Protein and lipid growth rates regulate bioaccumulation of PCBs and Hg in Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) from the Three Gorges Reservoir, China.Environ Pollut. 2018 Dec; 243(Pt A):152-162.EP
This study evaluated the effect of growth of different tissue compartments on the bioaccumulation of mercury (Hg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) from the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR), China. A non-steady state bioenergetics/toxicokinetic model was developed to simulate PCB and Hg concentrations in these two species and compared with field data. Simulations using constant whole body growth rate and constant tissue to whole body weight ratios were contrasted against simulations adopting age specific whole body and tissue/age specific growth rates for their goodness of fit to field data. The simulations using age/tissue specific growth rates demonstrated better fit to field data for PCBs compared to the constant growth rate models (22% improved R2), while both models explained similar variation in Hg concentration data. Both species demonstrated higher growth rates of lipids (on a daily basis) relative to whole body and protein contributing to higher growth dilution of PCBs compared to Hg. Although stable isotope data indicated some degree of diet and/or habitat shift, simulations assuming a constant diet concentration explained between 36 and 40% of the variation in fish concentrations for both contaminants and fish species. This study demonstrates that differences in the bioaccumulation rate of PCBs and Hg by Asian carp can be partially explained by differences in the growth rates of key tissue storage compartments associated with each contaminant. These differences in chemical-specific growth dilution subsequently contribute to differences in chemical retention and bioaccumulation patterns of Hg and PCBs by fish.