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The decline of the gastropod Nucella lapillus around South-west England: evidence for the effect of tributyltin from antifouling paints
Bryan, G.W.; Gibbs, P.E.; Hummerstone, L.G.; Burt, G.R. (1986). The decline of the gastropod Nucella lapillus around South-west England: evidence for the effect of tributyltin from antifouling paints. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 66(3): 611-640. hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S0025315400042247
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Imposex; Tributyltin; Nucella lapillus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ANE, British Isles, England, Plymouth Sound [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Bryan, G.W.
  • Gibbs, P.E.
  • Hummerstone, L.G.
  • Burt, G.R.

Abstract
    A survey of common dogwhelk around SW England reveals that the incidence of 'imposex', the induction of male sex characters in the female, is widespread, that all populations are affected to some degree and that the phenomenon is most prevalent along the south (Channel) coast. Populations close to centres of boating and shipping activity show the highest degrees of imposex. Within Plymouth Sound the degree of imposex increased markedly between 1969-1985, coinciding with the introduction and increasing usage of antifouling paints containing tributyltin (TBT) compounds. Laboratory experiments show that imposex is readily induced by exposure to 0.02 µg/l of tin leached from a TBT antifouling paint. It is thought that imposex could be initiated in N. lapillus by a concentration of tin, as tributyltin species, as low as 1 ng/l. A reduction in recruitment caused by a lowered reproductive capacity, rather than an increased mortality rate, appears to be responsible for the decline in N. lapillus numbers.

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