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Contrasting time trends of organic contaminants in Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs


van den Brink, NW and Riddle, MJ and van den Heuvel-Greve, M and van Franeker, A, Contrasting time trends of organic contaminants in Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62, (1) pp. 128-132. ISSN 0025-326X (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.09.002


We demonstrate that pelagic Antarctic seabirds show significant decreases in concentrations of some persistent organic pollutants. Trends in Adélie penguins and Southern fulmars fit in a general pattern revealed by a broad literature review. Downward trends are also visible in pelagic fish, contrasting sharply with steady or increasing concentrations in Antarctic benthic organisms. Transfer of contaminants between Antarctic pelagic and benthic food webs is associated with seasonal sea-ice dynamics which may influence the balance between the final receptors of contaminants under different climatic conditions. This complicates the predictability of future trends of emerging compounds in the Antarctic ecosystem, such as of the brominated compounds that we detected in Antarctic petrels. The discrepancy in trends between pelagic and benthic organisms shows that Antarctic biota are still final receptors of globally released organic contaminants and it remains questionable whether the total environmental burden of contaminants in the Antarctic ecosystem is declining.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, organochlorines, time trends, food web, pelagic versus benthic
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Riddle, MJ (Dr Martin Riddle)
ID Code:119331
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:34
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-07-31
Last Modified:2017-07-31

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