Biomagnification and polychlorinated biphenyl congener distribution in an aquatic predator-prey, host-parasite system

M E Persson, Per Larsson, Patrik Stenroth

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Biomagnification and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener distribution was examined in a predator-prey, host-parasite system, in which Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) preyed upon sprat (Sprattus sprattus). Eubothrium crassum was an intestinal parasite in salmon that also "preyed upon" sprat, because the parasites gained access to foodstuffs via the host (salmon) gut. Salmon contained significantly higher concentrations of total PCBs compared to both parasites and prey (sprat), but no difference in PCB concentration was found between sprat and E. crassum. Salmon biomagnified several PCB congeners from their diet (sprat), whereas parasites did not, despite the fact that both salmon and their parasites ingested the same prey. Differences in nutrient uptake mechanisms between the host and their parasites, in addition to the lack of a gastrointestinal tract in the cestode, may explain the lack of biomagnification in E. crassum. No difference was found in PCB congener distribution between parasites, salmon, and sprat. and none of the animal types showed a preference for accumulating more or less lipophilic congeners (congeners with a high or low octanol/water partition coefficient [K-ow]). Biomagnification factors for individual congeners in salmon did not increase with K-ow-rather, they were constant, as shown by a linear relationship for congener concentration in prey and predator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-843
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Chemical Ecology/Ecotoxicology (Closed 2011) (011006020), Limnology (Closed 2011) (011007000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ecology


  • biomagnification
  • Atlantic salmon
  • cestode
  • intestinal parasite
  • polychlorinated biphenyl congener


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