Review article


1999, 57 (1)   p. 3-11

Natalija Topić Popović, Ivančica Strunjak-Perović


One of the major problems of water pollution is the capability of pollutants to concentrate in aquatic organisms. Bioaccumulation and bioconcentration of such chemicals in fish render it unsuitable for human consumption. Bioconcentration of water pollutants through algae, zooplankton and other organisms, can lead to their accumulation through food.chain, with the fish at the top of the pelagic food web. The occurrence of elevated residue levels of various xenobiotics with increasing trophic level has been demonstrated in a variety of aquatic environments and organisms. The increased bioconcentration occurs with increasing trophic level. The tendency of a chemical to bioconcentrate has been shown to be strongly related to its lipophilicity. Trophic.level differences in bioconcentration are due largely to increased lipid content and decreased chemical elimination efficiency of organisms occupying increasing trophic levels. The accumulation of pollutant is expressed as the bioconcentration factor (BCF), which is determined as the rate of its uptake to the organism and its elimination from it plus the organism growth rate. Chemical uptake efficiency from water, excretion rate, and chemical assimilation efficiency are variable as a function of the octanol.water partition coefficient (Kow).


bioaccumulation, bioconcentration, biomagnification, lipids, pollutants, water


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