Burrowing and avoidance behaviour in marine organisms exposed to pesticide-contaminated sediment

Flemming Møhlenberg, Thomas Kiørboe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Behavioural effects of marine sediment contaminated with pesticides (6000 ppm parathion, 200 ppm methyl parathion, 200 ppm malathion) were studied in a number of marine organisms in laboratory tests and in situ. The burrowing behaviour in Macoma baltica, Cerastoderma edule, Abra alba, Nereis diversicolor and Scoloplos armiger was impaired in the contaminated sediment compared to control. The impairment was most pronounced in the laboratory tests, where almost no burrowing occured. In a very simple laboratory set-up, highly significant avoidance of the contaminated sediment was demonstrated for Crangon crangon and Solea solea, but not for Carcinus meanas and Pomatoschistus minutus. The validity of both behavioural tests was supported by in situ observations and investigations on the distribution of the species. It is concluded that both tests are useful tools in the assessment of the impact of contaminated sediments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)57-60
Publication statusPublished - 1983


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