A review of measured bioaccumulation data in terrestrial plants for organic chemicals: Metrics, variability and the need for standardized measurement protocols: Review of bioaccumulation data in terrestrial plants

William J Doucette*, Chubashini Shunthirasingham, Erik M Dettenmaier, Rosemary T Zaleski, Peter Fantke, Jon A Arnot

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Quantifying the transfer of organic chemicals from the environment into terrestrial plants is essential for assessing human and ecological risks, using plants as environmental contamination biomonitors, and predicting phytoremediation effectiveness. Experimental data describing chemical uptake by plants are often expressed as ratios of chemical concentrations in the plant compartments of interest (e.g., leaves, shoots, roots, xylem sap) to that in the exposure medium (e.g., soil, soil pore water, hydroponic solution, air). These ratios are generally referred to as bioconcentration factors (BCFs) but have also been named for the specific plant compartment sampled, such as root concentration factors (RCFs), leaf concentration factors (LCFs), or transpiration stream (xylem sap) concentrations factors (TSCFs). We reviewed over 350 papers to develop a database with 7,049 entries of measured bioaccumulation data for 310 organic chemicals and 112 terrestrial plant species. Various experimental approaches have been used; therefore, inter-study comparisons and data quality evaluations are difficult. Key exposure and plant growth conditions were often missing, and units were often unclear or not reported. The lack of comparable high confidence data also limits model evaluation and development. Standard test protocols, or at a minimum, standard reporting guidelines, for the measurement of plant uptake data are recommended to generate comparable, high-quality data that will improve mechanistic understanding of organic chemical uptake by plants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    Volume37
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)21-33
    ISSN0730-7268
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Bioconcentration
    • Organic contaminants
    • Plants

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