John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Effect of bioconcentration and trophic transfer on realized exposure to oxazepam in two predators, the dragonfly larvae (Aeshna grandis) and the Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis)

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Psychoactive substances are used worldwide and constitute one of the most common groups of pharmaceutical contaminants in surface waters. While these pharmaceuticals are designed to be efficiently eliminated from the human body, we know very little about their trophic‐transfer potential in aquatic wildlife. Therefore, the goal of this study was to quantify and compare uptake of an anxiolytic (oxazepam) from water (bioconcentration) and via the consumption of contaminated diet (trophic transfer) in two common freshwater predators; Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and the dragonfly larvae Aeshna grandis. We found bioconcentration (BC) and trophic transfer (TT) of oxazepam in both predator species. However, we observed higher BC for perch (bioconcentration factor [BCF] 3.7) than for dragonfly larvae (BCF 0.5). Perch also retained more oxazepam from consumed prey (41%) than dragonfly larvae (10%), whereas the relative contribution via prey consumption was 14% and 42% for perch and dragonflies, respectively. In addition, we found that BC was negatively correlated with perch weight, indicating that exposure levels in natural contaminated environments differ between individuals of different size or between different developmental stages. Hence, TT of pharmaceuticals may indeed occur, and estimates of environmental exposures that do not consider intake via food or size‐dependent bioconcentration may therefore lead to wrongful estimations of realized exposure levels in natural contaminated ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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