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.
Copyright 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