Abstract The combined effects of different salinity and temperature levels on the toxicity of Arsenic (As) were studied on the embryonic development of the oyster Crassostrea gigas. A standardized embryotoxicity test was performed to assess the interactive effects of these stressors, in a full factorial design experiment including a range of salinities (15, 19, 24, 28 and 32), temperatures (16, 20, 24, 28 and 32°C) and As concentrations (100, 300, 600, 1200, 2400µgL−1). The embryotoxicity endpoint was about the determination of normal larvae development rates at various conditions, and median effect concentration (EC50) determination for each As exposure condition. Results showed that toxicity induced by As was characterized by retardation of embryonic development observing toxic effects at lower concentrations than previously reported studies. The presence of As in seawater resulted in a narrower range of tolerance to both salinity and temperature. These findings bring new insights on the impacts of a common contaminant on an important shellfish species having a planktonic early life stage development, with potential implications for population survival and ecosystem functioning in a changing environment. Highlights Salinity and temperature can stress early developmental stages of marine organisms. We observed As effects on oyster embryos at changing salinities (15–32) and temperatures (16–32°C). Low salinities and temperatures reduced the tolerance of embryos to As. Retarded embryos prevailed on normally developed or malformed ones.
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