Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 3626–3639

An integrated assessment of pollution and biological effects in flounder, mussels and sediment in the southern Baltic Sea coastal area

  • Henryka Dabrowska
  • Orest Kopko
  • Kari K. Lehtonen
  • Thomas Lang
  • Ilona Waszak
  • Maija Balode
  • Evita Strode
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-8117-8

Cite this article as:
Dabrowska, H., Kopko, O., Lehtonen, K.K. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2017) 24: 3626. doi:10.1007/s11356-016-8117-8

Abstract

Organic and metal contaminants and biological effects were investigated in flounder, mussels, and sediments in the southern Baltic Sea coastal area in order to assess environmental quality status in that area. Four sites were selected, including two within the Gulf of Gdańsk (GoG). In biota and sediment at each site, DDTs dominated over PCBs and PBDEs were the least abundant among organic contaminants. Their concentrations decreased progressively outward from GoG. Among metal contaminants, the levels of Hg, Pb, and Cd were elevated in GoG. Biomarkers in flounder, EROD activity and DNA SB, showed moderate positive correlations with organic and metal contaminants. In flounder, the integrated biomarker index (IBR/n) presented a spatial trend coherent with chemical pollution index (CPI), but there was no clear spatial correspondence between IBR/n and CPI in mussels nor between sediment toxicity index (STI) and sediment CPI. The integrated assessment of contaminant and biological effect data against available assessment criteria indicated that in biota, the contaminant assessment thresholds were most often exceeded by CB-118, heptachlor, PBDE, and Hg (in the GoG sediments by p,p′-DDT, Hg and Cd), while of the biological determinants, the threshold was breeched by AChE activity in mussels in GoG. Applying the ICES/OSPAR traffic-light approach showed that of the 50 parameters assessed at each site, there were 18% of determinants in the red color category in the two GoG sites and 8% of determinants in the two sites outside GoG, which indicated that none of the four investigated sites attained good environmental status (GES).

Keywords

Baltic Sea Chemical pollution Biological effects Flounder Mussels Sediments Integrated assessment Good environmental status 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Baltic Sea Research and Development Programme BONUS+
  • 217246

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henryka Dabrowska
    • 1
  • Orest Kopko
    • 1
  • Kari K. Lehtonen
    • 2
  • Thomas Lang
    • 3
  • Ilona Waszak
    • 1
  • Maija Balode
    • 4
  • Evita Strode
    • 4
  1. 1.National Marine Fisheries Research Institute (NMFRI)GdyniaPoland
  2. 2.Marine Research CentreFinnish Environment InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute/Institute of Fisheries EcologyCuxhavenGermany
  4. 4.Latvian Institute of Aquatic EcologyRigaLatvia

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