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The Decline of the Gastropod Nucella Lapillus Around South-West England: Evidence for the Effect of Tributyltin from Antifouling Paints

  • G. W. Bryan (a1), P. E. Gibbs (a1), L. G. Hummerstone (a1) and G. R. Burt (a1)

A survey of the gastropod Nucella lapillus around the south-west peninsula of England has revealed that the incidence of ‘imposex’, the induction of male sex characters in the female, is widespread, that all populations are affected to some degree and that the phenomenon is most prevalent along the south (Channel) coast. Populations close to centres of boating and shipping activity show the highest degrees of imposex, especially those within the vicinities of the Helford, Fal, Salcombe and Dart estuaries and in Plymouth Sound and Tor Bay. Within Plymouth Sound the degree of imposex increased markedly between 1969 and 1985, coinciding with the introduction and increasing usage of antifouling paints containing tributyltin (TBT) compounds.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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