Investigating the variability of PCB toxicokinetics in the freshwater mussel biomonitor, Elliptio complanata

Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis


Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This thesis quantified elimination rate coefficient (' ktot') variability for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a common mussel biomonitor ('Elliptio complanata'). ' ktot' is used to estimate steady state contaminant concentrations in mussel tissue ('Cm(ss)'), a surrogate for what is bioavailable in the water to other organisms. Chapter 2 showed that temperature had a weak influence on 'ktot', but generally increased it between 14, 20, and 25 C in the laboratory. The suitability of environmentally rare performance reference compound (PRC) PCBs as representative of elimination by the more prevalent Aroclors was also verified. Chapter 3 revealed the necessity of using PRC PCBS to quantify 'in situ ktot' values for mussel biomonitors, demonstrated errors associated with using laboratory-derived ' ktot' values to calculate 'Cm(ss)', and revealed spatial patterns of PCB contamination in the Huron-Erie Corridor. Characteristics of food quantity and quality are thought to explain more ' in situ ktot' variability, and lab-'in situ' differences.