Organochlorine dynamics in the pelagic food web of lake baikal

Authors

  • John R. Kucklick,

    Corresponding author
    1. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, The University of Maryland System, P.O. Box 38, Solomons, Maryland 20688, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Charleston Laboratory, P.O. Box 12607, Charleston, SC, 29422–2607, USA
    • Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, The University of Maryland System, P.O. Box 38, Solomons, Maryland 20688, USA
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  • H. Rodger Harvey,

    1. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, The University of Maryland System, P.O. Box 38, Solomons, Maryland 20688, USA
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  • Joel E. Baker,

    1. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, The University of Maryland System, P.O. Box 38, Solomons, Maryland 20688, USA
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  • Peggy H. Ostrom,

    1. Department of Geological Sciences and Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, 206 Natural Sciences Building, East Lansing, Michigan 48824–1115, USA
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  • Nathaniel E. Ostrom

    1. Department of Geological Sciences and Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, 206 Natural Sciences Building, East Lansing, Michigan 48824–1115, USA
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Abstract

In July and August 1993, samples were collected from Lake Baikal both to document organochlorine concentrations and to relate the contaminant levels to trophic position and lipid concentration. High-volume water samples and representatives of the major organisms in the food web, including zooplankton, fish, and seals, were collected. Dissolved and particulate water samples were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; 74 congeners) and hexachlorobenzene. Biota samples were analyzed for PCBs, hexachlorocyclohexanes, chlordane and related compounds, dieldrin, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (plus metabolites), and toxaphene. Specific lipid classes were measured in fish since these were postulated to affect organochlorine concentrations. Stable nitrogen (815N) and carbon (813C) isotopic compositions were determined in all samples except seal blubber as a measure of trophic position. Total PCBs in surface water ranged from 130 pg/L in the lake's northern basin to 1,900 pg/L in the southern basin. Total PCBs in fish ranged from 60 to 710 ng/g (wet weight), with differences mostly attributed to total lipid content rather than to specific lipid classes. The PCB bioaccumulation factor was significantly correlated with log Kow, whereas the PCB bioconcentration factor was not. The transfer of contaminants through the food web was likely at steady state, whereas the uptake of PCBs from the water was not. This indicates recent PCB contamination.

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