Can amino acid-specific stable carbon and nitrogen analysis improve quantifying arctic food web dynamics of persistent organic pollutants and mercury: A case study on the Greenland Sea food web

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Can amino acid-specific stable carbon and nitrogen analysis improve
quantifying arctic food web dynamics of persistent organic pollutants and
mercury: a case study on the Greenland Sea food web
I. Eulaers, Aarhus University AU Arctic Research Centre / Department of
Bioscience; A. Mosbech, Aarhus University AU Arctic Research Centre /
Department of Bioscience Arctic Environment; R. Bossi, Aarhus University
Department of Environmental Science; C. Bouchard, Greenland Institute of
Natural Resources / Greenland Climate Research Centre; E.F. Møller, Aarhus
University AU Arctic Research Centre / Department of Bioscience Marine
Diversity and Experimental Ecology; R. Schulz, University of Koblenz-Landau /
Institute for Environmental Sciences; J. Sun, University of Antwerp / Department
of Biology; J. Søndergaard, Aarhus University AU Arctic Research Centre; K.
Vorkamp, Aarhus University Department of Environmental Science / Department
of Environmental Science; J.P. Zubrod, University of Koblenz-Landau / Institute
for Environmental Sciences
Evaluating in situ biomagnification is a valuable posterior approach to further
assess the chemical bioaccumulative potential of a substance identified a potential
contaminant by its physicochemical characteristics, such as the octanol-water
partitioning coefficient. The investigation of trophic magnification factors (TMFs)
has consequently become the quantitative backbone of assessing real-world food
web dynamics of contaminants. The reliability of TMFs rests however upon the
accuracy with which the relative trophic level of the individuals investigated for
their contaminant load is determined. In this respect, the advent of measuring
stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of individual amino acids, rather than of bulk
tissue, seems particularly promising in eliminating uncertainty in food web
baseline stable isotope values necessary to reliably determine relative trophic
levels. The isotopic signature of essential amino acids remains in fact relatively
unaltered throughout the food chain and therefore provides the food web baseline
value for which previously only approximations could be employed. The
Greenland Sea is a pristine Arctic marine ecosystem though its food web has up to
now never been investigated for exposure to contaminants, such as mercury,
persistent organic pollutants and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, typically
found in the Arctic despite its remoteness from primary sources and ongoing
mitigation under the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions. Being particularly
interested in evaluating the performance of the amino acid-specific analysis based
TMFs we investigate the food web dynamics of the above substances using both
bulk tissue and compound-specific analysis for stable carbon and nitrogen
isotopes. The food web investigated here composes particulate organic matter
(POM), two copepod species, four amphipod species, three euphasiid species,
twelve fish species, and four seabird species. The availability of POM and
different primary consumers allows us to uniquely present on their bulk tissue and
compound-specific stable isotope values, most often not available in food web
assessments, and as such compare the performance of the TMFs resulting from
both methods. Moreover, POM and copepods were collected at several locations
allowing us to evaluate the spatial variation in food web baseline isotopic values,
and how adequately amino acid-specific analysis can resolve this frequently
stumbled upon issue when employing bulk tissue analysis.
Original languageDanish
Publication year28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019
Event29th annual European meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 27 May 201930 May 2019

Conference

Conference29th annual European meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
CountryFinland
CityHelsinki
Period27/05/201930/05/2019

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