Inter-species differences for polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in marine top predators from the Southern North Sea: Part 2. Biomagnification in harbour seals and harbour porpoises

L. Weijs, A.C. Dirtu, K. Das, A. Gheorghe, P.J.H. Reijnders, H. Neels, R. Blust, A. Covaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) were found to differ in the ability to metabolize polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Biomagnification factors (BMFs), calculated between both predators and their prey (sole - Solea solea and whiting - Merlangius merlangus), had a large range of variation (between 0.5 and 91 for PCBs and between 0.6 and 53 for PBDEs). For the higher chlorinated PCBs and the highest brominated PBDEs, the BMF values in adult males were significantly higher than in the juvenile individuals of both species. BMF values of hexa- to octa-PCBs were the highest, suggesting reduced ability to degrade these congeners. Harbour porpoises had higher BMFs for lower chlorinated PCBs and for all PBDEs compared to harbour seals. Other factors, which may influence biomagnification, such as the octanol-water partition coefficients and the trophic level position measured through stable isotope (¿15N) analysis, were found to be of lesser importance to predict biomagnification in the studied food chain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-451
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume157
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • phocoena-phocoena
  • phoca-vitulina
  • trophic transfer
  • food-web
  • organochlorine contaminants
  • chlorinated pesticides
  • flame retardants
  • trace-metal
  • bioaccumulation
  • accumulation

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