Effects of oil spill responses on key Arctic zooplankton species

Kirstine Underbjerg Toxværd, P. Hansen, E. Köhler, Marina Pancic, M. Hatlebakk, Helene Overaa Eide, Janne E Søreide, Stéphane Le Floch, C. Lacroix, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, M. Hjorth

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch


Increased shipping and oil and gas activities in the Arctic increase the risk of an oil spill. Oil compounds can have toxic impact on Arctic marine ecosystems, but impacts from response technologies on ice associated ecology have not been studied extensively. The copepod Calanus glacialis is a key species in the Arctic marine ecosystem. It plays a central role in energy transfer between primary producers and higher trophic levels of the Arctic food chain. It is therefore relevant to study potential consequences of an oil spill on this ecological important species. As a part of a large joint industry initiative (www.arcticresponsetechnology.org) a first of its kind mesocosm experiment was executed in an Arctic fjord of the Island of Svalbard. Effects of natural attenuation of the oil, in-situ burning and chemical dispersion were studied on grazing, egg production and hatching of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis. Eight mesocosms with open top and bottom were deployed in the sea ice in Van Mijenfjorden, Svalbard, in February 2015. Two replicates were used for all treatments. After application, surface ice was allowed to re-establish. Water was collected from the top 2 cm water column in March and just before sea ice break up in May, and was used in two 14-day incubation experiments with C. glacialis collected in Isfjorden. Copepods were fed during the experiment and eggs and pellets were quantified daily. Egg hatching was determined in the beginning and end of the experiment. There was no significant effect of the oil spill treatments on average cumulated specific pellet production or egg hatching success. However in May, the average cumulated specific egg production was significantly higher in the oil-dispersant mixture treatment compared to the control from day 2 (+ 169 %) until the end of the experiment (+ 41 %). To correlate observed effects and toxicity, and to examine potential pollutant transfer, the chemical content of incubation water, exposed females and produced eggs was further analysed for chemical residue. These results will be presented on the SETAC 2016 conference
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event7th SETAC World Congress: SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting - Orlando, United States
Duration: 6 Nov 201610 Nov 2016


Conference7th SETAC World Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of oil spill responses on key Arctic zooplankton species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this