Issue 6, 2001


The present study in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, emphasises the usefulness of biliary metabolite measurements in estuarine monitoring using the flounder (Platichthys flesus). The short time scale (a few hours) of response to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure, allowed clearer interpretation of trends and differences between sites. Such differences and trends in the metabolite data were not as apparent from 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethlyation (EROD) activity measurements, which were likely to have been blurred by the movements of flounder between sites. Statistical differences were not observed in EROD activity in flounder from the Firth of Forth (ANOVA, P = 0.065). The biliary metabolites showed statistical differences between the uppermost site of Longannet and Port Edgar, in the outer Firth, for both the 1-OH pyrene and 2-OH naphthalene metabolites (ANOVA, Tukeys, P = 0.012 and 0.022 respectively). There was also a significant correlation between the concentrations of all three individual metabolites (1-OH pyrene, 2-OH naphthalene, 1-OH phenanthrene) and the log of the distance downstream from the major PAH input sources of Longannet power station and Grangemouth. Biliary PAH metabolites were shown to better reflect local contamination gradients than EROD activity. This is explained by the relative response times of the two biomarkers and local movements of the flounder in the estuary.

Article information

Article type
17 Jul 2001
11 Sep 2001
First published
05 Nov 2001

J. Environ. Monit., 2001,3, 610-615

Biliary PAH metabolites and EROD activity in flounder (Platichthys flesus) from a contaminated estuarine environment

D. M. Richardson, I. M. Davies, C. F. Moffat, P. Pollard and R. M. Stagg, J. Environ. Monit., 2001, 3, 610 DOI: 10.1039/B106353G

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