Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon bioaccumulation by meiobenthic copepods inhabiting a superfund site: techniques for micromass body burden and total lipid analysis.


Microtechniques for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) body burden and total lipid analysis were developed and applied to determine the first lipid-normalized bioaccumulation factors for a hydrophobic organic toxicant in a meiobenthic organism (0.063-0.500 mm) living in field-contaminated sediments. The total lipid microtechnique combines the standard Bligh-Dyer extraction method with a colorimetric quantification method for analysis of samples containing I to 50 microg lipid. The microtechnique for body burden analysis quantifies PAHs from tissue samples containing as little as 10 pg PAH. Fluoranthene, benz[a]anthracene, and benzo[a]pyrene biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) were determined for the meiobenthic copepod Microarthridion littorale living in an estuarine U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site. Gravid female, nongravid female, and male BSAFs were 0.82, 0.54, and 0.36, respectively, for fluoranthene; 0.50, 0.44, and 0.40, respectively, for benz[a]anthracene; and 0.09, 0.12, and 0.15, respectively, for benzo[a]pyrene. Comparison of nonlipid-normalized bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) to BSAFs indicates that M. littorale bioaccumulated PAHs on a gram lipid basis. The BSAFs declined consistently with increasing PAH log K(ow) for all copepod sex and reproductive stages. Sex- and stage-specific comparisons of BSAFs suggest that differences in lipid content and quality may lead to differences in BSAF values depending on PAH molecular weight and/or hydrophobicity.