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Oceanic Sink and Biogeochemical Controls on the Accumulation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins, Dibenzofurans, and Biphenyls in Plankton

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Department of Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
A Coruña Oceanographic Center, Spanish Institute of Oceanography, IEO, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
§ Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, IQOG-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
*Phone: +34 934006170. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, 49, 23, 13853–13861
Publication Date (Web):June 26, 2015
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society

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    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) were measured in plankton samples from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans collected during the Malaspina circumnavigation cruise. The concentrations of PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs in plankton averaged 14 and 240 pg gdw–1, respectively, but concentrations were highly variable. The global distribution of PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs was not driven by proximity to continents but significantly correlated with plankton biomass, with higher plankton phase PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations at lower biomass. These trends are consistent with the interactions between atmospheric deposition, biomass dilution, and settling fluxes of organic matter in the water column (biological pump), as key processes driving POPs plankton phase concentrations in the global oceans. The application of a model of the air–water–plankton diffusive exchange reproduces in part the influence of biomass on plankton phase concentrations and suggests future modeling priorities. The estimated oceanic sink (Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans) due to settling fluxes of organic matter bound PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs is of 400 and 10,500 kg y–1, respectively. The atmospheric inputs due to gross diffusive absorption and dry deposition are nearly 3 and 10 times larger for PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs, respectively, than the oceanic sink. These observations suggest that the coupling of atmospheric deposition with water column cycling supports and drives the accumulation of dl-PCBs and PCDD/Fs in plankton from the global oligotrophic oceans.

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    The complete data set of PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations and additional figures and tables. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http:/ Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01360.

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