Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 3352–3362 | Cite as

Long-term 2007–2013 monitoring of reproductive disturbance in the dun sentinel Assiminea grayana with regard to polymeric materials pollution at the coast of Lower Saxony, North Sea, Germany

  • B. T. WatermannEmail author
  • M. Löder
  • M. Herlyn
  • B. Daehne
  • A. Thomsen
  • K . GallEmail author
Research Article


During biological effect monitoring studies of endocrine active compounds with the snail Assiminea grayana in 2007–2013, reproductive disorders including atresia, transformation of capsule/albumen glands into prostates in females and ovotestis, transformation of prostates to capsule/albumen glands, disruption of spermatogenesis, and calcification of tubules in males, were encountered in several years. The search of sources of endocrine active substances was first directed to antifouling biocides from paint particles and extended to leaching compounds from polymeric materials. In contrast to the reference sites, most of the observed disorders occurred at a station near harbors and dockyards polluted with residues from antifouling paints and polymeric materials. Beside of investigations about the potential ingestion of polymer particles by the snails, further investigations of compounds of polymeric materials with endocrine potential should follow.


Assiminea grayana Snails Reproductive disorder Antifouling biocides Microplastics Paint flakes 



The study was funded by the Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Defense and Nature Conservation Agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LimnoMarHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Alfred Wegener Institute Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (BAH)HelgolandGermany
  3. 3.Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Defence and Nature Conservation AgencyNordenGermany

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