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Environ Pollut. 2013 Apr;175:92-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.12.026. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Dietary exposure of Antarctic krill to p,p'-DDE: uptake kinetics and toxicological sensitivity in a key polar species.

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The University of Queensland, National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox), 39 Kessels Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4108, Australia.


This study evaluated the dietary uptake kinetics and sublethal toxicity of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) in Antarctic krill. The uptake rate constant (characterised by the seawater volume stripped of contaminant sorbed to algae) of 200 ± 0.32 mL g(-1) wet weight h(-1), average absorption efficiency of 86 ± 13% and very low elimination rate constant of 5 × 10(-6) ± 0.0031 h(-1) demonstrate the importance of feeding for p,p'-DDE bioaccumulation in Antarctic krill. Faecal egestion of unabsorbed p,p'-DDE of 8.1 ± 2.7% indicates that this pathway contributes considerably to p,p'-DDE sinking fluxes. A median internal effective concentration (IEC50) of 15 mmol/kg lipid weight for complete immobility indicates baseline toxicity and that Antarctic krill exhibit comparable toxicological sensitivity as temperate species under similar 10 d exposure conditions. These findings support the critical body residue approach and provide insight to the role of Antarctic krill in the biogeochemical cycling of p,p'-DDE in the Southern Ocean.

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