Effects of crude oil on survival and development in embryonated eggs in Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896 (Decapoda, Portunidae) [post]

Kelsie L. Kelly, Caz M. Taylor
2018 unpublished
Blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896, are ubiquitous along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. These organisms play an integral role in the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), where not only are they a keystone species, but are also socioeconomically important. The survival of embryonated eggs is necessary to ensure adequate recruitment into the next generation. Because the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH) occurred during the peak of the blue crab spawning
more » ... crab spawning season, the incident likely impacted blue crab embryos. In order to assess the effect of oil on embryonic growth and development, we collected embryonated eggs from seven different female blue crabs from the GOM throughout the spawning season and exposed them to an oil concentration of 500 ppb (the approximate concentration of oil at the surface water near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig). Exposure to oil at this concentration caused a significantly larger proportion of prezoeae versus zoeae to hatch from embryonated eggs in experiments lasting longer than 4 days. Exposure to oil did not significantly affect overall survival or development rate. The prezoeal stage is a little-studied stage of blue crab development. Though it may or may not be a normal stage of development, this stage has been found to occur in suboptimal conditions and has lower survival than zoeal stages. The larger proportion of prezoeae following prolonged exposure to oil thus indicates that crude oil at concentrations likely to be experienced by crabs after the DWH spill negatively impacted the development of blue crab embryos. In addition to providing insight into the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this study sheds light on embryonic development in blue crabs, a critical, but poorly investigated phase of this important species' life cycle.
doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.26750 fatcat:rvbxd5qpabhxzjv4goksvvhyby