Effect of Deepwater Horizon Oil on Growth Rates of Juvenile Penaeid Shrimps
Marsh shoreline, an important habitat for juvenile penaeid shrimps, was extensively oiled in coastal Louisiana by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. The effect of this spill on growth was examined for brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus and white shrimp Litopenaeus setiferus held for 7 days in field mesocosms in Barataria Bay during May and August 2011, respectively. The experiments each had 10 treatment combinations, five apparent oil levels, each one with and without added food. Mesocosms were placed in northern Barataria Bay along shorelines that varied in oiling (designated as heavy, moderate, light, very light, or none based on NOAA surveys), and shrimp in half the mesocosms received additional food. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations determined from sediment cores collected at each mesocosm were significantly higher at heavy and moderate than very light shorelines and also higher at moderate than light and none shorelines. Brown shrimp grew more slowly at heavy than very light or none shorelines, and a statistically significant negative relationship was detected between brown shrimp growth rates and sediment PAH concentrations. In August, PAH sediment concentrations had decreased significantly from the values measured in May, no significant difference in white shrimp growth rates was detected among oiling levels, and no relationship was detected between white shrimp growth and sediment PAH concentrations. Both brown shrimp and white shrimp grew more rapidly in mesocosms where food was added. Our study shows that exposure to nonlethal concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons can reduce growth rates of juvenile penaeid shrimps.
KeywordsField experiment Growth comparison Farfantepenaeus aztecus Litopenaeus setiferus Food addition
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