Pyrene bioaccumulation, effects of pyrene exposure on particle-size selection, and fecal pyrene content in the oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri (Tubificidae, Oligochaeta)

Rod N. Millward, John W. Fleeger, Danny D. Reible, Kristen A. Keteles, Brian P. Cunningham, Li Zhang

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The oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri Cleparéde was exposed to sediment-amended pyrene (0-1,196 nmol/g dry wt) for 2, 5, and 10 d to investigate sediment particle-size preference, tissue pyrene bioaccumulation (using biota-sediment accumulation factor, BSAF), fecal pyrene concentrations (using fecal-sediment accumulation factor, FSAF), and pyrene biotransformation. In non-pyrene-amended sediment, L. hoffmeisteri preferentially ingested finer sediment particles (<3.5μm). However, pyrene concentrations > 199 nmol/g dry weight resulted in a decreased preference for finer particles, presumably reducing pyrene exposure. Particle selectivity also changed with time such that after 10 d, worms showed an increased preference for finer particles. At high pyrene exposure, tissue pyrene concentrations rapidly attained equilibrium (maximum body residue 4.4 μmol/g wet wt, close to values cited for hydrocarbon critical body residues). Levels of biotransformation were low (mean 14%) and independent of time or pyrene concentration. Biota-sediment accumulation factor showed a negative relationship with sediment pyrene concentration; this trend may be due to reduced availability at high sediment pyrene concentrations or due to reductions in both ingestion rate and selectivity for fine, pyrene-rich particles. Fecal pyrene concentrations were depleted compared to sediment levels, suggesting removal of pyrene during gut passage by absorption. Fecal-sediment accumulation factor showed a negative relationship with increasing sediment pyrene levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1366
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Biota-sediment accumulation factor
  • Critical body residue
  • Freshwater sediment
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

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