Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) were fed rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in four laboratory tanks over a 133-d experiment. At the start of the experiment, 10 to 14 of the fish in each tank were sacrificed, and the concentrations of 40 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners within these fish were determined. Polychlorinated biphenyl congener concentrations were also determined in the 15 lake whitefish remaining in each of the four tanks at the end of the experiment as well as in the rainbow smelt fed to the lake whitefish. Each lake whitefish was weighed at the start and the end of the experiment, and the amount of food eaten by the lake whitefish during the experiment was tracked. Using these measurements, net trophic transfer efficiency (??) from the rainbow smelt to the lake whitefish in each of the four tanks was calculated for each of the 40 PCB congeners. Results showed that ?? decreased exponentially as log KOW for the congeners increased from 6 to 8. Further, ?? averaged 0.70 for the tetrachloro congeners but averaged only 0.45 for the higher chlorinated congeners. ?? 2008 SETAC.
Additional publication details
Net trophic transfer efficiencies of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners to lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) from their food