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Interactive effects of salinity, temperature and chronic exposure to oil on the survival and developmental rate of embryos of the estuarine killifishFundulus heteroclitus


The combined effect of salinity, temperature and chronic exposure to water-soluble fractions (WSF) of a No. 2 fuel oil on the survival and development rate of embryos ofFundulus heteroclitus Walbaum are described. The embryos were exposed at 3 salinities (10, 20, 30‰ S) and 3 temperatures (20°, 25°, 30°C) to 3 different oil concentrations (15, 20, 25% WSF, equivalent to approx 0.28, 0.38 and 0.47 ppm total naphthalenes) and to one control without oil. The results were analyzed by responsesurface methodology. The lowest oil concentration was only mildly toxic to embryos under optimal salinity/temperature conditions, while the highest was extremely toxic in all factor combinations. Under optimal conditions, only the highest oil concentration resulted in more than 50% mortality. Under suboptimal conditions, especially high and low temperatures, all 3 oil concentrations caused greater than 50% mortality. The interactive effect of salinity and temperature on survival was greatest at the lowest oil concentration. Temperature had a marked effect and salinity only a slight effect on the developmental rate of the embryos. Exposure to the low oil concentration tended to increase the temperature sensitivity of developmental duration slightly. Generally, exposure to oil decreased the time interval between fertilization and hatching.

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Lindén, O., Sharp, J.R., Laughlin, R. et al. Interactive effects of salinity, temperature and chronic exposure to oil on the survival and developmental rate of embryos of the estuarine killifishFundulus heteroclitus . Marine Biology 51, 101–109 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00555189

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  • Optimal Condition
  • Interactive Effect
  • Naphthalene
  • Development Rate
  • Chronic Exposure