Large variation in lipid content, ΣPCB and δ13C within individual Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

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Many studies that investigate pollutant levels, or use stable isotope ratios to define trophic level or animal origin, use different standard ways of sampling (dorsal, whole filet or whole body samples). This study shows that lipid content, ΣPCB and δ13C display large differences within muscle samples taken from a single Atlantic salmon. Lipid- and PCB-content was lowest in tail muscles, intermediate in anterior-dorsal muscles and highest in the stomach (abdominal) muscle area. Stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) showed a lipid accumulation in the stomach muscle area and a depletion in tail muscles. We conclude that it is important to choose an appropriate sample location within an animal based on what processes are to be studied. Care should be taken when attributing persistent pollutant levels or stable isotope data to specific environmental processes before controlling for within-animal variation in these variables.

Lipid content, ΣPCB and δ13C vary to a large extent within Atlantic salmon, therefore, the sample technique for individual fish is of outmost importance for proper interpretation of data.


  • M E Persson
  • Per Larsson
  • Niklas Holmqvist
  • Patrik Stenroth
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ekologi
Sidor (från-till)131-137
TidskriftEnvironmental Pollution
StatusPublished - 2007
Peer review utfördJa