Mosquito control pesticides and sea surface temperatures have differential effects on the survival and oxidative stress response of coral larvae
The declining health of coral reefs is intensifying worldwide at an alarming rate due to the combined effects of land-based sources of pollution and climate change. Despite the persistent use of mosquito control pesticides in populated coastal areas, studies examining the survival and physiological impacts of early life-history stages of non-targeted marine organisms are limited. In order to better understand the combined effects of mosquito pesticides and rising sea surface temperatures, we exposed larvae from the coral Porites astreoides to selected concentrations of two major mosquito pesticide ingredients, naled and permethrin, and seawater elevated +3.5 °C. Following 18–20 h of exposure, larvae exposed to naled concentrations of 2.96 µg L−1 or greater had significantly reduced survivorship compared to controls. These effects were not detected in the presence of permethrin or elevated temperature. Furthermore, larval settlement, post-settlement survival and zooxanthellae density were not impacted by any treatment. To evaluate the sub-lethal stress response of larvae, several oxidative stress endpoints were utilized. Biomarker responses to pesticide exposure were variable and contingent upon pesticide type as well as the specific biomarker being employed. In some cases, such as with protein carbonylation and catalase gene expression, the effects of naled exposure and temperature were interactive. In other cases pesticide exposure failed to induce any sub-lethal stress response. Overall, these results demonstrate that P. astreoides larvae have a moderate degree of resistance against short-term exposure to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticides even in the presence of elevated temperature. In addition, this work highlights the importance of considering the complexity and differential responses encountered when examining the impacts of combined stressors that occur on varying spatial scales.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Ross, Olsen, K., Henry, M., & Pierce, R. (2014). Mosquito control pesticides and sea surface temperatures have differential effects on the survival and oxidative stress response of coral larvae. Ecotoxicology (London), 24(3), 540–552. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-014-1402-8