Evidence for reproductive impairment in Atlantic croaker collected from contaminated sites on the Houston ship channel


1993 1993 Nov 14


Thomas P
Meyer K
Kalke R
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry PU

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Although pollution-induced impairment of reproduction is a serious long-term hazard to fish populations, there are few published reports on reproductive function in fish collected from contaminated environments. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was evidence for reproductive impairment in female Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) collected from contaminated sites on the Houston Ship Channel. A broad range of reproductive and endocrine indices were evaluated. Croaker collected over two reproductive seasons in the vicinity of the San Jacinto monument (heavily contaminated site) showed decreased ovarian growth as assessed by the gonadosomatic index. In addition, there was evidence that sexual maturation was delayed in some individuals. In contrast several reproductive endocrine indices did not show marked differences between croaker collected from contaminated and relatively clean sites. Fish collected near San Jacinto monument had the highest ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activities and the greatest incidence of fin erosion, indicating that this site is indeed highly contaminated. The results suggest that several reproductive indices may be useful biomarkers of environmental contamination. (DBO)




Biomarkers, Environmental effects, Environmental protection, fish, growth, Micropogonias undulatus, Pollution, pollution effects, Population structure, Q5 01504 Effects on organisms, Reproduction, Toxicity, Toxicology, USA