PCB Levels and Accumulation Patterns in Waterbird Eggs and in Their Prey at Lake Kerkini, a North-Eastern Mediterranean Wetland of International Importance

  • V. Antoniadou
  • I. K. Konstantinou
  • V. GoutnerEmail author
  • T. M. Sakellarides
  • T. A. Albanis
  • E. Bintoudi


Seven “target” PCB levels were determined and compared in waterbird eggs, in their prey, and in water at Lake Kerkini, northern Greece, to investigate PCB bioaccumulation patterns and to define the best bioindicator of target PCBs for this area. PCBs were analysed from eggs of Phalacrocorax carbo, Podiceps cristatus, Ardea cinerea, Egretta garzetta, and Nycticorax nycticorax and from prey types Alburnus alburnus, Rutilus rutilus, Lepomis gibbosus. Carassius auratus, and Rana sp. PCBs analysed were detected in all bird eggs, prey, and water but contamination patterns differed among these sample types. The lipid-corrected geometric means of the congeners analysed were significantly different among most bird species and among some prey species. PCB congeners 118, 138, 153, and 180 accounted for around 80% of the total PCB contamination in bird egg samples. Percent congener concentrations of high-chlorinated PCBs tended to increase from water through prey to most bird egg samples whereas the low chlorinated PCBs (28 and 52) decreased. Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) also exhibited an increasing trend for higher chlorinated PCBs from prey types to bird eggs. The greatest BAFs of six of the congeners were shared between Phalacrocorax carbo and Ardea cinerea. Among prey, the BAFs of four PCBs were highest in Lepomis gibbosus. Biomagnification factors varied between 1.01 and 39.57. In contrast to low chlorinated PCBs, high chlorinated congeners biomagnified considerably through fish prey. The highest biomagnification took place in Phalacrocorax carbo. No relationship was found between the lipid content of samples and BAFs of PCBs probably due to biotransformation differences of the congeners in the biota sampled.

Due to the greatest PCB concentrations especially of the higher chlorinated PCBs in the eggs of Phalacrocorax carbo and its considerable bioaccumulation tendencies, it is proposed as the best PCB biomonitor of target PCBs at Lake Kerkini. Lepomis gibbosus had the highest concentrations of most congeners and exhibited the greatest bioaccumulative properties among prey and can be used as an alternative biomonitor.


PCBs Biomagnification Bioaccumulation Factor Waterbird Species Grey Heron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to the Kerkini Information Center for hospitality and especially to Dr. T. Nazirides and Mr. P. Hatziyiannidis for aid in sample collection. Special thanks to K. Frigis for aid in the field and laboratory. Prof. A. Sinis and Dr. D. Bobori provided us with water sampling equipment. Thanks to the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Foods for the license for collecting the biological material analysed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Antoniadou
    • 1
  • I. K. Konstantinou
    • 2
  • V. Goutner
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. M. Sakellarides
    • 3
  • T. A. Albanis
    • 3
  • E. Bintoudi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyAristotelian University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Natural Resources ManagementUniversity of IoanninaAgrinioGreece
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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