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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry


Persistent organic pollutants, Mercury, Toxicokinetics, Bioenergetics, Growth dilution


To evaluate the effect of fish growth on mercury (Hg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) bioaccumulation, a non-steady state toxicokinetic model, combined with a Wisconsin bioenergetics model, was developed to simulate Hg and PCB bioaccumulation in Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). The model was validated by comparing observed versus predicted Hg and PCB 180 concentrations across 5 age classes from five different waterbodies across North America. The non-steady state model generated accurate predictions for Hg and PCB bioaccumulation in three of five waterbodies: Apsey, Sharbot and Stonelick Lake. The poor performance of the model for the Detroit River and Lake Hartwell, which were two well-known contaminated sites with possibly high heterogeneity in spatial contamination, was attributed to changes in the feeding behavior and/ or change in prey contamination. Model simulations indicate that growth dilution is a major component of contaminant bioaccumulation patterns in fish especially during early life stages and was predicted to be more important for hydrophobic PCBs compared to Hg. Simulations which considered tissue specific growth provided some improvement in model performance particularly for PCBs in fish populations which exhibited changes in their whole body lipid content with age. Higher variation in lipid growth compared with that of lean dry protein was also observed between different bluegill populations which partially explains the greater variation in PCB bioaccumulation slopes compared with Hg across sampling sites. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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