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Bioturbation-Driven Release of Organic Contaminants from Baltic Sea Sediments Mediated by the Invading Polychaete Marenzelleria neglecta.
Univ Gothenburg, Dept Marine Ecol, Kristineberg Marine Res Stn.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Univ Gothenburg, Dept Marine Ecol, Kristineberg Marine Res Stn.
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2008 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 42, no 4, 1058-1065 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Baltic Sea sediments are among the world’s most polluted regarding eutrophication and contamination. Eutrophication-induced hypoxia has caused depletion of bioturbating macrofauna in vast areas, producing laminated sediments. We investigated if reoxygenation and colonization by the invading deep-burrowing polychaete Marenzelleria neglecta may cause an augmented contaminant release from Baltic Sea sediments. Intact laminated sediment cores were exposed either to in situ hypoxia, reoxygenation, or reoxygenation combined with bioturbating M. neglecta. The release fluxes of particle-associated (NPart) and dissolved (NDiss) PCBs and chlorinated pesticide residues (POPs) were quantified (GC-ECD) after 85 d along with contaminant concentrations in sediment and biota. Lavoisier-based mass transfer coefficients (Kf) were calculated from NDiss. Sediment contaminant concentrations were high (ΣPCB7: 42–52 ng gsediment−1 dw) due to emissions from Stockholm. NDiss always exceeded NPart by an order of magnitude. Bioturbation enhanced NDiss and Kf from hypoxic sediments 0.7 – 3 times while reoxygenation alone had no significant effect. M. neglecta accumulated low amounts of contaminants but significantly stimulated aquatic release of bioavailable sequestered contaminants. Bioturbation should be included in aquatic contaminant fate models. We advise to consider quiescent pollutant sources and possible ecological shifts when aiming to restore eutrophicated aquatic environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 42, no 4, 1058-1065 p.
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15609DOI: doi:10.1021/es071607jISI: 000253250800019PubMedID: 18351072OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-15609DiVA: diva2:182129
Available from: 2008-12-06 Created: 2008-12-06 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fate of contaminants in Baltic Sea sediment ecosystems : the role of bioturbation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fate of contaminants in Baltic Sea sediment ecosystems : the role of bioturbation
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aquatic sediments are of major importance for the cycling of environmental pollutants, acting as both sinks and secondary sources of contaminants to the ecosystem. Sediment-living organisms can affect the fate and transport of contaminants through activities like feeding and burrowing, collectively called bioturbation. Apart from high contaminant levels, the Baltic benthic ecosystem is affected by stressors such as eutrophication-induced anoxic conditions and invading alien species. The main objectives of this thesis were to determine the effects of bioturbation on contaminant fluxes in Baltic Sea sediments and to increase the understanding of how these other stressors act together upon contaminant fate in the benthic ecosystem.

Bioturbation affected contaminants in a species-specific way. The native species Monoporeia affinis and Macoma balthica increased the incorporation of BDE-99 and Cd deposited on the sediment surface, enhancing their retention in the sediment. The invasive polychaete Marenzelleria sp. did not contribute to the incorporation of surface-deposited contaminants, however, significantly increased the release of contaminants back to the water column. Reoxygenation of anoxic laminated sediments and bioturbation by Marenzelleria increased the sediment-to-water flux of dissolved organic contaminants. When the bioturbation-driven release of PCB was compared to the release caused by physical sediment resuspension, results indicated that the continuous activities of benthic infauna can be just as, or even more, important than physical disturbance for the remobilization of sediment-bound contaminants. Bioaccumulation was significantly higher when contaminants were deposited associated to phytoplankton compared to lignin or sediment, suggesting that there are likely seasonal differences in the mobilization of contaminants in the benthic ecosystem.

In summary, bioturbation is an important process influencing contaminant fate in Baltic Sea sediments, and the risk of remobilization of historically buried contaminants may increase with improved benthic redox conditions and the invasion of new deeper-digging species, such as Marenzelleria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Systemekologiska institutionen, 2008. 37 p.
Keyword
Toxicology, Toxikologi
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8315 (URN)978-91-7155-775-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-12, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 14-18, Stockholm, 09:00
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Available from: 2008-11-20 Created: 2008-11-14 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved

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