PCDD/Fs, PCBs and PBDEs in zooplankton in the Baltic Sea - spatial and temporal shifts in the congener-specific concentrations.

PMID 25113199


In the marine food-webs, zooplankton is a key element in the transfer of persistent organic pollutants to higher trophic levels. We determined the congener-specific concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in offshore zooplankton (size from 0.2 to 20mm) collected in 2001, 2002 and 2010 in the northern and central Baltic Sea. Of the PCDD/Fs, the concentrations of 2378-TCDF were from 18 to 47 and of 23478-PeCDF from 7.9 to 29 pg g(-1)fat and showed little temporal differences. However, 1234678-HpCDF and OCDF were abundant in 2001-2002 especially in the eastern Gulf of Finland (average concentrations 50 and 89 pg g(-1)fat, respectively). In 2010 the concentrations of these two congeners were lower, 29 and 30 pg g(-1)fat, respectively, but still substantially higher than in the other surveyed areas. The principal components analysis (PCA) supported that area-specific patterns in pollution strongly contributed to the congener profiles particularly in surface sediment and in sediment trap material, but even in zooplankton. The concentrations of the PCBs were highest in the Gulf of Finland and in the Bothnian Bay. The concentrations of most PCBs were somewhat lower in 2010 than in 2001-2002. Of the dioxin-like PCBs, the concentrations of PCB-77 were highest (271-572 pg g(-1)fat) but PCB-126 (32-113 pg g(-1)fat) contributed from 85% to 91% of the total toxicity of PCBs due to its higher toxic potency. Of the PBDEs, the BDE47 and BDE99 were the most abundant (concentrations from 1.2 to 4.6 and from 0.4 to 3.3 ng g(-1) fat, respectively). The concentrations of most PBDEs were lower in 2010 than in 2001/2002 except in the eastern Gulf of Finland.