Effects of sediment organic matter quality on bioaccumulation, degradation, and distribution of pyrene in two macrofaunal species and their surrounding sediment

Maria E. Granberg, Henriette Selck

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Sediment dwelling macrofauna (infauna) are important vectors for the transfer of sediment-associated contaminants to higher trophic levels. Sedimenting organic matter constitutes an important food source for all benthic organisms and changes seasonally in terms of quantity and quality. Sediment organic matter (SOM) quality affects organism activity and feeding behaviour, and is therefore also likely to affect contaminant fate in benthic systems. We investigated the impact of SOM quality (enrichment with either labile Tetraselmis sp. or refractory lignin) on the accumulation and metabolism of sediment-associated pyrene in Nereis diversicolor (Annelida) and Amphiura filiformis (Echinodermata), as well as the combined effect of SOM quality and infaunal bioturbation on pyrene distribution and metabolism in the sediment. After 45 d of exposure, SOM quality almost doubled pyrene bioaccumulation in both species, while pyrene metabolism remained unaffected. Metabolites comprised not, vert, similar80% of the total tissue pyrene in N. diversicolor and not, vert, similar40% in A. filiformis. A. filiformis arms contained one fifth of the disk pyrene concentration. Approximately 20% of the pyrene found in A. filiformis arms was found to be covalently bound to, e.g. DNA, RNA or proteins, thus reducing pyrene bioavailability to arm-cropping predators. The sedimentary pyrene distribution and metabolism was species-dependent, but correlated poorly with prevailing knowledge on species-specific bioturbation patterns. This was attributed to the comparably high biodegradability of the contaminant thus altering its sorptive characteristics and function as inert tracer. Subduction of pyrene and metabolites occurred, and the fraction of pyrene covalently bound to SOM increased with depth, thereby removing pyrene from the bioavailable pool. Our results imply that bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of sediment-associated PAH should increase following fresh organic matter input, e.g. after sedimentation of phytoplankton blooms. We stress the importance of considering behavioural characteristics of infauna and the trophic situation of the system when assessing fate and effects of sediment-associated contaminants. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

TidsskriftMarine Environmental Research
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)313-335
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2007

Citer dette