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A new approach for testing contaminated marine sediments: fertilization success of lugworms following parental exposure

Abstract

A sediment bioassay is being developed using several marine benthic invertebrates to assess the effects of parental transfer of contaminants to the gametes. In this preliminary study, the emphasis was placed on developing methods for the in vitro fertilization of lugworm, Arenicola marina, oocytes.

Lugworms exposed to contaminated sediments in outdoor mesocosms were brought to the laboratory, just before the beginning of the spawning period. The reliability of an in vitro fertilization procedure was tested by varying several parts of the method. Main results are that eggs and embryos may be physically damaged by cleaning over a sieve. However, as no negative effects were observed when leaving eggs and sperm together for 24 h, the sperm need not be washed off until the embryos are preserved for further examination later on.

A first, incomplete screening of the effects of contaminated harbour dredged sediments indicated some effect on the reproductive success.

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Kaag, N.H.B.M., Foekema, E.M. & Bowmer, C.T. A new approach for testing contaminated marine sediments: fertilization success of lugworms following parental exposure. J Aquat Ecosyst Stress Recov 3, 177–184 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00043239

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00043239

Key words

  • marine sediment toxicity
  • parental exposure
  • lugworm
  • fertilization success