Meeting Abstract

60.6  Saturday, Jan. 5  The Effects of River Sediment Contaminants and Moderate Hypoxia on the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) in the Tidal Freshwater James River WILLIAMS, L.E.*; DEFUR, P.L.; Virginia Commonwealth University; Virginia Commonwealth University lewgirl4@yahoo.com

Juvenile male blue crabs move into the freshwater James River during warmer months to feed and grow by undergoing molting. In crustaceans, growth and molting are hormonally controlled and the juvenile molting crab is a life stage sensitive to chemicals found in the James River benthos. This set of experiments looks at the effects of multiple stressors, including moderate hypoxia and sediment contaminants. The physiological effects of a multiple stressor environment are determined by comparing the blue crab’s basal oxygen uptake to the oxygen uptake after exposure to pure sand, James River sediment, or Endosulfan-spiked sediments. The effect of these multiple stressors on molting is measured by activity of an enzyme in the epidermal tissue important to molting: N-acetyl-&beta-glucosaminidase.