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Impact of tributyltin on immune response and life history traits of Chironomus riparius: single and multigeneration effects and recovery from pollution.

Environ Sci Technol; 46(13): 7382-9, 2012 Jul 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22680406
Chironomids play an important role in the detritus cycle and as a component in brackish- and freshwater benthic and terrestrial food webs. If TBT is present in their environment, then they may accumulate tributyltin (TBT) during their juvenile period, which negatively affects many of their life history characteristics. The aim of this experiment is to test the effects of three TBT sediment concentrations (nominal 30, 90, and 180 µg/kg) on life history traits (development time, survival, fecundity, and weight) and immune response (number of hemocytes and phenoloxidase activity) of the nonbiting midge, Chironomus riparius. These responses were recorded immediately after one generation of TBT exposure, and in the long run during five consecutive generations. We also assessed recovery from pollution after four generations of TBT exposure. In a single generation, TBT affected all measured parameters, except phenoloxidase activity, when compared to the control. Long-term-effects of TBT lead to extinction of all treatments after the fifth generation. Again, all measured variables significantly differ from the control, although TBT had varying effects on the measured variables. Most of the effects of TBT on population viability were not evident during recovery, once TBT was removed from the sediment. The effect of previous TBT contamination was observed only in delayed larval development, suggesting that TBT has only limited maternal/epigenetic effects on individual condition. However, altered schedules in the life-cycle can have unexpected ecological impacts. TBT decreases the viability of Chironomus riparius and the effect will become stronger if exposure to TBT continues for many generations. Yet, the harmful effect of TBT disappears quickly as the TBT is removed from the environment.