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Bodiguel, X., Maury, O., Mellon-Duval, C., Roupsard, F., Le Guellec, A. - M., & Loizeau, V. (2009). A dynamic and mechanistic model of PCB bioaccumulation in the European hake (Merluccius merluccius). Journal of Sea Research, 62(2-3), 124–134.
Résumé: Bioaccumulation is difficult to document because responses differ among chemical compounds, with environmental conditions, and physiological processes characteristic of each species. We use a mechanistic model, based on the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory, to take into account this complexity and study factors impacting accumulation of organic pollutants in fish through ontogeny. The bioaccumulation model proposed is a comprehensive approach that relates evolution of hake PCB contamination to physiological information about the fish, such as diet, metabolism, reserve and reproduction status. The species studied is the European hake (Merluccius merluccius, L. 1758). The model is applied to study the total concentration and the lipid normalised concentration of 4 PCB congeners in male and female hakes from the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean sea) and the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic ocean). Outputs of the model compare consistently to measurements over the life span of fish. Simulation results clearly demonstrate the relative effects of food contamination, growth and reproduction on the PCB bioaccumulation in hake. The same species living in different habitats and exposed to different PCB prey concentrations exhibit marked difference in the body accumulation of PCBs. At the adult stage, female hakes have a lower PCB concentration compared to males for a given length. We successfully simulated these sex-specific PCB concentrations by considering two mechanisms: a higher energy allocation to growth for females and a transfer of PCBs from the female to its eggs when allocating lipids from reserve to eggs. Finally, by its mechanistic description of physiological processes, the model is relevant for other species and sets the stage for a mechanistic understanding of toxicity and ecological effects of organic contaminants in marine organisms.