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: 5.33). 04/2006; 40(5):1581-7. DOI: 10.1021/es051800i
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Frank Gobas
  • Source
    • "The accumulation of mercury and PCBs in fish have both been described by bioenergetic modeling (Debruyn and Gobas, 2006; Drouillard et al., 2009; Trudel and Rasmussen, 2006). However, there are key differences in the processes that regulate their bioaccumulation . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fish advisories for polychlorinated biphenyls (total-PCBs) and mercury are often given on a length-specific basis and fish sex is usually not considered. The relationship between concentration and length is well established for mercury, however its suitability for total-PCBs and the influence of sex over the large scale covered by most monitoring programs is not well known. Here we use what is perhaps the largest consistent sport fish contaminant dataset to evaluate the relationship between total-PCB/mercury and length and sex. We evaluated seven of the most commonly consumed fishes from the Canadian Great Lakes and two Ontario (Canada) inland lakes. For mercury, the relationship between concentration and length was significant (p<0.05) in most fish species and locations. For total-PCB, this relationship was also generally significant in Chinook salmon and lake trout, which are the species with the most advisories for this compound. In contrast, significant relationships were found less often for whitefish, northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, and especially yellow perch. However, mercury usually drives fish consumption advisories for these species. Overall, our results support the protocol of issuing contaminant advice on a length-specific basis in fish monitoring programs with reasonable confidence when at least a moderate number of samples over the natural size range of a species are included in the analysis. Sex differences were common for walleye (males>females, p<0.05) but not other species, suggesting that an equal number of male and female walleye should be used in deriving fish advisories for walleye.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Environment international
  • Source
    • "comparatively high TL, may either uptake or excrete PBDEs at different rates compared to the other organisms studied. Debruyn and Gobas (2006) found that squid display a high growth dilution rate. However, this cannot explain the pattern observed here as it appears to be specific to PBDEs, but not the other compounds measured in this study. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and naturally-produced organobrominated compounds, such as methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs), have been scarcely studied in the Southern Hemisphere. Yet, sources of the latter group of compounds were found in Southern regions, specifically in Australia. The environmental distribution and biomagnification potential of organobrominated compounds were therefore investigated in a representative aquatic food chain (invertebrates and fish) from the Sydney Harbour, Australia. Mean PBDE concentrations ranged from 6.4 ng/g lipid weight (lw) in squid to 115 ng/g lw in flounder. BDE 47 was the dominant congener, followed by BDE 100. Mean levels of MeO-PBDEs (sum of congeners 2’-MeO-BDE 68 and 6-MeO-BDE 47) were as high as 110 ng/g lw in tailor, with a slight dominance of 2’-MeO-BDE 68. Polybrominated hexahydroxanthene derivates (PBHDs), another class of naturally-produced compounds, were found at variable concentrations and ranged from 4.7 ng/g lw in fanbelly and 146 ng/g lw in tailor. The tribrominated PBHD isomer dominated in the samples, except for luderick and squid. The lower levels of PBDEs found in luderick from the harbour compared to those obtained from the upper Parramatta River indicated a terrestrial (anthropogenic) origin of PBDEs, while the higher levels of MeO-PBDEs and PBHDs in the samples from the harbour confirmed the marine (natural) origin of these compounds. The highest trophic magnification factor (TMF) was found for sum PBDEs (3.9), while TMFs for sum MeO-PBDEs and sum PBHDs were 2.9 and 3.4, respectively. This suggests that biomagnification occurs in the studied aquatic food chain for anthropogenic brominated compounds, but also for the naturally-produced organobromines.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Environment international
  • Lange · H.J · J. Lahr · Pol · J.J.C · J.H. Faber

    No preview · Article ·
Show more