New Publication: Effects of pile driving sound playbacks and cadmium co-exposure on the early life stage development of the Norway lobster

Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC) wants to congratulate Craig Stenton, our Acoustician, on publication of his latest paper, ‘Effects of pile driving sound playbacks and cadmium co-exposure on the early life stage development of the Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus’. This is the first paper from his soon-to-be-submitted PhD thesis addressing effects of anthropogenic sound in the context of co-occurring environmental factors, supported by Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot Watt University, and Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS).

Larval Norway lobster (Image courtesy of E.L Bolger)

Anthropogenic sound is a growing concern in marine environments, but is by no means the only challenge facing organisms in our oceans. Yet historically, research has primarily focused on the risks posed by anthropogenic sound in isolation. Here, the effects of anthropogenic sound were expanded into a multi-driver context with the consideration of a co-occurring legacy chemical pollutant. 

Under controlled laboratory conditions, early life stage Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) were exposed to a combination of pile driving playbacks (170 dBpk-pk re 1 μPa) and waterborne cadmium, and effects across multiple levels of their biology assessed.A variety of complex, dependent effects were observed, with pile driving playbacks and cadmium combining both synergistically and antagonistically depending upon cadmium concentration. Pile driving playbacks increased larval mortality at cadmium concentrations > 9.62 μg L−1, but promoted survival below this concentration. Cadmium also resulted in significant delays in larval development, with pile driving playbacks decreasing the concentration at which these delays occurred, with biomarker analysis contributing these detriments to oxidative stress, and highlighting metallothionein (MT) as the predominant protective mechanism. Larval pre-exposures also led to significant differences in the swimming behaviour of juvenile lobsters.

Probability of Norway lobster larval mortality when exposed to pile driving playbacks and cadmium

Juvenile Norway lobster being assessed for escape behaviours (Image courtesy of C.A. Stenton)
Chart, scatter chart

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Escape responses of Norway lobster pre-exposed to pile driving playbacks and cadmium

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