Differences between Lipids Extracted from Five Species Are Not Sufficient To Explain Biomagnification of Nonpolar Organic Chemicals

Annika Jahnke, Jan Holmbäck, Rina Argelia Andersson, Amelie Kierkegaard, Philipp Mayer, Matthew MacLeod

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Abstract

Lipids are the major sorptive phase for many organic chemicals that bioaccumulate in foodwebs. However, “lipids” are usually operationally defined by the extraction protocol. Large differences in sorptive capacities between species would violate assumptions implicit in widely used lipid-normalization procedures and invalidate generic bioaccumulation factors. We extracted lipids from five species from different trophic levels and domains and determined fractions of triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol. We passively dosed the lipids with cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes and chlorobenzenes via headspace from spiked olive oil to determine their sorptive capacities. Lipids from seal blubber and pork bacon solely composed of triglycerides had capacities similar to that of olive oil; lipids from mussels, herring, and guillemot egg had quantifiable fractions of phospholipids and cholesterol and showed capacities reduced by factors of up to 2.3-fold. Generally, the sorptive capacities of the lipids were not elevated relative to the olive oil controls and are unlikely to explain a substantial part of biomagnification.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology Letters
Volume2
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)193-197
ISSN2328-8930
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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