Primary production and species' lipid contents in Arctic ecosystems are notoriously seasonal. Additionally, seasonal migration patterns of fish may alter prey availability and thus diet. Taking the southern Barents Sea as a study region and PCBs as model contaminants, we examined to what extent each of these factors cause bioaccumulation in fish to change throughout the year. Data on physiology and standing stocks of multiple trophic levels were used to estimated season-specific carbon budgets and by inference also corresponding values for food ingestion and production of cod, capelin, and herring. When combining these values with Arctic lipid dynamics for bioaccumulation model parameter setting, we predicted bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) that were in good agreement with BAFs for cod and capelin observed between 1998 and 2008. BAFs in all fish were 10 times lower in summer than in spring and fall/winter and were mainly driven by lipid dynamics. Trophic magnification factors (TMFs: increase in BAF per unit increase in trophic level as derived from our carbon budgets) were highest for PCB 153 during spring (2.3-2.4) and lowest for PCB 52 in summer and fall/winter (1.5-1.6) and were driven by seasonal shifts in trophic level and lipid dynamics.
De Laender, F., Van Oevelen, D., Frantzen, S., Middelburg, J. J., & Soetaert, K. (2010). Seasonal PCB bioaccumulation in an arctic marine ecosystem: A model analysis incorporating lipid dynamics, food-web productivity and migration. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(1), 356-361. https://doi.org/10.1021/es902625u