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Coupling stable isotopes with bioenergetics to evaluate sources of variation in organochlorine concentrations in Baltic salmon (Salmo salar)

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Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) collected from three locations around the northern Baltic Sea in 2003–2004 showed large spatial and individual variation in their organochlorines (OCs) (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans and polychlorinated biphenyls). This variation could be explained only partly by their size or sea age. The variability arose from the differences in salmon diet, trophic position, and prey OC concentrations and lipid content. A salmon bioenergetics accumulation model was used to evaluate the contribution of salmon growth and their diet to the observed individual variation in OC content. Our model revealed that the contribution of three main prey species in the OC accumulation of salmon varied markedly between the study areas. Amount of lipids in salmon explained a large proportion of their OC concentration. However, trophic position of salmon calculated from the 15N values explained almost 80% of the variation in lipid-normalized OC concentrations. In the Gulf of Finland, where OC concentrations of salmon were highest, their prey species had the highest OC concentrations and trophic positions. Higher OC concentrations in the Gulf of Finland might be related to elevated trophic positions caused by invasion of the predatory cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi in 1990.

Des saumons (Salmo salar) récoltés à trois sites autour du nord de la Baltique en 2003–2004 affichent d’importantes variations spatiales et individuelles de leurs concentrations de composés organochlorés (OC; dibenzo-p-dioxines polychlorées et furanes et biphényles polychlorés). La taille des poissons et le temps passé en mer n’expliquent que partiellement cette variation. La variabilité provient de différences dans le régime alimentaire et la position trophique des saumons, de même que des concentrations d’OC et de lipides de leurs proies. Un modèle bioénergétique d’accumulation chez le saumon a servi à évaluer la contribution de la croissance et du régime alimentaire des saumons à la variation individuelle d’OC observée. Notre modèle révèle que les contributions des trois espèces principales de proies à l’accumulation d’OC chez les saumons varient considérablement d’une zone d’étude à l’autre. La quantité de lipides chez les saumons explique une proportion importante de leur concentration d’OC. Cependant, la position trophique des saumons calculée d’après les valeurs de 15N explique presque 80 % de la variation des concentrations normalisées d’OC dans les lipides. Dans le golfe de Finlande où les concentrations d’OC chez les saumons sont les plus grandes, les espèces de proies possèdent les concentrations d’OC les plus fortes et occupent la position trophique la plus élevée. Les concentrations plus élevées d’OC dans le golfe de Finlande peuvent être reliés à des positions trophiques supérieures résultant de l’invasion du cladocère prédateur Cercopagis pengoi en 1990.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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