Contrasting time trends of organic contaminants in Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs
ABSTRACT We demonstrate that pelagic Antarctic seabirds show significant decreases in concentrations of some persistent organic pollutants. Trends in Adélie penguins and Southern fulmars fit in a general pattern revealed by a broad literature review. Downward trends are also visible in pelagic fish, contrasting sharply with steady or increasing concentrations in Antarctic benthic organisms. Transfer of contaminants between Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs is associated with seasonal sea-ice dynamics which may influence the balance between the final receptors of contaminants under different climatic conditions. This complicates the predictability of future trends of emerging compounds in the Antarctic ecosystem, such as of the brominated compounds that we detected in Antarctic petrels. The discrepancy in trends between pelagic and benthic organisms shows that Antarctic biota are still final receptors of globally released organic contaminants and it remains questionable whether the total environmental burden of contaminants in the Antarctic ecosystem is declining.
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- "In that context, production of the penta-and octa-PBDE formulations ceased in the European Union and North America in 2004, but deca-PBDE is still produced and used. Few studies have recently described PBDEs levels in Antarctic fish, seabirds and benthic organisms (Borghesi et al., 2008, 2009; Corsolini et al., 2006; Hale et al., 2008; Yogui and Sericano, 2009; van den Brink et al., 2011), and the current state of knowledge remains scarce in the Antarctic region. "
ABSTRACT: The concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) were described in benthic and pelagic species collected off Adélie Land, Antarctica. Strong differences were observed among species, with reduced PeCB and HCB levels in benthic species, and elevated PCB levels in the Antarctic yellowbelly rockcod, the Antarctic sea urchin and the snow petrel. Lower-chlorinated congeners were predominant in krill; penta-PCBs in benthic organisms; hexa- and hepta-PCBs in seabirds and cryopelagic fish. This segregation may result from sedimentation process, specific accumulation and excretion, and/or biotransformation processes. The presence of PBDEs in Antarctic coastal organisms may originate from atmospheric transport and partly from a contamination by local sources. Although POP levels in Antarctic marine organisms were substantially lower than in Arctic and temperate organisms, very little is known about their toxic effects on these cold-adapted species, with high degree of endemism.Marine Pollution Bulletin 11/2013; 77(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.10.027 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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- "As a consequence, several bird species suffered declines in their populations (Mora et al., 1993; Henny and Elliott, 2007). Such environmental risks have led to the ban of use of most of these compounds and a subsequent decrease of their concentrations both in the environment and bird tissues (Bustnes et al., 2007; García-Fernández et al., 2008; van den Brink et al., 2011). However, due to their high persistence and ability to bioaccumulate and biomagnificate through the trophic chain, environmental concentrations of these compounds may still be important and exert potential risks (van den Steen et al., 2009). "
ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine insecticides (OCs) were analysed in 58 Eurasian Eagle owl (Bubo bubo) unhatched eggs collected between 2004 and 2009 in Southeastern Spain. Levels of p,p'-DDE were found to be higher than in eggs laid by other European owls in the same decade, probably due to the greater agricultural activity in our study area. Compared to other European raptors, exposure to PCBs can be considered intermediate, but low to PBDEs. Land use differences and prey availability were the rationale to divide the study area in two subareas in further assessments. Temporal trends of HCB, p,p'-DDE, β-HCH, PCBs and PBDEs were significantly different in each subarea, generally increasing over time in the Southern but decreasing or remaining stable in the Northern. On the contrary, levels of cyclodienes tended to decrease in both subareas. Dietary shifts with a greater amount of birds are suggested as a cause for increasing organochlorine loads in raptors. This may explain the increasing trend in the Southern territories. However, due to the proximity of most of these nests to Cartagena, an important industrial city, increasing environmental pollution cannot be ruled out. Although average levels of the compounds analysed are below threshold levels, 17% of the samples exceeded 400 pg g(-1)ww (wet weight), the LOAEC for Total TEQs. Moreover, a negative correlation between TEQ concentrations and the metabolizable fraction of PCBs (F(prob)=0.0018) was found when TEQs values were above 10 pg g(-1)ww. This could be indicative of hepatic enzymes induction in the birds exposed at higher concentrations, which are mainly breeding in the Southern subarea. These females could be suffering from Ah-receptor-related toxic effects, some of which have been related to altered bird reproduction. Finally, a significant negative correlation between p,p'-DDE levels and eggshell thickness (r=-0.469, p<0.001) was observed, with about 17% of eggshell thinning for eggs with p,p'-DDE levels above 100 μg g(-1)lw. The persistence of this degree of thinning over a period of time has been related to population declines in other raptor species.Chemosphere 04/2012; 88(8):903-11. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.03.014 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been frequently measured throughout the Southern Ocean food web for which little information is available to assess the potential risks of POP exposure. The current study evaluated the toxicological sensitivity of a key Southern Ocean species, Antarctic krill, to aqueous exposure of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE). Behavioural endpoints were used as indicators of sublethal toxicity. Immediate behavioural responses (partial immobility and tail flicking) most likely reflect neurotoxicity, while the p,p'-DDE body residue causing a median level of sublethal toxicity in Antarctic krill following 96h exposure (IEC50(sublethal toxicity)=3.9±0.21mmol/kg lipid weight) is comparable to those known to cause sublethal narcosis in temperate aquatic species. Critical body residues (CBRs) were more reproducible across tests than effective seawater concentrations. These findings support the concept of the CBR approach, that effective tissue residues are comparable across species and geographical ranges despite differences in environmental factors.Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 09/2011; 75(1):163-70. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2011.09.005 · 2.48 Impact Factor