Hydrocarbon contamination decreases mating success in a marine planktonic copepod

Laurent Seuront

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The mating behavior and the mating success of copepods rely on chemoreception to locate and track a sexual partner. However, the potential impact of the water-soluble fraction of hydrocarbons on these aspects of copepod reproduction has never been tested despite the widely acknowledged acute chemosensory abilities of copepods. I examined whether three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (0.01%, 0.1% and 1%) impacts (i) the swimming behavior of both adult males and females of the widespread calanoid copepod Temora longcornis, and (ii) the ability of males to locate, track and mate with females. The three concentrations of the water-soluble fraction of diesel oil (WSF) significantly and non-significantly affect female and male swimming velocities, respectively. In contrast, both the complexity of male and female swimming paths significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations, hence suggesting a sex-specific sensitivity to WSF contaminated seawater. In addition, the three WSF concentrations impacted both T. longicornis mating behavior and mating success. Specifically, the ability of males to detect female pheromone trails, to accurately follow trails and to successfully track a female significantly decreased with increasing WSF concentrations. This led to a significant decrease in contact and capture rates from control to WSF contaminated seawater. These results indicate that hydrocarbon contamination of seawater decreases the ability of male copepods to detect and track a female, hence suggest an overall impact on population fitness and dynamics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere26283
    Pages (from-to)e26283
    Number of pages11
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume6
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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