Title

Occurrence and Potential Impacts of Organic UV Filters in Acropora cervicornis

Presenter Information

Megan M. KennedyFollow

Start

2-24-2022 9:30 AM

End

2-24-2022 9:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Organic UV filters have been detected in seawater, typically in the ng to ug/L ranges, and are present in the tissues of aquatic organisms highlighting uptake and a potential environmental risk from exposure. Few studies have measured UV filter concentrations in seawater near coral reefs and despite scientific and societal concern, only two studies have examined the presence of UV filters in coral tissues. Both of these studies measured a variety of UV filters with detection frequencies between 82-100% and 65-100% in coral tissue samples (ng/g dw or ww), and 63-100% and 60-100% in seawater samples (ng/L range) from Hawaii and the South China Sea respectively. Neither study provided information on the health of the corals sampled or an overall health status of corals at the collection sites. Previous laboratory studies with one UV filter, oxybenzone, has suggested detrimental effects on coral development and consequences to coral reproduction. This study is designed to address the knowledge gap between environmentally relevant UV filter exposures and effects on a key element of coral health, namely reproductive health. This will be achieved by evaluating the presence of UV filters in matched seawater and coral tissue samples and relating UV filter concentrations observed to the reproductive health (fecundity) of the endangered staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), a keystone species in the Florida reef tract and throughout the Caribbean. This will be the first study to provide data regarding UV filter concentrations in corals in the continental United States, as well as the first to examine the potential effects of environmental UV filter exposure on coral fecundity. The insights gained will provide critical support for regulatory policies and management decisions concerning UV filters, as well as create a foundation for future research in this new and emerging field of coral toxicology.

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Feb 24th, 9:30 AM Feb 24th, 9:45 AM

Occurrence and Potential Impacts of Organic UV Filters in Acropora cervicornis

Organic UV filters have been detected in seawater, typically in the ng to ug/L ranges, and are present in the tissues of aquatic organisms highlighting uptake and a potential environmental risk from exposure. Few studies have measured UV filter concentrations in seawater near coral reefs and despite scientific and societal concern, only two studies have examined the presence of UV filters in coral tissues. Both of these studies measured a variety of UV filters with detection frequencies between 82-100% and 65-100% in coral tissue samples (ng/g dw or ww), and 63-100% and 60-100% in seawater samples (ng/L range) from Hawaii and the South China Sea respectively. Neither study provided information on the health of the corals sampled or an overall health status of corals at the collection sites. Previous laboratory studies with one UV filter, oxybenzone, has suggested detrimental effects on coral development and consequences to coral reproduction. This study is designed to address the knowledge gap between environmentally relevant UV filter exposures and effects on a key element of coral health, namely reproductive health. This will be achieved by evaluating the presence of UV filters in matched seawater and coral tissue samples and relating UV filter concentrations observed to the reproductive health (fecundity) of the endangered staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), a keystone species in the Florida reef tract and throughout the Caribbean. This will be the first study to provide data regarding UV filter concentrations in corals in the continental United States, as well as the first to examine the potential effects of environmental UV filter exposure on coral fecundity. The insights gained will provide critical support for regulatory policies and management decisions concerning UV filters, as well as create a foundation for future research in this new and emerging field of coral toxicology.