Pollution Dynamics of Organic Contaminants in Marine Ecosystems
Pp. 91-113 (23)
While the biomass of marine ecosystems is only about 1% of their terrestrial
counterparts, their productivity rivals that of all land-based ecosystems taken together.
The structure and performance of these ecosystems are strongly affected by
environmental factors, such as temperature, nutrients, transparency, solar visible and
UV radiation. Increasing pollution, not only of coastal habitats but also of open ocean
waters, results in changes in productivity and species composition. Persistent organic
pollutants (POPs) are organic chemicals that are not degraded for long periods and
include brominated flame retardants, perfluoroalkyl compounds, fluorotelomer
alcohols, perfluoroalkylsulfonic acids (FPSAs), perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs),
fluorotelomer carboxylic acids, fluorotelomer sulfonic acids, and fluorinated polymers.
Pesticides enter the aquatic ecosystems with terrestrial run-off, but are distributed not
only in coastal areas and estuaries. Microplastics are of growing concern since they are
concentrated in oceanic gyres. They are ingested by plankton and accumulated in the
food chain. Accidental oil spills and catastrophic events are the reason for the pollution
by crude oil and its products. Mineral oil pollution has been found to affect all the biota
from plankton, via invertebrates to vertebrates.
Organic Pollutants, Persistent Organic Pollutants, Pesticides,
Microplastics, Mineral Oil, Coastal Ecosystems, Open Ocean Habitats.
Department of Biology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.