This suggests that maternal influences and suboptimal environmental conditions should be further studied to inform modeling of the effects of emergent compounds on larvae of marine coastal species
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date18 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015
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