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Environ Pollut. 2005 Jan;133(2):343-50.

Age dependence of the accumulation of organochlorine pollutants in brown trout (Salmo trutta) from a remote high mountain lake (Redó, Pyrenees).

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  • 1Department of Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Chemical and Environmental Research (CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034-Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Abstract

Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and DDT were examined in the muscle of brown trout (Salmo trutta) from a high mountain lake located in the Pyrenees (Catalonia, Spain) that was used as a model of these lacustrine environments. Results indicate that fish age is the main factor of variability among specimens in this population that is subjected to atmospheric inputs of the organochlorine compounds (OC). Increases of 2- and 20-fold between fish aged 1 year and 15 years old are found. The observed pattern cannot be explained in terms of fish size, condition factor, or muscle lipid content. Higher molecular weight compounds (higher lipophilicity) are better correlated with fish age than low molecular weight compounds. A transformation from 4,4'-DDT to 4,4'-DDE occurs in fish after ingestion; this results in amplified age-dependent signals, especially in male specimens. In contrast, PCB congener #180 has lower age dependence than the general OC group, which could be due to its high hydrophobicity (log K(ow) > 7). In any case, selective accumulation of hydrophobic compounds is already observed among younger fish (age, 1 year). Due to this effect, the relative OC composition does not reflect the main OC pollutants in the lake waters.

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