Posted by Laura Olenick We perform many different kinds of experiments in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology—some that you might expect like making new kinds of nanoparticlesand some that you might not like feeding nanoparticles to tiny organisms such as bacteria and water fleas. The second kind of experiment may seem a little strange to you: Let me tell you a story about a chemical called dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or as it is more commonly known, DDT.
Space What is Biomagnification? Biomagnification stands for Biological Magnification, which means the increase of contaminated substances or toxic chemicals that take place in the food chains.
These substances often arise from intoxicated or contaminated environments. The contaminants include heavy metals namely mercury, arsenic, pesticides such as DDT, and polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs compounds which are then taken up by organisms because of the food they consume or the intoxication of their environment.
These materials are highly present in a variety of household and industrial chemicals.
When organisms in the higher food chain consume the organisms containing the toxins below their trophic levels, the toxins gradually become concentrated in the higher food chain. Because this is a repetitive process in the ecosystem and throughout the entire food chainthe higher organisms are Biological magnification essay ones that will accumulate most of the toxins.
The concentration of these toxic chemicals and pollutants seem to be very low when released in different environments, it eventually accumulates and gets absorbed by lower organisms in the food chains such as fish, earthworms, and plants. When the lower organisms are eaten by other organism and the process goes up the trophic levelsbiomagnifiaction occurs.
Agriculture Agricultural pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers, among other agricultural chemicals are highly toxic and often find way into the soils, rivers or lakes and the seas through surface storm water runoff.
The primary agricultural inputs including pesticides, industrial by-product wastessome fertilizers, Biological magnification essay specific agrochemical products contain traces of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, copper and lead.
These substances cause severe health impacts to humans and aquatic animals such as fish when indirectly ingested and accumulate in the body tissues.
Organic contaminants Manures and Biosolids frequently contain nutrients including nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen. Furthermore, because they are industrially processed, they may also have within them contaminants such as personal care products PPCPs and pharmaceuticals.
These products have been found in human and animal bodies and are believed to have negatively health impacts to wildlife, animals, and humans. Industrial manufacturing activities and pollution The manufacturing processes of industries indirectly or directly release toxic and harmful substances which find a way to the soils, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Industrial processes pollute the environment in several ways by emitting or discharging toxic pollutants into the environment which find way into the food chain, leading to biomagnifications.
Mining activities in the ocean Mining activities in the deep sea is to extract minerals and metal ores like zinc, cobalt, silver, aluminum and gold destroy the oceans and the coastal regions as the mining processes generate scores of sulfide and selenium deposits in the waters.
The toxicity levels build up and are absorbed by ocean creatures which are then consumed by organisms in the higher trophic levels of the food chain. Effects of Biomagnification Impact on human health Humans become more susceptible to cancers, liver and kidney failure, respiratory disorders, birth defects in pregnant women, brain damage, and heart diseases are a result of mercury, cadmium, lead, cobalt, chromium and other chemical poisoning.
For instance, diseases like hepatitis and cancer have been attributed to consuming seafood that has been poisoned by mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs. Effects on reproduction and development of marine creatures The various toxic chemicals and elements accumulate in the vital organs of the various aquatic creatures affecting their reproduction and development.
For instance, seabird eggs are laid with thinner shells than normal, and can result in the birds crushing their eggs instead of incubating them. Selenium and heavy metals such as mercury also affect the reproduction of aquatic creatures such as fish as it destroys their reproductive organs.
Destruction of the coral reefs The coral reefs are destroyed by cyanide which is used in leaching gold and in fishing.
The reefs provide for spawning, feeding, and dwelling grounds for numerous sea creatures. When destroyed, the survival of aquatic creatures is highly compromised. Disruption of the food chain Many sea creatures depend on the natural food chain for survival. When chemicals and other toxins are carried into the soils, rivers, lakes or oceans and taken up by various organisms, it disrupts the interconnected relationships within the food chain.
It happens when small animals ingest or plants absorb the toxic elements after which they are eaten by bigger animals, consequently, affecting the entire natural food chain. The creatures or plants intoxicated with substances such as mercury, copper, chromium, selenium and cobalt may also be consumed by humans and top animals in the food chain leading to susceptibility to diseases, reproductive disorders, and even deaths.
Process of Biomagnification Biomagnification process occurs when certain toxic chemicals and pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides or polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs compounds go up the food chain by working their way through the environment and into the soil or the water systems after which they are eaten by aquatic animals or plants, which in turn are consumed by animals, humans, and large birds.
Here is an explanation showing the process of biomagnification: Release of toxic chemicals and pollutants into the environment The process begins with the release of toxic chemicals and pollutants into the environment and eventually works their way into soils, rivers or lakes, and the seas.
The concentration of these toxic chemicals and pollutants seem to be very low when released in different environments. They are very minute even in terms of weight. Phytoplankton Phytoplankton refers to small plants that float in the seas that normally absorb toxins.
Once absorbed, the toxins stay in their tissues without being excreted or broken down. With time, the toxins accumulate to high concentrations up to parts a trillion which represents a toxin accumulation increase by about four fold.
Zooplankton Zooplankton refers to small marine animals that float in the seas. They consume the phytoplankton and thus take in the toxin. Over time, the toxin concentration increases up to two parts per billion which represents about a ten-fold increase over the previous concentration.
Small fish consume the zooplankton Whenever the small fish feed on the zooplanktons, they consequently take up the toxins which get absorbed in their fatty tissues.
As a result, accumulation occurs and the concentrations build up to about 20 parts per billion which is another ten-fold increase. Large fish graze on the smaller fish Again, when the large fish graze on the smaller fish for food, they consume the toxins that accumulate in their fatty tissues.Borgå K, Kidd K, Muir D, Berglund O, Conder J, Gobas F, Kucklick J, Malm O, Powell D.
Trophic magnification factors: considerations of ecology, ecosystems, and study . Biological magnification occurs when substances become increasingly concentrated in the tissues of an organism. This concentration increases at successively higher trophic levels in a food chain.
Therefore organisms higher in the food chain are in danger of suffering greater harm from toxins and chemicals than those at lower levels of the food chain. Download sample papers, attempt online topicwise tests, prepare competitive exams.
Our Environment; Class-X Science; Biological magnification often refers to the process whereby certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals move up the food chain, work their way into rivers or lakes, and are eaten by aquatic organisms such as. Biological Predispositions at Strife Genetic engineering, or genetic modification, is the direct manipulation of human and animal genome using biotechnology in hopes of procreating its masses.
Note: The term 'pesticide' in this essay refers to all chemical sprays and pollutants used on crops. This includes: herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides, defoliants and other such chemical mixes and their additives, unless otherwise stated.
Dec 25, · Learn here an overview of how ecotoxicology works. Explore what is biological magnification, its definition, examples, causes, and effects on our ecosystems. Explore an overview of how ecotoxicology works & learn how these harmful chemicals make their way into soils, bodies of water and in biological food chains.5/5(3).