Contrasting time trends of organic contaminants in Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs

Alterra, Wageningen UR, Box 47, NL-6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Marine Pollution Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.99). 09/2010; 62(1):128-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.09.002
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Several researchers have reported the occurrence of PBDEs in biota from the Antarctica (Borghesi et al., 2008, 2009; Corsolini et al., 2006; Goutte et al., 2013; Hale et al., 2008; van den Brink et al., 2011; Yogui and Sericano, 2009); however, the data cannot be compared among different studies because of inconsistent units. Goutte et al. detected PBDEs in 9 of the 30 analyzed biological samples (starfish, Antarctic yellowbelly rock cod, Antarctic krill, egg of snow petrel, and bald notothen) collected from Pointe Géologie Archipelago, Adélie Land, Antarctica, and BDE-47 was predominant in two upper trophic level species, the snow petrel and the Antarctic yellowbelly rockcod (Goutte et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), are frequently detected in biota from Antarctica, whereas no data are available for their replacements, such as novel flame retardants (N-FRs). This study presented the occurrence of several N-FRs, PBDEs, and PCBs in tissue samples of an Antarctic rock cod (Trematomus bernacchii), a young gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), and a brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus) collected from King George Island. The total concentrations of N-FRs (ΣN-FRs; mean: 931pg/g dry weight (dw)) were comparable to PBDEs (Σ8PBDEs; 681pg/gdw), which were much lower than PCBs (ΣDL-PCBs; 12,800pg/gdw). Overall, skua contained two to three orders of magnitude higher contamination than penguin and fish. In the future, more attention should be focused on the fate of N-FRs in Antarctica, where usages have increased since PBDEs were banned. To our knowledge, this is the first report of N-FRs in biota from Antarctica. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Marine Pollution Bulletin
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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. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Marine Pollution Bulletin
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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). "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Chemosphere
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