|Are persistent organic pollutants and metals in eel muscle predictive for the ecological water quality?|Van Ael, E.; Belpaire, C.; Breine, J.; Geeraerts, C.; Van Thuyne, G.; Eulaers, I.; Blust, R.; Bervoets, L. (2014). Are persistent organic pollutants and metals in eel muscle predictive for the ecological water quality? Environ. Pollut. 186: 165-171. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.envpol.2013.12.006
In: Environmental Pollution. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0269-7491, more
Polychlorinated biphenyls; Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Belgium [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water; Fresh water
Water Framework Directive; Fish community structure
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Relationships between the presence of PCBs, OCPs and metals in aquatic ecosystems and the ecological water quality were investigated by combining datasets of long-term monitoring of chemicals in European eel (Anguilla anguilla, N = 1156) in Flanders (Belgium) and the Ecological Quality Ratio (EQR), based on the assessment of fish assemblages at 185 locations. For most pollutants, EQR scores were lower when pollutant levels were higher. Threshold concentrations for a good quality could be formulated for PCB's, most metals and OCPs. Mixed models suggested that the ecological water quality was significantly correlated with the presence of PCBs. However, the low R2 indicates that other environmental pressures may significantly influence the biotic integrity of fish communities. Empirical data and their analyses are essential to enable defining threshold values of bioaccumulated levels to allow better protection of the aquatic environment and its biota through associated food webs as demanded by the Water Framework Directive.