U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of perfluorinated compounds in a eutrophic freshwater food web

Xu, Jian, Guo, Chang-Sheng, Zhang, Yuan, Meng, Wei
Environmental pollution 2014 v.184 pp. 254-261
bioaccumulation, birds, carbon, carnivores, eutrophication, fish, freshwater, herbivores, lakes, nitrogen, omnivores, people, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanoic acid, phytoplankton, predators, shrimp, stable isotopes, trophic levels, zooplankton, China
In this study, the bioaccumulation of perfluorinated compounds from a food web in Taihu Lake in China was investigated. The organisms included egret bird species, carnivorous fish, omnivorous fish, herbivorous fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, zoobenthos and white shrimp. Isotope analysis by δ13C and δ15N indicated that the carnivorous fish and egret were the top predators in the studied web, occupying trophic levels intermediate between 3.66 and 4.61, while plankton was at the lowest trophic level. Perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) with 9–12 carbons were significantly biomagnified, with trophic magnification factors (TMFs) ranging from 2.1 to 3.7. The TMF of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (2.9) was generally comparable to or lower than those of the PFCAs in the same food web. All hazard ratio (HR) values reported for PFOS and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) were less than unity, suggesting that the detected levels would not cause any immediate health effects to the people in Taihu Lake region through the consumption of shrimps and fish.