The Roles of Food and Water in the Bioaccumulation of Organochlorine Compounds in High Mountain Lake Fish

Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Accés Cala St Francesc, 17300-Blanes, Catalonia, Spain.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 09/2004; 38(16):4269-75. DOI: 10.1021/es040035p
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

An integrated study encompassing the distribution of organochlorine compounds (OC) in water, food web (chironomids, terrestrial insects, cladocerans, mollusks, and cyanobacteria), and fish (brown trout) from a high mountain lake (Redon, Pyrenees) is reported. OC distributions in these compartments have been determined to assess theirtransport routes into fish. Food diets have been estimated by analysis of fish stomach content and food web stable isotopes (delta13C and delta15N). OCs with octanol--water partition coefficient (Kow) higher than 10(6) showed lower concentrations in food than expected from theoretical octanol--water partition, indicating thatthe distribution of these compounds does not reach equilibrium within the life span of the food web organisms (ca. 1 year). On the other hand, the degree of biomagnification in fish increased with Kow, except in the case of the largest compound analyzed (seven chlorine substituents, PCB #180). OC exchange at fish gill and gut has been evaluated using a fugacity model based on the water, food, and fish concentrations. All compounds exhibited a net gill loss and a net gut uptake. A pseudostationary state was only achieved for compounds with log(Kow) < 6. Calculation of fish average residence times for the compounds in apparent steady state gave values of days to a few weeks for HCHs, 1 year for HCB and 4,4'-DDE, and 2-3 years for 4,4'-DDT and PCB#28 and PCB#52. Residence times longer than one decade were found for the more chlorinated PCB.

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    • "Fish are the most common organism sampled for contaminant assessment in mountain lakes (Blais et al. 2006), although they are often alien species to mountain lakes (Miró and Ventura 2013), as most mountain lakes were originally fishless due to their steep outlets, produced by glacial erosion, that fish cannot swim upwards or the lack of outlet in seepage and many volcanic lakes. Contaminants in fish may follow similar altitudinal patterns as in sediments (Grimalt et al. 2001), as they integrate food items from different lake habitats (Catalan et al. 2004). This is not the case for any other kind of organism. "
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    ABSTRACT: Food web structure is a fundamental feature of ecosystems. Stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) are used to estimate the relative contribution of food sources to consumer's diets (e.g., mixing models). 2.In complex food webs, the use of δ15N and δ13C measurements cannot always solve trophic interactions and distinguish among aquatic organisms with different feeding habits if little intra- and inter-specific isotopic differentiation occurs. 3.We have developed a method to characterize trophic relationships using Bayesian stable isotope mixing models in combination with trace metal data as prior information. Trace metal information is useful because of the high correspondence between trace metal profiles in consumers and their food sources, as we show here in an example of concentrations of fish and their expected dietary items. 4.Trace metal concentration allows a more accurate estimation of relative contributions of food sources to consumer species compared to estimates based only on stable isotope values. We show the improvement of the procedure using four freshwater fish species with well-known feeding habits. The method provides a better estimation of the inter- and intra-specific dietary variability and correspondence with the feeding habits of these species. 5.The approach described shows a considerable potential as a tool to assess trophic links in situations in which stable isotope methods are not conclusive. The method can be applied using other compounds that bioaccumulate in consumers (e.g., persistent organic pollutants). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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    • "The specific properties of these pollutants, namely their chemical stability and lipophilicity, has led to their widespread occurrence in all continental ecosystems, including the most remote sites (Grimalt et al., 2001). These properties also involve increasing accumulation along the food chain and highest concentrations in the high predators (Catalan et al., 2004). Bird predators may therefore be used as sentinel organisms of the pollution burden of the food webs that sustain them. "
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    ABSTRACT: The composition of organochlorine compounds (OCs), pentachlorobenzene (PeCB), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), DDTs and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), has been analyzed in eggs from cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and little egret (Egretta garzetta), two species of herons (family Ardeidae), nesting at the same remote riverine environment (Aiguabarreig, Ebro River). These two species were selected to evaluate the importance of diet in the accumulation of OCs. Cattle egret essentially feeds on dry grassy habitats and follow cattle or other large animals whereas little egret feeds on fish, amphibians and crustaceans captured in shallow waters. The δ(15)N and δ(13)C isotopic composition of the sampled eggs was studied and the results were consistent with these species feeding habits. In both species, the compounds accumulated the most were the less volatile and more lipophilic, e.g. PCB congeners of higher chlorination, DDT and metabolites. The distinct foraging species preferences were reflected in significant higher concentrations in little egret than cattle egret of all pollutant groups analysed. These differences were statistically significant for DDTs and PCBs (p < 0.015 and p < 0.047, respectively), e.g. the p,p'-DDE and PCB concentrations were 6 and 4.5 times higher, respectively, in the former than the latter. This strong contrast indicates that in remote environments aquatic riverine ecosystems are more efficient OC reservoirs than the terrestrial ecosystem.
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    • "Fish are suitable sentinel organisms of these pollutants (Grimalt et al., 2001; Catalan et al., 2004). However, adequate species must be selected according to the community structure of each riverine system. "
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    ABSTRACT: European catfish, Silurus glanis, were used as sentinel organisms of the influence of recent and past discharges of organochlorine compounds (OCs) from a chlor-alkali plant located in the Ebro River. The fish concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) and DDTs were very high along the last 100km of the river, including the irrigation channels, e.g. 1.2-27ng/g wet weight of HCB, 6.3-100ng/g ww of PCBs and 1-270ng/g ww of total DDT compounds. These concentrations were much higher than those found upstream from the chlor-alkali discharge site, 0.2ng/g ww for HCB, 5.6ng/g ww for PCBs and 7.5ng/g for DDT compounds. These concentrations were also standing out among those previously described in this fish species. The European catfish collected in sites under lower water flows, Ribarroja reservoir and irrigation channels, showed higher muscle lipid content, 1.09-7.2%, than those from sites of higher current intensities, river bed, 0.27%-0.67%. In these lower water current areas catfish exhibited OC ww concentrations that were correlated to % lipids. These differences suggest that normalization to lipid content is necessary for comparison of the OC accumulation in specimens from riverine systems living under different flow intensities. Accordingly, OC concentrations referred to lipid content showed more uniform downriver distribution which was consistent with a single focal point as main source of these compounds for the European catfish collected in the last 100km of river stretch. This geographic distribution was also consistent with the uniform composition of PCB congeners in the studied European catfish. The distribution of DDT compounds was predominated by 4,4'-DDE which is common in most currently examined fish from aquatic environments. However, it included a high proportion of 4,4'-DDD and 2,4'-DDD which was consistent with the high contribution of benthic organisms from anoxic environments in the diet of these fish.
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