Naiara Berrojalbiz

Institut Marqués, Spain, Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (20)73.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) were measured in plankton samples from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans collected during the Malaspina circumnavigation cruise. The concentrations of PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs in plankton averaged 14 and 240 pg gdw-1, respectively, but concentrations were highly variable. The global distribution of PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs was not driven by proximity to continents, but significantly correlated with plankton biomass, with higher plankton phase PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations at lower biomass. These trends are consistent with the interactions between atmospheric deposition, biomass dilution, and settling fluxes of organic matter in the water column (biological pump), as key processes driving POPs plankton phase concentrations in the global oceans. The application of a model of the air-water-plankton diffusive exchange reproduces in part the influence of biomass on plankton phase concentrations, and suggests future modelling priorities. The estimated oceanic sink (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans) due to settling fluxes of organic matter bound PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs is of 400 Kg y-1 and 10500 Kg y-1, respectively. The atmospheric inputs due to gross diffusive absorption and dry deposition are nearly 3 and 10 times larger, for PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs respectively, than the oceanic sink. These observations suggest that the coupling of atmospheric deposition with water column cycling supports and drives the accumulation of dl-PCBs and PCDD/Fs in plankton from the global oligotrophic oceans.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Apr 2015
  • Belen Gonzalez-Gaya · Begoña JImenez · Naiara Berrojalbiz · Jordi Dachs
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    ABSTRACT: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are organic pollutants generated during incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and organic matter. They cause carcinogenic and toxic effects in biota, and have been proved to be harmful for ecosystems. Moreover, PAHs are ubiquitous in the environment and show increasing levels in some regions due to growing anthropogenic sources. The global ocean has been pointed to hold a strong degradation capacity for these compounds, but it is still necessary to assess the entry and fate of PAHs in the ocean and how it is coupled to the biodegradation processes occurring in the surface oceans. Atmospheric deposition is the main vector for the entrance of semivolatile organic compounds to the global oceans. High MW PAHs are mainly found in the aerosol phase due to their strong sorption to aerosol soot carbon and low vapor pressure. Therefore, high MW PAHs are mainly settled by dry deposition. Conversely, low MW PAHs, the more volatile compounds, are mainly found in the gas-phase, and diffusive air-water exchange is the main process driving their deposition to the surface ocean, supplying bioavailable PAHs to surface waters. Dry deposition fluxes have been measured, and diffusive fluxes have been estimated from air and water concentrations, for all sub- and tropical oceans (35ºN- 40ºS) during the Malaspina 2010 circumnavigation cruise in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Both processes depend on physical factors (temperature, wind, humidity, aerosols loadings), chemical properties of PAHs, and biogeochemical controls like biodegradation and the biological pump (processes of sequestration in the water column due to adsorption to organic particles and sinking). Those biological processes may be responsible of unbalancing the equilibrium between air and water concentrations, and thus affect PAHs entrance in the ocean; nevertheless few studies have addressed them. Here, we show that biodegradation of low MW PAHs by zooplankton and bacteria play an important role driving the water column PAH concentrations, while settling fluxes towards deep waters plays an important role for high MW PAHs. Therefore a complex feedback is established between depositional fluxes and degradation/bioadsorption processes and will be reviewed in this poster. These results are the most extensive data set available for the global ocean and provide evidence of the important physical and biological controls on PAH occurrence and cycling in oceanic regions.
    No preview · Conference Paper · May 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The Mediterranean and Black Seas are unique marine environments subject to important anthropogenic pressures due to direct and indirect loads of atmospheric inputs of organochlorine compounds (OCl) from primary and secondary sources. Here we report the results obtained during two east-west sampling cruises in June 2006 and May 2007 from Barcelona to Istanbul and Alexandria, respectively, where gas phase and aerosol samples were collected. Both matrices were analyzed for 41 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), including dioxin-like congeners, and hexachlorobencene (HCB). The values reported in this study for gas phase HCB and ∑41PCB (LOD to 418.3 pg m-3 and from 81.99 to 931.6 pg m-3 respectively) are in the same range of those reported in former studies, possibly suggesting a limited decline in their atmospheric concentrations during the last decade for the Mediterranean region due to land base OCl sources. There is a clear influence of the direction of the air-mass on the atmospheric concentrations of PCBs, with higher concentrations when the air mass was from southern Europe, and the lowest concentrations for air masses coming from the SW Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean. PCBs and HCB are close to air-water equilibrium for most sampling periods, thus resulting in low atmospheric deposition fluxes at open sea. This is consistent with the oligotrophic character of the Mediterranean Sea with a small influence of the biological pump capturing atmospheric PCBs. Therefore, degradation of gas-phase PCBs by OH radicals is estimated to be the main loss process of atmospheric PCBs during their transport over the Mediterranean Sea. Conversely, atmospheric residence times of HCB are predicted to be very long due to a lack of atmospheric degradation and low depositional fluxes due to concentrations at air-water equilibrium.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    Javier Castro Jimenez · Naiara Berrojalbiz · Mariana Pizarro · Jordi Dachs
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of organophosphate ester (OPE) flame retardants and plasticizers has been confirmed for the first time in the atmosphere over the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Atmospheric aerosol samples were collected during two West-East oceanographic cruises across the Mediterranean and in the South-West Black Sea. This comprehensive assessment of baseline concentrations of aerosol phase OPE, spatial distribution and related deposition fluxes reveals levels ranging from 0.4 to 6.0 ng m-3 for the ∑14OPEs and a lack of significant differences among sub-basins. Levels measured across the Mediterranean Sea and in the Black Sea are in the upper range or higher than those from previous reports for the marine atmosphere, presumably due to proximity to sources. From 13 to 260 tons of OPEs are estimated to be annually loaded to the Mediterranean Sea open waters from the atmosphere. Tris-(1-chloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TCPP) was the most abundant compound over the atmosphere of all the Mediterranean and Black Sea sub-basins, and therefore the chemical reaching surface waters at a higher extent by dry deposition. The atmospheric deposition fluxes of phosphorus due to OPE deposition is a significant fraction of known atmospheric inputs of organic P, suggesting the relevant role that anthropogenic organic pollutants could play in the P cycle.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: In this chapter a compilation of existing atmospheric concentration data and related deposition fluxes of organic contaminants in the Mediterranean Sea (far from the shore line) are presented. We have emphasized in compiling and discussing available data at open sea and background coastal sites which are most often scarce, but very valuable. The main objectives of this work were (a) to establish base line atmospheric concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) over the open Mediterranean Sea and to assess their spatial variability and potential sources based on existing data; (b) to estimate a total atmospheric load of POPs and related compounds at open sea based on most recent reported data. This literature review reveals that there is still a general lack of data on POPs and related contaminants in the atmosphere over the Mediterranean Sea as well as on their deposition fluxes, in particular at open sea. This data scarcity is more pronounced for organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). This situation could have been motivated in part by the fact that existing national and international regulations and programmes dealing with marine pollution control and monitoring have relegated the atmospheric pathway to a second tier, if considered at all. The.
    Full-text · Chapter · Nov 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The cycling of Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) have been studied in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. Concentrations of HCHs and HCB were measured simultaneously in the atmosphere (gas and aerosol phases), seawater (dissolved and particulate phases), and phytoplankton. The atmospheric concentrations of HCHs decrease during transport over the Greenland Current with estimated e-folding times of 1.6 days, a trend not observed for HCB. This strong decrease in atmospheric concentrations of HCH is consistent with the estimated atmospheric depositional fluxes driven by the air-water disequilibrium. The removal of HCHs from the surface ocean by the degradative pump due to hydrolysis and microbial degradation, and by the biological pump due to settling of particle-associated HCHs are estimated; the removal fluxes are within a factor of two of the atmospheric inputs for most sampling events, suggesting an important role of the degradative pump in the overall oceanic sink of HCHs. Conversely, the lack of degradation of HCB in surface waters, and its relatively low hydrophobicity, implies a lack of effective removal processes, consistent with the observed air and water concentrations close to equilibrium. This work is the first that estimate the relative importance of the biological and degradative pumps on the atmospheric deposition of the less persistent organic pollutants, and points out the need for further research for quantifying the magnitude of degradative processes in the environment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: The Southern Ocean is one of the most pristine environments in the world but is nonetheless affected by inputs of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In the present work we report the concentrations of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and 26 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) congeners in seawater and phytoplankton from samples obtained during three Antarctic cruises in 2005, 2008 and 2009. The levels of PCBs, HCHs and HCB are low in comparison to the few previous reports for this region and studies from other oceans. The long term decline of POP concentrations in the Southern Ocean seawater since early 1980 is consistent with half-lives of 3.4 and 5.7 years for HCHs and PCBs, respectively. There is a large variability of PCBs, HCHs and HCB concentrations in water and phytoplankton within the Bransfield Strait, South Scotia, Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas that masks the differences between the studied Seas. However, the variability of PCBs concentrations in phytoplankton is significantly correlated with phytoplankton biomass with lower concentrations in the most productive waters. This trend is more apparent for the more hydrophobic congeners consistent with the role of settling fluxes of organic matter decreasing the concentrations of hydrophobic POPs in productive waters. The present work reports the most extensive dataset on concentrations in seawater and phytoplankton for the Southern Ocean, and points out to the important biogeochemical drivers, such as settling and degradation, influencing the occurrence of POPs in the ocean.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: Semivolatile persistent organic pollutants have the potential to reach remote environments, such as the Arctic Ocean, through atmospheric transport and deposition. Here we show that this transport of polychlorinated biphenyls to the Arctic Ocean is strongly retarded by the oceanic biological pump. A simultaneous sampling of atmospheric, seawater and plankton samples was performed in July 2007 in the Greenland Current and Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean. The atmospheric concentrations declined during atmospheric transport over the Greenland Current with estimated half-lives of 1-4 days. These short half-lives can be explained by the high air-to-water net diffusive flux, which is similar in magnitude to the estimated settling fluxes in the water column. Therefore, the decrease of atmospheric concentrations is due to sequestration of atmospheric polychlorinated biphenyls by enhanced air-water diffusive fluxes driven by phytoplankton uptake and organic carbon settling fluxes (biological pump).
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Nature Communications
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    Javier Castro-Jiménez · Naiara Berrojalbiz · Jan Wollgast · Jordi Dachs

    Full-text · Dataset · Mar 2012
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    Javier Castro-Jiménez · Naiara Berrojalbiz · Jan Wollgast · Jordi Dachs
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    ABSTRACT: ∑(30)PAH gas phase concentrations (13-86 and 22-40 ng m(-3) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, respectively) dominated the atmospheric levels due to the high contribution of phenanthrene, dibenzothiophene and their alkylated derivates. The high variability of PAH atmospheric concentrations in the different sub-basins is due to several factors (i.e. air-mass trajectory, proximity to sources and losses by deposition). The ∑(30)PAH atmospheric deposition (dominated by low MW PAH net air-water diffusive fluxes) is estimated to be ~3100 ton y(-1) (Mediterranean) and ~500 ton y(-1) (Black Sea). Net volatilization for certain PAHs was estimated. Deposition fluxes (1-2 orders of magnitude higher than reported PAH settling fluxes in the water column) confirm an important depletion/sink of water column PAH in the photic zone, especially for low MW PAHs. Degradation processes in the water column may be responsible for this decoupling. Conversely, high MW PAHs dry deposition fluxes are similar to their settling fluxes.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Environmental Pollution
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    ABSTRACT: The Mediterranean and Black Seas are unique marine environments subject to important anthropogenic pressures due to atmospheric and riverine inputs of organic pollutants. They include regions of different physical and trophic characteristics, which allow the studying of the controls on pollutant occurrence and fate under different conditions in terms of particles, plankton biomass, interactions with the atmosphere, biodegradation, and their dependence on the pollutant physical chemical properties. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been measured in samples of seawater (dissolved and particulate phases) and plankton during two east-west sampling cruises in June 2006 and May 2007. The concentrations of dissolved PAHs were higher in the south-western Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean than in the Western Mediterranean, reflecting different pollutant loads, trophic conditions and cycling. Particle and plankton phase PAH concentrations were higher when lower concentrations of suspended particles and biomass occurred, with apparent differences due to the PAH physical chemical properties. The surface PAH particle phase concentrations decreased when the total suspended particles (TSP) increased for the higher molecular weight (MW) compounds, consistent with controls due to particle settling depletion of water column compounds and dilution. Conversely, PAH concentrations in plankton decreased at higher biomass only for the low MW PAHs, suggesting that biodegradative processes in the water column are a major driver of their occurrence in the photic zone. The results presented here are the most extensive data set available for the Mediterranean Sea and provide clear evidence of the important physical and biological controls on PAH occurrence and cycling in oceanic regions.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Global Biogeochemical Cycles
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    ABSTRACT: This work describes the assessment of a selection of fullerenes including C(60) and C(70) fullerene, N-methylfulleropyrrolidine, C(60) pyrrolidine tris-acid ethyl ester, [6,6]-Phenyl-C(61) butyric acid butyl ester and [6,6]-Thienyl C(61) butyric acid methyl ester, in airborne particulate from the Mediterranean Sea collected during two sampling campaigns from Barcelona to Istanbul and Alexandria, respectively. The analysis of the samples was carried out using a new method based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) presenting sensitivities between 5.4 and 20.9 pg/m(3). A total number of 43 samples covering the different basins of Mediterranean Sea were analyzed. Fullerenes were detected in all analyzed samples and quantifiable concentrations were found in 28 of the analyzed samples. The median of C(60) and C(70) fullerenes aerosol phase concentrations were 0.06 ng/m(3) and 0.48 ng/m(3) respectively for the Mediterranean Sea atmosphere. C(70) fullerene was the most frequently detected compound and also it was found in the higher concentrations for most samples, reaching 233.8 ng/m(3). The modeled back-trajectories disclose that those samples with higher concentrations of fullerenes were related to air masses which had been circulating over regions with an intense industrial activity, but the variability of the C(70)/C(60) ratio suggests multiple different sources. These results are related to the incidental emissions from urban and industrial development, underpinning the need of studying the possible risks associated to carbon nanoparticles in the environment and the need of evaluating the possible consequences of their ubiquitous occurrence.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: The Mediterranean and Black Seas are unique marine environments subject to important anthropogenic pressures due to riverine and atmospheric inputs of organic pollutants. Here, we report the results obtained during two east-west sampling cruises in June 2006 and May 2007 from Barcelona to Istanbul and Alexandria, respectively, where water and plankton samples were collected simultaneously. Both matrixes were analyzed for hexaclorochyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and 41 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners. The comparison of the measured HCB and HCHs concentrations with previously reported dissolved phase concentrations suggests a temporal decline in their concentrations since the 1990s. On the contrary, PCB seawater concentrations did not exhibit such a decline, but show a significant spatial variability in dissolved concentrations with lower levels in the open Western and South Eastern Mediterranean, and higher concentrations in the Black, Marmara, and Aegean Seas and Sicilian Strait. PCB and OCPs (organochlorine pesticides) concentrations in plankton were higher at lower plankton biomass, but the intensity of this trend depended on the compound hydrophobicity (K(OW)). For the more persistent PCBs and HCB, the observed dependence of POP concentrations in plankton versus biomass can be explained by interactions between air-water exchange, particle settling, and/or bioaccumulation processes, whereas degradation processes occurring in the photic zone drive the trends shown by the more labile HCHs. The results presented here provide clear evidence of the important physical and biogeochemical controls on POP occurrence in the marine environment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2011
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    Pedro Echeveste · Jordi Dachs · Naiara Berrojalbiz · Susana Agustí
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    ABSTRACT: Long range atmospheric transport and deposition is a significant introduction pathway of organic pollutants to remote oceanic regions, leading to their subsequent accumulation in marine organisms. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) bioconcentrate in planktonic food webs and these exert a biogeochemical control on the regional and global cycling of POPs. Therefore, an important issue is to determine whether the anthropogenic chemical perturbation of the biosphere introduced by the myriad of organic pollutants present in seawater influences phytoplankton abundance and productivity. The results reported here from five sets of experiments performed in the NE Atlantic Ocean show that there is a toxic effect induced by trace levels of complex mixtures of organic pollutants on phytoplankton oceanic communities. The levels of single pollutant, such as phenanthrene and pyrene, at which lethality of phytoplankton is observed are high in comparison to field levels. Complex mixtures of organic pollutants, however, have an important toxic effect on phytoplankton abundances, viability and concentrations of Chlorophyll a at pollutant concentrations 20-40 folds those found in the open ocean. The toxicity of these complex mixtures of organic pollutants exceeds by 10(3) times the toxicity expected for a single pollutant. Therefore, our results point out the need for a systematic investigation of the influence of complex mixtures of organic hydrophobic pollutants to oceanic phytoplankton communities, a perturbation not accounted for on previous assessments of anthropogenic pressures in the marine environment.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Chemosphere
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    ABSTRACT: The overall objective of this work is to provide the first evaluation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) occurrence and deposition to Mediterranean open seawater. sigma2,3,7,8-PCDD/F air (gas+aerosol) concentrations over the Mediterranean Sea ranged from 60 to 1040 fg m(-3). The highest value (1555 fg m(-3)) was measured in a reference sample taken in the SW Black Sea. No consistent trend regarding the diel cycle of PCDD/Fs was observed. PCDD/Fs transported to the open sea waters from continental areas and across the Atlantic as well as ship emissions may be significant sources to the open Mediterranean. Seawater concentrations in the Mediterranean ranged from 42 to 64 fg L(-1). The sigma2,3,7,8-PCDD/F dry deposition fluxes in the Marmara and Black Seas (210 kg year(-1)) are from 2 to 55 times higher than dry fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea (4-156 kg year(-1)). Analysis of estimated diffusive air-water fluxes and air/water fugacity ratios show that a net volatilization of some PCDD congeners is feasible. However, evidence of a net absorption flux for the rest of PCDD/F is found. When both atmospheric deposition processes are considered together the open Mediterranean Sea is a net sink of PCDD/F, due to the importance of dry deposition fluxes of aerosol-bound PCDDFs.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · Environmental Science and Technology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2010
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    ABSTRACT: Spatio-temporal variability of pollutants in the environment is a complex phenomenon that requires a combined approach for its analysis. Whereas data on measured levels of contaminants in various environmental compartments is essential, it is not always possible to monitor at the necessary frequency and with the adequate spatial sampling distribution to capture this variability. Therefore a modelling approach able to complement experimental data and close the gaps in the monitoring programs is useful for assessing the contaminant dynamics occurring at different time scales. In this work a 1D water column fate model has been developed and tested for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). The model has been coupled with a simple ecological model that includes a bioaccumulation module. Afterwards, the model has been used to study the temporal variability of contaminant concentrations as well as the fluxes between compartments. The results evidence the complex coupling between spatio-temporal scales and its influence on environmental concentration levels.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Marine Pollution Bulletin
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    ABSTRACT: Planktonic food webs play an important role driving the environmental fate of persistent organic pollutants, and POP accumulation in phytoplankton has been previously studied for its importance as a first step in the aquatic food webs. However, little is known about the accumulation and cycling of organic pollutants between zooplankton and water. The present study shows the results of laboratory experiments on the bioconcentration (by passive uptake) of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in phytoplankton (Rhodomonas salina) and accumulation in copepods (Paracartia(acartia) granm), by ingestion and diffusion. Both bioconcentration (BCF) and bioaccumulation (BAF) factors show significant correlation with the octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow) for phytoplankton and zooplankton. The BCF values for phytoplankton were 2 orders of magnitude higher than those for copepods. The analysis of fecal pellets shows that elimination by defecation is mainly significant for PAHs taken up from ingested phytoplankton but not due to passive uptake. However, the dominant elimination mechanisms are by far metabolism and diffusive depuration. Indeed, the mass balance suggests that metabolism of PAHs by copepods is a significant process that could play a role in the fate of PAHs in the water column. Uptake, depuration, eggestion, and ingestion rates increased with hydrophobicity of the chemical, while the metabolism rate was slightly higher for the less hydrophobic compounds. Passive partitioning dominated the accumulation of POPs in zooplankton. The derivation of all the uptake and loss rate constants for PAHs opens the doorto future modeling studies of the role of zooplankton in PAH cycling in the marine environment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Environmental Science and Technology