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Trophodynamics of Emerging Brominated Flame Retardants in the Aquatic Food Web of Lake Taihu: Relationship with Organism Metabolism across Trophic Levels

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journal contribution
posted on 02.04.2018, 00:00 by Guomao Zheng, Yi Wan, Sainan Shi, Haoqi Zhao, Shixiong Gao, Shiyi Zhang, Lihui An, Zhaobin Zhang
Despite the increasing use and discharge of novel brominated flame retardants, little information is available about their trophodynamics in the aquatic food web, and their subsequent relationships to compound metabolism. In this study, concentrations of 2,4,6-tribromophenyl allyl ether (ATE), 1,2-dibromo-4-(1,2-dibromoethyl)­cyclohexane (TBECH), tetrabromo-o-chlorotoluene (TBCT), pentabromobenzyl acrylate (PBBA), 1,2-bis­(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)­ethane (BTBPE), bis­(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromo-phthalate (TBPH), and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) were measured in 17 species, including plankton, invertebrates, and fish from Lake Taihu, South China. Trophodynamics of the compounds were assessed, and metabolic rates were measured in the liver microsomes of crucian (trophic level [TL]: 2.93), catfish (TL: 3.86), and yellow-head catfish (TL: 4.3). Significantly positive relationships were found between trophic levels and lipid-normalized concentrations of ATE, BTBPE, and TBPH; their trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were 2.85, 2.83, and 2.42, respectively. Consistently, the three chemicals were resistant to metabolism in all fish microsomes. No significant relationship was observed for βTBECH (p = 0.116), and DBDPE underwent trophic dilution in the food web (TMFs = 0.37, p = 0.021). Moreover, these two chemicals showed steady metabolism with incubation time in all fish microsomes. TBCT and PBBA exhibited significant trophic magnifications in the food web (TMF = 4.56, 2.01). Though different metabolic rates were observed for the two compounds among the tested fish species, TBCT and PBBA both showed metabolic resistance in high-trophic-level fish. These results indicated that metabolism of organisms at high trophic levels plays an important role in the assessment of trophic magnification potentials of these flame retardant chemicals.