The accumulation levels of PAHs, PCBs and DDTs are related in an inverse way to the size of a benthic amphipod (Echinogammarus stammeri Karaman) in the River Po

Luigi Viganò, Anna Farkas, Licia Guzzella, Claudio Roscioli, Claudio Erratico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and DDTs were investigated in gammarids captured at three sites along the middle River Po; the first was located upstream and the other two were at increasing distances downstream of the confluence of a polluted tributary, the River Lambro. Using a GC-MS technique, the levels of PCBs, PAHs and DDTs were determined separately in large and small gammarids as well as in the fine fraction of sediment samples collected along the sites of capture. Results confirm the River Lambro as a source of these chemicals to the River Po, and show that bioaccumulation differences exist between small and large individuals, the former being more contaminated particularly by PCBs and DDTs. This is likely the result of several interacting factors such as contaminant bioavailability, gammarid-size effects on kinetic parameters and feeding selectivity. The bioaccumulation patterns of PCBs and DDTs, and their higher biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAF), are consistent with chemical properties and suggest a dietary disequilibrium found only 10 km downstream from the tributary, and in smaller amphipods. Present results show that gammarids may represent an additional source of contaminants, particularly of chlorinated compounds, to the many organisms feeding on them, with a higher risk for those which prey selectively on smaller gammarids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume373
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2007

Keywords

  • BSAF
  • Bioaccumulation
  • DDT
  • Gammaridae
  • Organism size
  • PAH
  • PCB
  • Sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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