A laboratory and field comparison of sediment polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon bioaccumulation by the cosmopolitan estuarine polychaete Streblospio benedicti (Webster)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) bioaccumulation by the polychaete worm Streblospio benedicti (Webster) was measured under exposure to PAH-contaminated sediments in the field and for 28 d in the laboratory. Streblospio benedicti collected from field sediments contaminated at 2.94, 1.07, and 1.52 μg g-1 fluoranthene (FLU), benz[a]anthracene (BAA), and benzo[a]pyrene (BAP), bioaccumulated those PAHs at 1.53, 0.215, and 0.322 μg g-1, while worms isolated from less contaminated field sediments (0.399, 0.228, 0.288 μg g-1 FLU, BAA, and BAP) had FLU, BAA, and BAP body burdens of 0.543, 0.236, and 0.083 μg g-1. Worms incubated for 28 d in PAH-spiked sediments (1.52, 0.991, 0.504 μg g-1, respectively. Data normalization to organism lipid and sediment organic carbon (biota-sediment accumulation factors [BSAFs] strongly suggest that Streblospio PAH bioaccumulation was directly related to percent sediment organic carbon, but BSAFs were substantially lower than predicted by equilibrium partitioning theory. BSAFs decreased with increasing PAH log K(ow) in worms collected from field sediments, but in spiked sediments BSAFs increased with increasing PAH hydrophobicity. This disparity may have been caused by insufficient spiked-sediment equilibration time (1.5 h) in the case of the laboratory test sediments.