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Chemosphere. 2002 Mar;46(9-10):1383-92.

Size-related bioaccumulation and between-year variation of organochlorines in ice-associated amphipods from the Arctic Ocean.

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  • 1Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromso.


Organochlorines are found even in organisms living in remote areas such as the Arctic marginal ice zone. Organochlorine concentrations in ice-associated (sympagic) amphipods are related to their diet. Therefore, the size-dependent diet shift of Gamunarus wilkitzkii may influence its organochlorine content. In this preliminary study, the organochlorine concentrations in two size classes (small < or = 29 mm and large >29 mm) of G. wilkitzkii were analysed. The concentrations of more lipophilic compounds [e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)] were lower in the small than the large size class, whereas concentrations of less lipophilic compounds [e.g. hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs)] did not differ by size class. Since contamination transport by the atmosphere, ocean currents and sea ice may vary, the organochlorine burden in sympagic organisms may also vary. There are no data available on temporal variation of organochlorine burden in Arctic sympagic fauna. Therefore, we compared organochlorine concentrations in sympagic amphipods (G. wilkitzkii, Apherusa glacialis and Onisimus spp.) between 1998 and 1999. Organochlorine concentrations in all amphipods were low in both years, with sum organochlorines from 50.7 to 621.9 ngg(-1) lipid weight. The concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), chlordanes, DDTs and PCBs were higher in 1999 than 1998, whereas the HCH concentrations were lower in 1999 than 1998. The organochlorine concentrations differed between the taxa in both years in a similar increasing manner from A. glacialis to both G. wilkitzkii and Onisimus spp In studies of bioaccumulation relative to body size and temporal variation, a thorough interpretation requires samples from several size classes and years. Nevertheless, the present data provide new knowledge on contaminants in Arctic invertebrates where data are scarce.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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