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Bioaccumulation of rare earth elements in juvenile arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) under field experimental conditions

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Few ecotoxicological studies exist on the accumulation and effects of rare earth elements (REEs) in fish, particularly on Arctic species. In southwest Greenland, there are currently several advanced exploration REE mining projects. The aim of this study was to investigate accumulation of REEs in native fish species. Juvenile arctic chars, Salvelinus alpinus, were pulse-exposed to cerium (Ce), lanthanum (La) and yttrium (Y) using an in-situ flow-through system over a period of 15 days. Results showed that the arctic char accumulated most REEs in the gills > liver > muscle. We also demonstrated the ability of the arctic char to rapidly excrete the REEs throughout the experiment, where levels of post exposure accumulation also declined throughout the period. These results demonstrate the importance of further studies on accumulation of REE in the arctic char native to the site of future mining operations. Long-term exposure will most likely result in accumulation of REEs in arctic char, and the effects and accumulation patterns of this should be explored further.

TidsskriftScience of the Total Environment
Sider (fra-til)529-535
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2019

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