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Closed Access item Accumulation and Cycling of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Zooplankton

Authors:Berrojalbiz, Naiara
Lacorte Bruguera, Silvia
Calbet, Albert
Saiz, Enric
Barata Martí, Carlos
Darch, Jordi
Issue Date:19-Feb-2009
Publisher:American Chemical Society
Citation:Environ. Sci. Technol. 43, 2295–2301 (2009)
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) grani), 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 door to future modeling studies of the role of zooplankton in PAH cycling in the marine environment.
Description:9 pages, 3 figures, 1 table
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