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Differences in Energy Expenditures and Growth Dilution Explain Higher PCB Concentrations in Male Summer Flounder
  • Published Date:
    2016
  • Source:
    Plos One, 11(1), e0147223.
Filetype[PDF - 598.65 KB]


Details:
  • Description:
    Comparison of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations between the sexes of mature fish may reveal important behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes. We determined whole-fish PCB concentrations in 23 female summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus and 27 male summer flounder from New Jersey coastal waters. To investigate the potential for differences in diet or habitat utilization between the sexes, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were also determined. In 5 of the 23 female summer flounder, PCB concentrations in the somatic tissue and ovaries were determined. In addition, we used bioenergetics modeling to assess the contribution of the growth dilution effect to the observed difference in PCB concentrations between the sexes. Whole-fish PCB concentrations for females and males averaged 87 and 124 ng/g, respectively; thus males were 43% higher in PCB concentration compared with females. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios did not significantly differ between the sexes, suggesting that diet composition and habitat utilization did not vary between the sexes. Based on PCB determinations in the somatic tissue and ovaries, we predicted that PCB concentration of females would increase by 0.6%, on average, immediately after spawning due to release of eggs. Thus, the change in PCB concentration due to release of eggs did not explain the higher PCB concentrations observed in males. Bioenergetics modeling results indicated that the growth dilution effect could account for males being 19% higher in PCB concentration compared with females. Thus, the bulk of the observed difference in PCB concentrations between the sexes was not explained by growth dilution. We concluded that a higher rate of energy expenditure in males, stemming from greater activity and a greater resting metabolic rate, was most likely the primary driver for the observed difference in PCB concentrations between the sexes.

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