This study assed the impacts of 17α-ethinylestradiol in Heterandria formosa. These impacts were addressed through chronic, life-cycle exposures of individuals and populations of least killifish to 0, 5, or 25ng/L EE2. Development, growth, reproduction, survival, and population dynamics were monitored and evaluated for EE2 effects on their health, reproductive success, and population sustainability.
Exposing pairs of least killifish to EE2 resulted in similar increases in time-to-sexual maturity for both sexes. The EE2-exposure had a sex-dependent effect on body size, with standard lengths and wet weights of females significantly reduced and standard lengths of males markedly increased. Offspring production decreased by 50% and 75% for fish exposed to 5 and 25ng/L EE2 respectively. Sexual development was even further delayed in EE2-exposed offspring of exposed fish. EE2-exposure also affected the gonadal and liver development in least killifish. Males exposed to EE2 had delayed sperm maturation and severe intersex (a phenomenon in which eggs and sperm are produced within the same male). These effects were more severe at the 5ng/L than at the 25ng/L EE2 concentration. Exposing females to EE2 resulted in delayed egg maturation. Furthermore, EE2 exposure resulted in changes in liver morphology in both males and females. For both the delay in egg maturation and the changes in liver morphology, the effects were strongest at the higher EE2 concentration.
Effects of chronic EE2-exposure on populations were assessed at the 5ng/L concentration. EE2-exposure caused significant reductions in population size and population growth rates, and caused other changes in population dynamics. Exposed populations had a pronounced female-biased sex ratio and significantly reduced abundances of males and newborns. These responses were observed within one breeding season.
This is the first report demonstrating a variety of negative impacts resulting from chronic EE2-exposure in least killifish at both the individual and population levels. Effects were evident in all stages of development and in all life history stages. This study demonstrated that, similar to the case for other fish, live-bearing fish are likely to be severely affected when their environment becomes contaminated by EE2 and that steps are needed to prevent exposure to this endocrine disrupting chemical.
|Advisor:||Klerks, Paul L.|
|Commitee:||Duke-Sylvester, Scott M., Felgenhauer, Bruce E., Leberg, Paul L., McLachlan, John A.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental science|
|Keywords:||Aquatic toxicology, EE2, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disrupting chemicals, Heterandria formosa, Live-bearing fish|
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