Delayed effects of pyrene exposure during overwintering on the Arctic copepod Calanus hyperboreus

Kirstine Underbjerg Toxværd, Khuong Van Dinh, Ole Henriksen, Morten Hjorth, Torkel Gissel Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Calanus hyperboreus is the largest copepod and a key species in the Arctic food web. During the spring bloom, C. hyperboreus builds up large lipid reserves, which enable it to survive and produce eggs during overwintering. The ecological effects of oil exposure on overwintering C. hyperboreus are unknown. The present study empirically tested if exposure to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pyrene from crude oil affects the survival, egg production, and hatching success of overwintering C. hyperboreus. We also tested the delayed effects on faecal pellet production and lipid recovery in clean seawater. Direct exposure did not reduce survival and egg production, but reduced hatching success 3–18 times by the end of the exposure period. Remarkably, we documented strong delayed effects of pyrene on faecal pellet production and the recovery of lipid reserves. The current study reveals a high vulnerability of this key species of Arctic zooplankton to oil exposure during winter. Together with our previous study on C. glacialis, we complete the picture of the impact of oil on the largest and most lipid-rich copepod C. hyperboreus, which potentially can have huge ecological consequences for the fragile Arctic marine food web.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Pages (from-to)105332
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Arctic marine ecosystem
  • Deep-sea pollution
  • Calanus
  • Oil pollution
  • Overwintering


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