Amphipod intersex, metals and latitude: A perspective


Pastorinho MR, Telfer T & Soares AMVM (2009) Amphipod intersex, metals and latitude: A perspective. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58 (6), pp. 812-817.;

Intersexuality has been widely reported in crustaceans with several mechanisms being directly or indirectly held responsible for its occurrence, amongst which pollution. No mechanistic relationship between metals and intersex has ever been established. Also the incidence of intersex in populations of the same invertebrate species in a latitudinal gradient has never been studied so far. Three populations (Iceland,Scotland and Portugal) of the amphipod Echinogammarus marinus were scrutinized. Intersex females from Iceland registered the highest fecundity loss. Only in Scottish samples females with two genital papillae and males with only one genital papillae were observed. Nevertheless, water, biota and sediment samples pointed to equivalent metal levels, and in consonance the prevalence of intersex was not significantly different between locations. An unequivocal relationship between metal presence and intersex induction cannot be presented, but our results advocate the potential role of metals as a direct cause of intersexuality in E. marinus.

Echinogammarus marinus; Intersex; Heavy metals; Iceland; Scotland; Portugal; Water pollution; Aquaculture; Crustacea; Amphipoda

Marine Pollution Bulletin: Volume 58, Issue 6

Publication date30/06/2009
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