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2.3 Effects of Bioaccumulation on the Ecosystem

Chapter 2.3 Science 10

Neil Ryan

on 11 January 2017

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Transcript of 2.3 Effects of Bioaccumulation on the Ecosystem

The Culprits
Effects of Bioaccumulation
on Ecosystems

San Francisco
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
Synthetic and organic chemicals
build up in the environment when
decomposers cannot break them down
Bioaccumulation is the gradual
build-up of these chemicals in
living organisms
Biomagnification is the process in which chemicals become more concentrated at each trophic level.

We measure this in Parts per million (PPM)
Entire ecosystems can be affected if keystone
species are disturbed by bioaccumulation
PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls) are a synthetic chemical used widely until 1977.
In North America the hardest hit by PCB's
were the Orcas off of the west coast.
Persistent Organic Pollutants
POP's are carbon containing compounds that remain in water and soil for many years
One of the most infamous POP's is DDT

DDT was used to control mosquitoes but was banned after it was determined to be toxic due to it's ability to remain in soil for over 15 years
Heavy Metals
Heavy metals are metallic elements
with a high density that are toxic to
organisms at a low concentration
They readily bioaccumulate
and biomagnify
The three most polluting heavy metals are
Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd) and Mercury (Hg)
Lead was widely used in industry including an additive to gasoline
and paints.
Cadmium is found in the earth's crust and is released into the environment through
weathering, forest fires and volcanoes.
Cadmium binds easily with soil and
can be quickly absorbed by plant roots
In humans the most serious source of
cadmium poisoning is smoking.
Like Cadmium, mercury is most commonly
released into the environment through
weathering, volcanoes and forest fires.
No...Not the planet
Mercury is also released through the burning of fossil fuels
Coal burning accounts for 40% of the
mercury released into the atmosphere
Mercury can return to the soil as a
component of acid rain
Our increased desire to travel has had
serious effects on the bioaccumlation
of many toxic materials
What can we do
The use of micro-organisms to enhance biodegradation.
Full transcript