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Endocrine active contaminants in aquatic systems and intersex in common sport fishes

November 15, 2016

Male fish are susceptible to developing intersex, a condition characterized by the presence of testicular oocytes. In the present study, the relationship between intersex and exposure to estrogenic endocrine active contaminants (EACs) was assessed for 2 genera of sport fish, Micropterus and Lepomis, at 20 riverine sites. Seasonal trends and relationships between EACs and intersex (prevalence and severity) were examined at varying putative sources of EACs throughout North Carolina, identified as point sources, nonpoint sources, and reference sites. Intersex was identified in both genera, which was documented for the first time in wild-caught Lepomis. Intersex was more prevalent (59.8%) and more severe (1.6 mean rank) in Micropterus, which was highly correlation to EACs in sediment. In contrast, intersex was less common (9.9%) and less severe (0.2 mean rank) in Lepomis and was highly correlated to EACs in the water column. The authors found that concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, industrial EACs, and estrogens were highest at point source sites; however, no source type variation was identified in the prevalence or severity of intersex, nor were there seasonal trends in intersex or EAC concentrations. The authors’ results associate genus-specific prevalence of intersex with specific EAC classes in common sport fishes having biological, ecological, and conservation implications.

Publication Year 2017
Title Endocrine active contaminants in aquatic systems and intersex in common sport fishes
DOI 10.1002/etc.3607
Authors Crystal S. D. Lee Pow, J. Mac Law, Thomas J. Kwak, W. Gregory Cope, James A. Rice, Seth W. Kullman, D. Derek Aday
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Index ID 70178352
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta