American Chemical Society
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Importance of Arctic Zooplankton Seasonal Migrations for α‑Hexachlorocyclohexane Bioaccumulation Dynamics

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-05-07, 00:00 authored by Monika Pućko, W. Walkusz, R. W. Macdonald, D. G. Barber, C. Fuchs, G. A. Stern
Like most zooplankton, Calanus hyperboreus undergoes seasonal migration spending late spring and summer grazing at the surface and the rest of the year in diapause at depth. As a result, in the Arctic Ocean this copepod resides for part of the year in the hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) enriched surface water and for part of the year at depth where HCH undergoes significant microbial degradation resulting in far lower concentrations (∼3 times for α-HCH). We collected C. hyperboreus from summer and winter from the Amundsen Gulf and measured their α-HCH concentrations, enantiomeric compositions, and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) to investigate how this copepod responds to the change in exposure to α-HCH. C. hyperboreus collected in winter were also cultured for 5 weeks under surface water conditions without feeding to investigate bioconcentration dynamics following spring ascent. Concentration of α-HCH was 2–3 times higher in individuals from the summer than those from the winter. Log BAF from the summer (feeding period) does not exceed log BCF (bioconcentration factor) from the culturing experiment (no feeding) suggesting that α-HCH concentration in C. hyperboreus is maintained through equilibration rather than feeding. After the spring ascent from deep waters, C. hyperboreus approach equilibrium partitioning with the higher surface water concentrations of α-HCH within 3–4 weeks with about 60% of bioconcentration taking place in the first week. The C. hyperboreus α-HCH chiral signature also reflects ambient seawater and can therefore be used as a determinant of residence depth. Even though a single cycle of seasonal migration does not result in a significant redistribution of α-HCH in the water column, this process could have a significant cumulative effect over longer time scales with particular local importance where the zooplankton biomass is high and the ocean depth is great enough to provide substantial vertical concentration gradients.