Date of Award

Fall 1990

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

John R. McConaugha

Committee Member

Cynthia M. Jones

Committee Member

Ray Alden

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35W543


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as naphthalene (Nap) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) are common in the water column and sediments of estuarine and coastal areas. The mud crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii was exposed to varying concentrations of Nap or B[a]P to determine the effects on reproductive success, embryological development, larval physiology and mortality. Nap and B[a]P decreased hatching success and prolonged embryological development. Both pollutants produced high abnormality frequencies for egg exposed larvae. Molt frequency and respiratory rates of larvae from non-exposed eggs were more chronically affected by these pollutants than were egg exposed larvae. The EC50 concentrations were determined for hatching success (B[a]P - 6.12 ppb) and larval abnormalities (B[a]P - 0.348 ppb; Nap - 78.98 ppb). The LC50 concentrations were determined for larvae in larval (B[a]P - 9.05 ppb), egg and larval (B[a]P - 13.28 ppb) and egg only (B[a]P - 33.46 ppb) exposure groups.


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