• Inneke F. M. Rumengan
  • Madoka Ohji

Plankton constitutes the largest component of the world's biomass, exerting a vital influence on aquatic life as well as forming the basis of aquatic food webs. Plankton are potentially suitable indicators of any type of contamination in seawater, because of their quick responses to toxicants and other chemicals. Assessing their level of contamination can provide a strong explanation for level of contamination in higher tropic levels of the food chain. Even though many experts question the significance of tributyltin (TBT) biomagnification from plankton, as the primary assemblage in the food chain, plankton would be the first target for organotin compounds released into the water column and a source for assimilation in higher organisms.

Research over the last 25 years has highlighted that organotin accumulates in a variety of marine organisms, from plankton (Harino et al. 1998, 1999; Takahashi et al. 1999) to high-level predators (Tanabe et al. 1998). Organotin compounds have been responsible for many deleterious effects on non-target aquatic life (Fent and Meier 1994; Ohji et al. 2002a, b, 2003a, b, 2004, 2005; Grzyb et al. 2003). Many studies have been conducted regarding organotin impacts on plankton including phytoplankton (Laughlin et al. 1986a; Maguire et al. 1984; Maeda et al. 1990; Reader and Pelletier 1992; Beaumont et al. 1987; Avery et al. 1993; Mooney and Patching 1995; St-Louis et al. 1997; Tsang et al. 1999; Rumampuk et al. 2004); holozooplankton species, such as copepods (Linden et al. 1979; U'ren 1983; Bushong et al. 1987; Hall et al. 1987), rotifers (Cochrane et al. 1991; Snell et al. 1991 a, b; DelValls et al. 1997; Sun et al. 2001; Jeon et al. 2003; van den Brink and Kater 2006), daphnia (Steinhauser et al. 1985; Kline et al. 1989), mysids (Davidson et al. 1986a, b), and meroplankton such as larvae of amphipods and mussels (Laughlin et al. 1986b; Beaumont and Budd 1984), and early life stages of fish (Seinen et al. 1981; Pinkney et al. 1990). Compared to laboratory data, field surveys on accumulation of organotin compounds in plankton are very limited (Harino et al. 1999; Takahashi et al. 1999). Mostly, assessment of organotin impacts on plankton are based on laboratory toxicity tests. There has also been an attempt to use zooplankton as a tool to assess biological impacts of contaminated sediments (van den Brink and Kater 2006). Nevertheless, whilst biomagnification of organotin compounds in aquatic ecosystem has been considered (Cooney 1988; Guruge et al. 1996; Hu et al. 2006), there are very limited data on the transfer of organotin compounds from plankton to higher taxa, either in field surveys (Takahashi et al. 1999), or in experimental studies (Sun et al. 2001).


Organotin Compound Skeletonema Costatum Brachionus Plicatilis Nannochloropsis Oculata Butyltin Compound 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inneke F. M. Rumengan
    • 1
  • Madoka Ohji
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Fisheries and Marine ScienceSam Ratulangi UniversityManadoIndonesia
  2. 2.International Coastal Research Center, Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoOtsuchiJapan

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