Article

A bioenergetic biomagnification model for the animal kingdom.

School of Resource & Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 04/2006; 40(5):1581-7. DOI: 10.1021/es051800i
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Species vary greatly in the degree to which they accumulate dietary contaminants. Bioenergetic processes play a key role in chemical uptake and elimination, and interspecific variation in bioaccumulation can be attributed in large part to variation in how species feed, digest, and allocate energy. We present a quantitative treatment of this relationship for the entire animal kingdom. We derive a model to predict the biomagnification factor for nonmetabolizable, slowly eliminated chemicals, BMF(max). We test the model with observed biomagnification factors and independently derived bioenergetic parameters for a diverse suite of species, including herbivores and carnivores, heterotherms and homeotherms, vertebrates and invertebrates, adults and juveniles, domestic/laboratory animals and wild individuals from freshwater, marine, and terrestrial environments. The model successfully predicts species-specific BMF(max) values across this range of taxa, with values ranging from less than 1 in caterpillars to nearly 100 in some carnivores. In addition, we make novel predictions of BMF(max) for several taxa for which no measured bioaccumulation data are available. Our analysis provides new insights into the role of ecology in chemical dynamics across the animal kingdom, providing a general framework for understanding how characteristics of an organism and its ecological context influence the degree to which that organism accumulates chemicals present in its diet.

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