Food-chain length determines the level of phenanthrene bioaccumulation in corals.
KAUST DepartmentMarine Science Program
Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/674994
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractExposure from the dissolved-phase and through food-chains contributes to bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in organisms such as fishes and copepods. However, very few studies have investigated the accumulation of PAHs in corals. Information on dietary uptake contribution to PAHs accumulation in corals is especially limited. Here, we used Cavity-Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) to investigate the uptake rates and accumulation of a 13C-labeled PAH, phenanthrene, in Acropora millepora corals over 14 days. Our experiment involved three treatments representing exposure levels of increasing food-chain length. In Level W, corals were exposed to 13C-phenanthrene directly dissolved in seawater. In Level 1 representing herbivory, Dunaliella salina microalgal culture pre-exposed to 13C-phenanthrene for 48 h was added to the coral treatment jars. In Level 2 representing predation, corals were provided a diet of copepod (Parvocalanus crassirostris) nauplii fed on D. salina pre-exposed to 13C-phenanthrene. Bioconcentration factors (BCF) and bioaccumulation factors (BAF) were calculated as appropriate for all organisms, and biomagnification factors (BMF) were calculated for A. millepora. We found that while phenanthrene uptake rates were not significantly different for the treatments, the accumulated concentration in corals was significantly higher in Level W (33.5 ± 2.83 mg kg−1) than in Level 1 (27.55 ± 2.77 mg kg−1) and Level 2 (29.36 ± 3.84 mg kg−1). Coral log BAF values increased with food-chain length; Level 2 log BAF (6.45) was higher than Level W log BCF (4.18) and Level 1 log BAF (4.5). Coral BMF was also higher for Level 2 than for Level 1. Exposure to dissolved or diet-bound phenanthrene had no significant effect on the coral symbionts’ photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm) as monitored by pulse-amplitude-modulation (PAM) fluorometry, indicating the PAH can be accumulated without toxic effects to their Photosystem II. Our study highlights the critical role of dietary exposure for pollutant accumulation in corals.
CitationAshok, A., Høj, L., Brinkman, D. L., Negri, A. P., & Agusti, S. (2022). Food-chain length determines the level of phenanthrene bioaccumulation in corals. Environmental Pollution, 118789. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2022.118789
SponsorsThis research was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through baseline funding to S. Agustí and a center partnership project between the Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). We thank Florita Flores, Philip Mercurio, Tom Barker and Thomas Armstrong from AIMS and Malak Abdallah, Vijayalaxmi Dasari, Mongi Ennasri from KAUST for their valuable help and assistance with the experiments and samples analysis.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
- Accumulation of <sup>13</sup>C-labelled phenanthrene in phytoplankton and transfer to corals resolved using cavity ring-down spectroscopy.
- Authors: Ashok A, Kottuparambil S, Høj L, Negri AP, Duarte CM, Agustí S
- Issue date: 2020 Jun 15
- Occurrence and distribution of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seawater, sediments and corals from Hainan Island, China.
- Authors: Xiang N, Jiang C, Yang T, Li P, Wang H, Xie Y, Li S, Zhou H, Diao X
- Issue date: 2018 May 15
- How does predation affect the bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic compounds in aquatic organisms?
- Authors: Xia X, Li H, Yang Z, Zhang X, Wang H
- Issue date: 2015 Apr 21
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in corals of the South China Sea: Occurrence, distribution, bioaccumulation, and considerable role of coral mucus.
- Authors: Han M, Zhang R, Yu K, Li A, Wang Y, Huang X
- Issue date: 2020 Feb 15
- Comparative study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coral tissues and the ambient sediments from Kenting National Park, Taiwan.
- Authors: Ko FC, Chang CW, Cheng JO
- Issue date: 2014 Feb