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Open AccessArticle

Organic Contaminants in Zooplankton of Italian Subalpine Lakes: Patterns of Distribution and Seasonal Variations

Water Research Institute (IRSA)—CNR, Via del Mulino 19, 20861 Brugherio (MB), Italy
Department of human sciences and innovation for the territory (DISUIT), University of Insubria, Via S. Abbondio 12, 22100 Como (CO), Italy
Water Research Institute (IRSA)—CNR, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania Pallanza (VB), Italy
Department of earth and environmental sciences (DISAT), University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milano (MI), Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1901;
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Organic Contaminants in Water Ecosystems)
Zooplankton is a key node in many trophic webs, both for food that for persistent organic contaminants that can accumulate in biota. Zooplankton of different size was seasonally sampled for two years in three deep Italian subalpine lakes (Maggiore, Como, Iseo) with the aim of determining the concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), DDT, and PCB, and assessing the seasonality impacts on contaminants concentrations. In general, Lake Maggiore showed the highest concentrations for each group of contaminants, with mean values of 7.6 ng g−1 ww for PFAS, 65.0 ng g−1 dw for DDT, and 65.5 ng g−1 dw for PCB. When considering the composition pattern, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was detected in 96% of the samples and it was the predominant PFAS compound in all of the lakes. pp’ DDE was the most detected congener among DDTs and their metabolites, while for PCBs, the prevalent group was hexa-CB that constituted 35.4% of the total PCB contamination. A seasonal trend was highlighted for all contaminant groups with concentrations in colder months greater than in spring and summer; it was evident that the contaminant concentrations were more dependent from seasonality than from size, trophic levels, and taxa composition of zooplankton. Principal component analysis showed that one of the main driver for the accumulation of most of the studied contaminants is their lipophilicity, except for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and octachlorobiphenyl. View Full-Text
Keywords: zooplankton; perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); organochlorine compounds; lakes zooplankton; perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); organochlorine compounds; lakes
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Pascariello, S.; Mazzoni, M.; Bettinetti, R.; Manca, M.; Patelli, M.; Piscia, R.; Valsecchi, S.; Polesello, S. Organic Contaminants in Zooplankton of Italian Subalpine Lakes: Patterns of Distribution and Seasonal Variations. Water 2019, 11, 1901.

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