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Hecht, S.A., J.S. Gunnarsson, B.L. Boese, J.O. Lamberson, C. Schaffner, W. Giger, and P.C. Jepson. 2004. Influences of sedimentary organic matter quality on the bioaccumulation of 4-nonylphenol by estuarine amphipods. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 23(4)865-873. WED-03-042

Nonylphenol (NP) is a moderately persistent, hydrophobic chemical with endocrine-disrupting and acute narcotic effects in aquatic biota. Concern exists about the ultimate fate of NP in aquatic ecosystems and the potential for bioaccumulation by benthic biota from the sediment with the potential for further transfer to higher trophic levels. Our goals were to determine if benthic amphipods bioaccumulate significant amounts of NP from sediment and to determine how additions of organic matter influence NP bioaccumulation by amphipods. Estuarine sediment was spiked with 14C-NP and enriched with two types of organic carbon (OC) sources of different nutritional qualities. Macrophytic algae (Ulva species) were used as a labile and nutritious OC source. Wood lignins were used as a refractory and low-nutrition OC source. Nonylphenol bioaccumulation was measured in Eohaustorius estuarius, Grandidierlla japonica, and Corophium salmonis after 16 d of exposure. Nonylphenol accumulation was inversely proportional to OC quantity, but was unaffected by OC nutritional quality. Significant differences were found in the accumulation patterns between the three amphipod species. Mean biota-sediment accumulation factors ranged from 8.1 to 33.9 in E. estuarius, from 4.6 to 17.2 in G. japonica, and averaged 7.1 in male C. salmonis and 16.0 in female C. salmonis. These accumulation factors indicate that estuarine amphipods could constitute an important source of NP to higher trophic levels, such as juvenile fish.

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