Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

UV radiation effects on the embryos of anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) and common sardine (Strangomera bentincki) off central Chile

P. Vásquez A , A. Llanos-Rivera B E , L. R. Castro A and C. Fernandez C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Laboratorio de Oceanografía Pesquera y Ecología Larval (LOPEL), Departamento de Oceanografía and COPAS Sur Austral Program, PO Box 160-C Concepción, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.

B Unidad de Biotecnología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas, PO Box 160-C Concepción, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.

C Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Microbienne (LOMIC), Observatoire Océanologique, F-66650, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France.

D Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR) and COPAS SAustral Program, PO Box 160-C Concepción, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.

E Corresponding author. Email: alllanos@udec.cl

Marine and Freshwater Research 67(2) 195-209 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF14038
Submitted: 8 February 2014  Accepted: 22 December 2014   Published: 22 May 2015

Abstract

It has been proposed that current levels of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation could cause lethal or sublethal effects on fish embryos located in the upper layers of the water column. Observed levels of UVB off central Chile (36°S, 73°W) indicate that planktonic fish embryos could be exposed to harmful UVB radiation. From July 2011 to January 2012 embryos from anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) and common sardine (Strangomera bentincki) were used to test experimentally whether the UVB levels in central Chile produce lethal or sublethal effects in epipelagic fish embryos. Simultaneously, whether the embryos might be exposed to harmful UVB levels in the field was investigated. Our experimental results show that UVB may cause a decrease in hatching success, changes in buoyancy and embryonic malformations. These results, along with the observed vertical distribution of embryos and UVB radiation levels in the field during late spring suggest that lethal and sublethal effects may be occurring in the embryos of both species.

Additional keywords  : embryo buoyancy, fish embryos, hatching, malformations, natural mortality, small pelagic fish, survival, vertical distribution.


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