Shellfish and sediment invertebrates have been widely used to assess pollution trends over space and time in coastal environments around the world. However, few studies have compared the bioaccumulation potential of different test species over a range of sediment-contaminant concentrations and profiles. The bioavailability of sediment-related contaminants was evaluated using sediments collected from sites (n = 12) throughout the Salish Sea, British Columbia, Canada. Two benthic marine invertebrates—the Baltic clam Macoma balthica and the polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata—were exposed for 28 days in a controlled environment to these field-collected coastal sediments. The congener-specific uptake of legacy polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and emergent polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) was determined using high-resolution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in sediments and in invertebrates after the experimental exposure. The polychaete Neanthes accumulated lower concentrations of PCBs but higher concentrations of PBDEs. The present study indicates that differences in bioaccumulation between these two invertebrates shape the accumulation of PCB and PBDE congeners, reflect differences in feeding strategies, and reveal the physicochemical properties of the contaminants and sediment properties. Because biota–sediment accumulation factor values are often calculated for environmental monitoring or site-specific impact assessments, our results provide insight into potentially confounding factors and the need for caution when selecting indicator species for coastal marine pollution.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology – Springer Journals
Published: May 20, 2017
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