Towards an Integrated Ecosystem- Based Bioaccumulation and Metal Speciation Model
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Heavy metal bioaccumulation models are important for interpreting water quality data, predicting bioaccumulation in organisms, and investigating the provenance of contaminants. To date they have been predominantly used as single-issue models, under steady-state conditions and in isolation of the biogeochemical processes that control metal bioaccumulation. Models that incorporate these processes would allow a more holistic approach to bioaccumulation modeling and contaminant assessment; however, this has been rarely undertaken, probably because it requires the integration of inter-disciplinary areas. In this study, we have developed such a model that integrates three key multi-disciplinary areas (biological, metal speciation, and bioaccumulation processes) and responds to variations in temporal external and internal forcing. Furthermore, spatial context is provided by developing the model within a simple hydrodynamic box-modeling framework. The calibrated model was able to predict with reasonable accuracy the temporal and spatial trends of soft-tissue copper bioaccumulation in a coastal oyster. This exploratory model was also used to highlight the impor- tance of phytoplankton as an important vector of copper uptake dynamics by an oyster, therefore reinforcing the importance of the integrated approach. Finally, our model provides a framework for greater application beyond this specific example such as in the areas of waterway restoration, which has been shown to be an important area of ecological and environmental research.
© 2010 Springer New York. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Environmental Impact Assessment