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(109) Bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls in the Delaware River estuary.
Toaspern, Megan*,1, Ashley, Jeff2, Baker, Joel1, 1 University of Maryland, Solomons, MD, USA2 Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, USA
ABSTRACT- The objective of this study is to determine the efficiency of transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from sediment into a Delaware River estuary food web. The study area is characterized by significant spatial gradients in PCB levels due to elevated urban loadings. Sediments, macrobenthic invertebrates, epibenthic invertebrates, forage fish, adult white perch (Morone americanus), and adult channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were analyzed to determine if predator/prey PCB ratios are consistent across the estuary. The study was conducted in four zones along an 80-mile stretch of the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey to Liston Point, Delaware. Samples were collected under low flow conditions in Fall 2001 and high flow conditions in Spring 2002. PCB levels varied among zones for sediment, benthic invertebrates, forage fish, and predatory fish. High PCB concentrations were found near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania indicating enhanced inputs in this urbanized stretch of the estuary.
Key words: estuarine environment, food web, polychlorinated biphenyls, trophic transfer
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