Exposure to crude oil from the deepwater horizon oil spill impairs oil avoidance behavior without affecting olfactory physiology in juvenile Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)

Schlenker, Lela S., Welch, Megan J., Mager, Edward M., Stieglitz, John D., Benetti, Daniel D., Munday, Philip L., and Grosell, Martin (2019) Exposure to crude oil from the deepwater horizon oil spill impairs oil avoidance behavior without affecting olfactory physiology in juvenile Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Environmental Science and Technology, 53 (23). pp. 14001-14009.

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Abstract

The understanding of the detection threshold and behavioral response of fishes in response to crude oil is critical to predicting the effects of oil spills on wild fish populations. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill released approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the northern Gulf of Mexico in 2010, overlapping spatially and temporally with the habitat of many pelagic fish species. Yet, it is unknown whether highly migratory species, such as mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus), might detect and avoid oil contaminated waters. We tested the ability of control and oil-exposed juvenile mahi-mahi (15-45 mm) to avoid two dilutions of crude oil in a two-channel flume. Control fish avoided the higher concentration (27.1 mu g/L Sigma(50)PAH), while oil-exposed (24 h, 18.0 mu g/L Sigma(50)PAH) conspecifics did not. Electro-olfactogram (EOG) data demonstrated that both control and oil-exposed (24 h, 14.5 mu g/L Sigma(50)PAH) juvenile mahi-mahi (27-85 mm) could detect crude oil as an olfactory cue and that oil-exposure did not affect the EOG amplitude or duration in response to oil or other cues. These results show that a brief oil exposure impairs the ability of mahi-mahi to avoid oil and suggests that this alteration likely results from injury to higher order central nervous system processing rather than impaired olfactory physiology.

Item ID: 61292
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1520-5851
Keywords: oil spills, physiology, crude oil, fish, olfactory cue, migratory species, pelagic fish, Mahi-Mahi
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.
Funders: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Projects and Grants: GoMRI Grant No. SA-1520
Date Deposited: 01 Jan 2020 07:41
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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