An analysis of the effects of crude and fuel oil on the mortality of herring eggs using Bayesian meta-analysis techniques

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012094849
Title: An analysis of the effects of crude and fuel oil on the mortality of herring eggs using Bayesian meta-analysis techniques
Author: Raubenheimer, Marie-Claire
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012094849
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/322575
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Ympäristömuutoksen ja globaalin kestävyyden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability
Magisterprogrammet i miljöförändringar och global hållbarhet
Specialisation: Ympäristömuutos
Environmental Change
Miljöförändring
Abstract: Oil spillages represent a serious environmental hazard for flora and fauna of marine and coastal ecosystems. Though marine oil spills have decreased since the 1970s, the increasing production of petroleum goods remains a potential source of pollution due to its use and transportation. When aquatic organisms, including fish, are exposed to toxic oil compounds, this can cause sublethal morphological changes and increase mortality. In this context, herring have been frequently studied, and results suggest that particularly herrings eggs and larvae are highly susceptible to oil toxicity. In this thesis, a Bayesian meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of crude and fuel oil on the mortality of herring eggs from the genus Clupea. Observations from laboratory studies, collected during a literature review, served as input for the statistical analysis. To this end, Bayesian inference modeling was applied to generate posterior probability distributions for additional mortality caused by exposure to oil mixtures. Also, oil concentration, oil type, exposure time, and temperature were analyzed to study possible correlations with mortality impacts. The results of this study suggest that acute mortality of exposed herring eggs is similar to mortality observed for individuals exposed to only small concentrations or none at all. Of all evaluated oil types, medium grade crude oil caused the most significant change in instantaneous mortality with increasing oil concentration. Generally, distinct oil types had a greater influence on mortality outcomes than temperatures at the given concentrations. For the lowest temperatures, some correlations for increased mortality were found. Overall, the unexplained variability between the reviewed studies has a relatively small influence on mortality outcomes. In conclusion, the mortality of exposed herrings eggs is most likely delayed due to sublethal effects, rather than immediate, at the modeled concentrations. Altogether, uncertainty amongst the posterior probability distributions is high, indicating a wide possibility range for the monitored parameters' actual values. The reasons for elevated uncertainty likely stem from diverse experimental setups, biological differences between tested species, relatively small sample sizes, and model-related issues. Thus, future research could consider additional variables, information from observational studies and other fish species to reduce uncertainty in mortality outcomes.
Subject: Bayesian
meta-analysis
oil
pollution
herring
mortality
petroleum
hydrocarbon


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