The potential for hydrophobic organochlorine contaminants to be sequestered in submersed aquatic vegetation was evaluated by determining the concentrations of cis- and trans-chlordane, dieldrin, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in feral aquatic macrophytes (Hydrilla verticillata (L.f.) Royle) collected from the tidal Potomac River. Similarities in mean dry-weight concentrations of the identified organochlorine compounds in H. verticillata and surrounding alluvial sediments indicated that the extent of sequestration in H. verticillata was of the same magnitude as sorption of these compounds to river sediments, but some qualitative differences in PCB congener profiles existed. The results imply that to some degree H. verticillata can influence downstream fluxes of organic contaminants in fluvial transport in the Potomac River, and, furthermore, identify this species as a viable candidate organism for hydrophobic organochlorine contaminant biomonitoring in the Chesapeake Bay estuary.
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Hydrophobic organochlorine compounds sequestered in submersed aquatic macrophytes (Hydrilla yerticillata (L.f.) Royle) from the tidal Potomac River (USA)