Using epibenthic fauna as biomonitors of local marine contamination adjacent to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ten benthic fauna taxa in a polluted marine area adjacent to McMurdo Station, Antarctica were deemed to be potential biomonitors because PCBs, DDTs, PAHs, copper, lead and/or zinc in their tissues were significantly higher than in tissues of taxa living in reference areas (p<0.05). Concentrations of PCBs and DDT were highest in Trematomus (fish). Total PAH concentrations were highest in Alcyonium antarcticum (soft coral), Isotealia antarctica (anemone) and L. elliptica. Copper and lead concentrations were highest in Laternula elliptica (bivalve) and Flabegraviera mundata (polychaete), and lowest in Trematomus and Parbolasia corrugatus (nemertean). However, copper concentrations were even higher in the asteroids Perknaster fuscus antarcticus, Odontaster validus and Psilaster charcoti. Bioaccumulation factors for different species were highest for PCBs and DDT, and lowest for lead. Bioaccumulation of some contaminants are likely prevalent in benthic taxa at McMurdo Station, but concentrations are usually low relative to human consumption standards.

published proceedings

  • Mar Pollut Bull

author list (cited authors)

  • Palmer, T. A., Klein, A. G., Sweet, S. T., Frazier, A. J., Montagna, P. A., Wade, T. L., & Beseres Pollack, J.

complete list of authors

  • Palmer, Terence A||Klein, Andrew G||Sweet, Stephen T||Frazier, Amanda J||Montagna, Paul A||Wade, Terry L||Beseres Pollack, Jennifer

publication date

  • May 2022