Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers find impact of oil spill in marsh fish species

Date:
September 26, 2011
Source:
Louisiana State University
Summary:
Scientists have published the results of a combined field and laboratory study showing the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on fish living in Louisiana marshes.

A research team led by LSU Associate Professors of Biological Sciences Fernando Galvez and Andrew Whitehead has published the results of a combined field and laboratory study showing the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on fish living in Louisiana marshes.

The study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is being published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS. Their study shows that, despite very low to non-detectable concentrations of oil constituents in the water and in fish tissues, biological effects in fish indicate dramatic responses that are indicative of exposures to the toxic components of oil.

That is, the biological responses of the fish were much more sensitive indicators of exposures and effects from the contaminating oil than the environmental chemistry was.

"Though the fish may be 'safe to eat' based on low chemical burdens in their tissues, that doesn't mean that the fish are healthy or that the fish are capable of reproducing normally," said Whitehead.

Genome expression responses detected in liver tissues were predictive of the types of responses associated with developmental abnormalities and death observed in previous studies by Galvez and Whitehead. Furthermore, responses were predictive of impairment of fish reproduction, meaning that the probability of impact on populations is significant.

Additionally, gill tissues, which are important for maintaining critical body functions, appeared damaged and had altered protein expression coincident with oil exposure, and these effects persisted for long after the visible oil disappeared from the marsh surface. Controlled exposures in laboratory settings of developing embryos to field-collected waters induced similar cellular responses.

"This is of concern because early life-stages of many organisms are particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of oil and because marsh contamination occurred during the spawning season of many important species," Whitehead.

A major take-home message of the more than two decades of research following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was that sub-lethal biological effects, especially those associated with reproduction, were most predictive of the long-term population-level impacts still apparent in many species such as herring and salmon. The current LSU study shows that early signals of similar kinds of sub-lethal effects are starting to emerge in an ecologically-important species following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The LSU research group is currently following up with studies examining more direct effects of oil exposure on reproduction, development and growth.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew Whitehead, Benjamin Dubansky, Charlotte Bodinier, Tzintzuni I. Garcia, Scott Miles, Chet Pilley, Vandana Raghunathan, Jennifer L. Roach, Nan Walker, Ronald B. Walter, Charles D. Rice, and Fernando Galvez. Science Applications in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Special Feature: Genomic and physiological footprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on resident marsh fishes. PNAS, September 26, 2011 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1109545108

Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University. "Researchers find impact of oil spill in marsh fish species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926173125.htm>.
Louisiana State University. (2011, September 26). Researchers find impact of oil spill in marsh fish species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926173125.htm
Louisiana State University. "Researchers find impact of oil spill in marsh fish species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926173125.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins