Since the end of the 1980s, white shrimps (Palaemon longirostris) from the Gironde estuary have exhibited exoskeletal malformations, mainly involving cephalothorax, rostrum, scaphocerites and uropods. An 8-month study was carried out in 2015. Each month, 200 individuals were sampled and examined for exoskeletal malformations. Temporal variations in malformation frequency were noted, particularly during the breeding period, along with decreases in the size of non-deformed shrimps related to the appearance of juveniles in breeding sites, and high mortality among deformed shrimps. A significant increase in proportions of deformed shrimp was observed, relating particularly to the size (and therefore the age) of individuals. No significant difference was found between shrimp proportions with different numbers of malformations (one to four) for a fixed size class, nor was there any variation in proportions within different size classes for a fixed number of malformations. This would appear to indicate that the number of malformations is acquired and new malformations do not seem to appear during the life cycle, except for the smallest (youngest) shrimps. The malformation spectrum showed no significant differences between the biggest and smallest individuals for the different malformation associations, except for those involving cephalothorax, rostrum and uropods. This would suggest that some malformation associations lead to a higher mortality rate in shrimps subjected to them, due to greater impairment of feeding and/or swimming behaviour. Multiple component analysis of the different types of malformation showed correlations between exoskeletal pieces (rostrum and cephalothorax) and appendixes (scaphocerites and uropods). Regarding metal contamination in shrimp, no significant difference was highlighted between deformed and non-deformed shrimps. Organic pollutants were not measured in tissues. Certain herbicides such as metolachlore and chlortoluron were detected at high concentrations in the Gironde estuary during the breeding period corresponding to the higher occurrence of exoskeletal malformations.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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