Trophic transfer of contaminants in a changing arctic marine food web: Cumberland sound, Nunavut, Canada
Environmental Science and Technology
Contaminant dynamics in arctic marine food webs may be impacted by current climate-induced food web changes including increases in transient/subarctic species. We quantified food web organochlorine transfer in the Cumberland Sound (Nunavut, Canada) arctic marine food web in the presence of transient species using species-specific biomagnification factors (BMFs), trophic magnification factors (TMFs), and a multifactor model that included δ15N- derived trophic position and species habitat range (transient versus resident), and also considered δ13C-derived carbon source, thermoregulatory group, and season. Transient/subarctic species relative to residents had higher prey-to-predator BMFs of biomagnifying contaminants (1.4 to 62 for harp seal, Greenland shark, and narwhal versus 1.1 to 20 for ringed seal, arctic skate, and beluga whale, respectively). For contaminants that biomagnified in a transient-and-resident food web and a resident-only food web scenario, TMFs were higher in the former (2.3 to 10.1) versus the latter (1.7 to 4.0). Transient/subarctic species have higher tissue contaminant levels and greater BMFs likely due to higher energetic requirements associated with long-distance movements or consumption of more contaminated prey in regions outside of Cumberland Sound. These results demonstrate that, in addition to climate change-related long-range transport/deposition/revolatilization changes, increasing numbers of transient/subarctic animals may alter food web contaminant dynamics. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
McKinney, Melissa A.; McMeans, Bailey C.; Tomy, Gregg T.; Rosenberg, Bruno; Ferguson, Steven H.; Morris, Adam; Muir, Derek C.G.; and Fisk, Aaron T.. (2012). Trophic transfer of contaminants in a changing arctic marine food web: Cumberland sound, Nunavut, Canada. Environmental Science and Technology, 46 (18), 9914-9922.