Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Apr 3;52(7):4393-4401. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00186. Epub 2018 Mar 14.
We tested the hypothesis of the proportion of higher chlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners increasing with increasing trophic level by comparing the respective PCB homologue distributions in an omnivore, white sucker ( Catostomus commersoni), and a top predator, coho salmon ( Oncorhynchus kisutch), from Lake Michigan. Adult females had the same congener and homologue proportions of total PCB concentration (ΣPCB) as adult males in both species. Hexachlorinated congeners comprised the largest proportion (32%) found in white sucker, followed by heptachlorinated (21%) and octochlorinated (18%) congeners. In contrast, pentachlorinated congeners comprised the largest proportion (33%) of ΣPCB found in coho salmon, followed by hexachlorinated (26%) and tetrachlorinated (24%) congeners. Coho salmon contained significantly higher proportions of tri-, tetra-, and pentachlorinated congeners, whereas white sucker contained significantly higher proportions of hexa- through decachlorinated congeners. Our results were opposite of the hypothesis of greater degree of PCB chlorination with increasing trophic level, and supported the contention that the PCB congener proportions in fish depends mainly on diet, and does not necessarily reflect the trophic level of the fish. Our results also supported the contention that diets do not vary between the sexes in most fish populations.