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Impaired reproduction in three spined sticklebacks exposed to ethinylestradiol as juveniles

Maunder, Richard J.; Matthiessen, Peter; Sumpter, John P.; Pottinger, Tom G.. 2006 Impaired reproduction in three spined sticklebacks exposed to ethinylestradiol as juveniles. In: Winfield, Ian J., (ed.) Fisheries on the edge. Proceedings of the Institute of Fisheries Management Conference. Nottingham, Institute of Fisheries Management, 140-153.

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Abstract/Summary

Widespread concern regarding the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on fish has increased over the past decade. Male fish exposed to estrogenic chemicals in the wild or under laboratory conditions have been shown to undergo varying degrees of feminisation. The most widely reported effects of exposure to estrogenic chemicals are vitellogenin induction, gonadal intersex, subdued reproductive behaviour or altered sperm characteristics. While it may be intuitive to suggest that effects such as these in the individual fish would cause population-level changes, actually conducting experiments to investigate this issue has proved difficult. However, it is these types of study which need to be addressed if the long term ecological significance of the individual-level effects are to be identified. To tackle this problem, we have used mesocosms to assess the reproductive performance of free-spawning 3-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) exposed, as juveniles, to a model estrogen (ethynylestradiol). Results clearly demonstrate that groups of estrogen-exposed fish built fewer nests and produced fewer viable eggs than their unexposed siblings. These findings raise concerns about the ability of endocrine disrupting chemicals to cause alterations in populations of wild fish.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
CEH Sections: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
Additional Keywords: endocrine disruption, stickleback, estrogen
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 08 Sep 2015 15:19 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511597

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