Influence of trophic status on PCB distribution in lake sediments and biota

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We investigated the relationship between trophic status and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) distribution in 19 Swedish lakes. We analyzed PCB in water, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish and sediment during two sampling periods, in spring and summer. The mass of Sigma PCB in the lake sediments was positively related to lake trophy, i.e. more PCBs were accumulated and buried in the sediment of eutrophic lakes than in oligotrophic lakes. In the oligotrophic lakes a greater fraction of the total PCB load was dissolved in water. We conclude that this is a result of higher sedimentation rates in eutrophic lakes and relatively lower turnover of organic carbon in the water column of the shallow, eutrophic lakes. In the stratified lakes, the amount of PCB per cubic meter in the epilimnion decreased from spring to summer. We suggest that sedimentation of plankton beneath the thermocline during stratification act as a sink process of PCBs from the epilimnion


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch