Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) ammocoetes exposed to contaminated Portland Harbor sediments: Method development and effects on survival, growth, and behavior

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 

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Abstract

Many anthropogenic disturbances have contributed to the decline of Pacific lampreys (Entosphenus tridentatus), but potential negative effects of contaminants on lampreys are unclear. Lamprey ammocoetes are the only detritivorous fish in the lower Willamette River, Oregon, USA, and have been observed in Portland Harbor sediments. Their long benthic larval stage places them at risk from the effects of contaminated sediment. The authors developed experimental methods to assess the effects of contaminated sediment on the growth and behavior of field-collected ammocoetes reared in a laboratory. Specifically, they developed methods to assess individual growth and burrowing behavior. Burrowing performance demonstrated high variability among contaminated sediments; however, ammocoetes presented with noncontaminated reference sediment initiated burrowing more rapidly and completed it faster. Ammocoete reemergence from contaminated sediments suggests avoidance of some chemical compounds. The authors conducted long-term exposure experiments on individually held ammocoetes using sediment collected from their native Siletz River, which included the following: contaminated sediments collected from 9 sites within Portland Harbor, 2 uncontaminated reference sediments collected upstream, 1 uncontaminated sediment with characteristics similar to Portland Harbor sediments, and clean sand. They determined that a 24-h depuration period was sufficient to evaluate weight changes and observed no mortality or growth effects in fish exposed to any of the contaminated sediments. However, the effect on burrowing behavior appeared to be a sensitive endpoint, with potentially significant implications for predator avoidance.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) ammocoetes exposed to contaminated Portland Harbor sediments: Method development and effects on survival, growth, and behavior
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.3367
Volume 35
Issue 8
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 11 p.
First page 2092
Last page 2102
Country United States
State Oregon
City Portland
Other Geospatial Portland Harbor, Willamette River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N