Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 6, pp 1339–1347 | Cite as

Oil exposure in a warmer Arctic: potential impacts on key zooplankton species

  • Morten HjorthEmail author
  • Torkel Gissel Nielsen
Original Paper


Oil exploration activities are rapidly increasing in Arctic marine areas with potentially higher risks of oil spills to the environment. Water temperatures in Arctic marine areas are simultaneously increasing as a result of global warming. Potential effects of a combination of increased water temperature and exposure to the PAH pyrene were investigated on fecal pellet and, egg production and hatching success of two copepod species, Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis, sampled in Disko Bay, Greenland on 23–25 April 2008. The two species were exposed daily to nominal pyrene concentrations of 0-0.01-0.1-1-10-100 nM at water temperatures of 0.5, 5 and 8°C for 9 and 7 days, respectively. Daily measurements of faecal pellet production, egg production and hatching showed different responses of the two species to the applied stressors. When temperature increased, low concentrations of pyrene caused a decrease in faecal pellet production by C. finmarchicus, whereas C. glacialis faecal pellet production showed no negative response to pyrene exposure when temperatures increased. Pyrene exposure decreased egg production of C. finmarchicus at all temperatures, but the species was more sensitive at 0.5 and 8°C. A lag period of 1 day before egg production began was prolonged with several days when warmer water was combined with pyrene exposure. Egg production by C. glacialis was only negatively affected by pyrene in a dose-dependent manner at 0.5°C. Hatching success in both species was not affected by pyrene, where increased water temperatures led to a higher hatching success. In conclusion, C. glacialis seemed to be the less sensitive of the two species to the stress combination of increased water temperature and pyrene exposure. As a consequence of the differential responses of the two species, their competition can be impaired with a consequent impact on energy transfer between trophic levels.


PAHs Pyrene Faecal Pellet Spring Bloom Hatching Success 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was financed by the National Environmental Research Institute (NERI), Carlsberg Foundation, ECOGREEN and the Danish Natural Sciences Research Council. We would like to thank Arctic station in Qeqertarsuaq and the scientific leader Outi Tervo, University of Copenhagen, who provided us with excellent laboratory facilities and logistical support. At sea, RV Porsild and crew provided a great working platform.


  1. ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) (2005) Arctic climate impact assessment. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. AMAP (2007) Arctic oil and gas 2007. Arctic monitoring and assessment programme, Oslo. xiii + 40 pGoogle Scholar
  3. Arendt KE, Nielsen TG, Rysgaard S, Tönnesson K (2010) Differences in plankton community structure along the Godthåbsfjord, from the Greenland Ice Sheet to offshore waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 401:49–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barata C, Calbet A, Saiz E, Ortiz L, Bayona JM (2005) Predicting single and mixture toxicity of petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the copepod Oithona davisae. Environ Toxicol Chem 24(11):2992–2999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellas J, Thor P (2007) Effects of selected PAHs on reproduction and survival of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa. Ecotoxicol 16:465–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berrojalbiz N, Lacorte S, Calbet A, Saiz E, Barata C, Dachs J (2009) Accumulation and cycling of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in zooplankton. Environ Sci Technol 43(7):2295–2301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bignert A, Cossa D, Emmerson R, Fryer R and others (2004) OSPAR/ICES workshop on the evaluation and update of background reference concentrations (B/RCs) and ecotoxicological assessment criteria (EACs) and how these assessment tools should be used in assessing contaminants in water, sediment, and biota. Workshop, The Hague, 9–13 February 2004. Final Report. OSPAR CommissionGoogle Scholar
  8. Buchmann MF (1999) NOAA screening quick reference tables, NOAA HAZMAT report 99–1, Coastal Protection and Restoration Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WAGoogle Scholar
  9. Cailleaud K, Budzinski H, Le Menach K, Souissi S, Forget-Leray J (2009) Uptake and elimination of hydrophobic organic contaminants in estuarine copepods: an experimental study. Environ Toxicol Chem 28(2):239–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dachs J, Bayona JM, Fowler SW, Miquel J-C, Albaigés J (1996) Vertical fluxes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organochloringe compounds in the western Alboran Sea (southwestern Mediterranean). Mar Chem 52:75–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dünweber M, Swalethorp R, Kjellerup S, Nielsen TG, Others (2010) Succession and fate of the spring diatom bloom in Disko Bay, western Greenland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 419:11–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Falk-Petersen S, Timofeev S, Pavlov V, Sargent JR (2006) Climate variability and the effect on arctic food chains. The role of Calanus. In: Orbaek JB et al (eds) Arctic-alpine ecosystems and people in a changing environment. Springer Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  13. Falk-Petersen S, Mayzaud P, Kattner G, Sargent JR (2009) Lipids and life strategy of Arctic Calanus. Mar Biol Res 5:18–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forbes VE (2000) Is hormesis an evolutionary expectation? Funct Ecol 14(1):12–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hansen PJ (1989) The red tide dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense: effect on behaviour and growth of a tintinnid ciliate. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 53:105–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hansen BH, Altin D, Vang S-H, Nordtug T, Olsen AJ (2008) Effects of naphtalene on gene transcription in Calanus finmarchicus (Crustacea: Copepoda). Aquat Toxicol 86:157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hirche H-J (1991) Distribution of dominant calanoid copepod species in the Greenland sea during late fall. Polar Biol 11:351–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hirche H-J, Kosobokova K (2007) Distribution of Calanus finmarchicus in the northern north Atlantic and Arctic ocean–expatriation and potential colonization. Deep-Sea Res II 54:2729–2747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hjorth M, Dahllöf I (2008) A harpacticoid copepod Microsetella spp. from sub-arctic coastal waters and its sensitivity towards the polyaromatic hydrocarbon pyrene. Polar Biol 31(12):1437–1443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holland DM, Thomas RH, Young BD, Ribergaard MH, Lyberth B (2008) Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters. Nature Geosci 1:659–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hylland K (2006) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) ecotoxicology in marine ecosystems. J Toxicol Environ Health 69:109–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jensen LK, Carroll J (2010) Experimental studies of reproduction and feeding for two Arctic-dwelling Calanus species exposed to crude oil. Aquat Biol 10:261–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jensen MH, Nielsen TG, Dahllöf I (2008) Effects of pyrene on grazing and reproduction of Calanus finmarchicus and Calanus glacialis from Disko Bay, West Greenland. Aquat Toxicol 87:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Juel-Pedersen T, Nielsen TG, Michel C, Møller EF, Others (2006) Sedimentation following the spring bloom in Disko Bay, West Greenland, with special emphasis on the role of copepods. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 314:239–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kaartvedt S (2000) Life history of Calanus finmarchicus in the Norwegian Sea in relation to planktivorous fish. ICES J Mar Sci 57:1819–1824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Karnovsky NJ, Hobson KA, Iverson S, Hunt GL Jr (2008) Seasonal changes in diets of seabirds in the North Water Polynya: a multiple-indicator approach. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 357:291–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Karnovsky NJ, Harding A, Walkusz W, Kwasniewski S, Goszczko I, others (2010) Foraging distributions of little auks Alle alle across the Greenland Sea: Implications of present and future Arctic climate change. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 415:283–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Laidre KL, Heide-Jørgensen MP, Nielsen TG (2007) Role of the bowhead whale as a predator in West Greenland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 346:285–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Levinsen H, Nielsen TG, Hansen BW (2000) Annual Succession of marine protozoans in the arctic with emphasis on winter dynamics. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 206:119–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lotufo GR (1998) Lethal and sublethal toxicity of sediment-associated fluoranthene to benthic copepods: application of the critical-body-residue approach. Aquat Toxicol 44:17–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Madsen SD, Nielsen TG, Hansen BW (2001) Annual population development and production by Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus in Disko Bay, western Greenland. Mar Biol 139:75–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Madsen SJ, Nielsen TG, Tervo OM, Söderkvist J (2008) Importance of feeding for egg production in Calanus finmarchicus and C. glacialis during the Arctic spring. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 353:177–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Niehoff B, Madsen SD, Hansen BW, Nielsen TG (2002) Reproductive cycles of three dominant Calanus species in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Mar Biol 140:567–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nielsen TG, Hansen BW (1995) Plankton community structure and carbon cycling on the western coast of Greenland during and after the sedimentation of a diatom bloom. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 125:239–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parkinson CL, Cavalieri DJ (2008) Arctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2006. J Geophys Res 113:C07003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2002) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 573 pCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Scott CL, Kwasniewski S, Falk-Petersen S, Sargent JR (2000) Lipids and life strategies of Calanus finnmarchicus, Calanus glacialis and Calanus hyperboreus in late autumn, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Biol 23:510–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Swalethorp R, Kjellerup S, Dünweber M, Nielsen TG, Møller EF, Rysgaard S, Hansen BW (2011) Grazing, production and biochemical evidence of differences in the life strategies of Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus in Disko Bay, Western Greenland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research InstituteAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Section of Oceanecology and ClimateTechnical University of DenmarkCharlottenlundDenmark

Personalised recommendations