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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013 Dec;20(12):8425-34. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-1809-4. Epub 2013 May 24.

Biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF), bioaccumulation factor (BAF), and contaminant levels in prey fish to indicate the extent of PAHs and OCPs contamination in eggs of waterbirds.

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Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, and Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China.


Samples of pond sediment, fish, and shrimp were collected from the Ramsar site at Mai Po marshes, Hong Kong (south China), and samples of pond sediment, fish, and shrimp, as well as eggs of water birds (Chinese Pond Herons (Ardeola bacchus) and Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta)), were collected from two smaller wetland sites at Jiangsu Province (mid-China), between 2004 and 2007. Accumulation levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the biota were used to calculate biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) and bioaccumulation factor (BAF). For fish and shrimp, BSAFs of OCPs (3.8-56) were greater than those of PAHs (0.12-6.3). BSAFs and BAFs of 11-79 and 4-34, respectively, were registered for OCPs in eggs of the birds and were greater than those for PAHs (0.11-1.5 and 0.02-1.3, respectively). Assuming that fish were the main prey of the birds, greater bioaccumulation of OCPs was detected for both bird species (BAFs =4.5-34), while accumulation of PAHs was only detected in Little Egret (BAF=1.3). A significant linear relationship (p<0.01) was observed between concentrations of OCPs in bird eggs and in the prey fish. The present study provides a new possibility of using OCP levels detected in prey fish to predict the extent of OCPs contamination in eggs of waterbirds including the endangered species, as a noninvasive method.

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