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TA4 Integrating Sublethal Responses and Ecologically Relevant Endpoints
() Developing indicators for native species: Can biomarkers be linked to sediment contamination and population parameters?
Vines, C1, Morgan, S1, Anderson, S1, Brooks, A2, Higashi, R1, Cherr, G1, 1 University of California at Davis, Davis, CA, USA2 University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
ABSTRACT- One of the primary challenges facing managers is the assessment of wetland condition. Although chemical analyses of these critical habitats provides an overall measure of contaminant load, contaminant bioavailability and effects cannot be determined without linkage to physiological and biochemical responses in resident organisms. These biomarker responses, in turn, need to be linked to population-level impacts in order to establish their utility. The Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research Consortium (PEEIR; EPA/EaGLes program) is employing a suite of biomarkers in two indigenous indicator species, the lined shorecrab (Pachygrapsus crassipes) and the longjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys mirabilis), in order to evaluate the exposure and responses of individuals to contaminants in California salt marshes. These biomarkers include: 1) plasma choriogenins in male/non-reproductive fish, combined with a cell reporter assay (CALUX), in order to establish an index of endocrine disruption in wetland sites; 2) DNA damage in blood/hemolymph using the single-cell Comet assay; 3) cytochrome P450 expression in liver/hepatopancreas; 4) apoptosis (TUNEL assay) in fish liver; 5) histology of fish liver and gonads; 6) analysis of fish body condition (liver/somatic indices and gonadal/somatic indices), age, and growth; and 7) analysis of reproductive success in crabs. Some or all of these parameters have been measured in individuals collected from the sites, as well as in those outplanted at selected stations within study sites. Results indicate that choriogenins/CALUX responses, as well as apoptosis, were elevated at some of the contaminated sites. P450 levels, as well as Comet analysis, were variable but did show some trends at the more contaminated sites. Sediments from the study sites, as well as selected tissues, are being analyzed for organic and inorganic contamination. Biomarker and individual condition parameters, in combination with reproductive parameters and population measures, will be evaluated using both multivariate statistics and dynamic energy budget models.
Key words: wetlands, biomarkers
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