The marine environment represents a major sink of polluttants coming from different anthropogenic activities. Recent experimental analyses have found concentrations of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) both in the marine sediments and in the tissue of fish, thus affecting the marine food web and biomagnifying along the different trophic levels. In this work firstly we assess the concentration of pollutants in the marine ecosystem by using the ECOPATH modeling suite [1]. ECOPATH performs a static, mass-balance analysis of food-web models, from which a differential equation-based model can be derived by considering prey-predator dynamics. We take into account the ecosystem structure and the trophic flows between the species in the Northern and Center Adriatic Sea [2]. In order to assess the bioconcentration of contaminants along the different trophic levels, we can use, for instance, the ECOTRACE module that is able to predict movements and accumulation of pollutants in a food web, or custom bioaccumulation equations. After this first phase, we aim at integrating this approach into a more detailed spatial and multiscale discrete model of marine ecosystem that is under development by our research group. The discrete model will be informed and validated with the information obtained through the continuous model of ECOPATH. Simulation results could provide an indicator for assessing the human risk related to the assumption of contaminated fish, with finer-grained information from the discrete model.

Ecological Modelling and Analysis of Contaminant in the Marine Environment

TAFFI, MARIANNA;TESEI, Luca;MERELLI, Emanuela;PAOLETTI, Nicola;
2012

Abstract

The marine environment represents a major sink of polluttants coming from different anthropogenic activities. Recent experimental analyses have found concentrations of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) both in the marine sediments and in the tissue of fish, thus affecting the marine food web and biomagnifying along the different trophic levels. In this work firstly we assess the concentration of pollutants in the marine ecosystem by using the ECOPATH modeling suite [1]. ECOPATH performs a static, mass-balance analysis of food-web models, from which a differential equation-based model can be derived by considering prey-predator dynamics. We take into account the ecosystem structure and the trophic flows between the species in the Northern and Center Adriatic Sea [2]. In order to assess the bioconcentration of contaminants along the different trophic levels, we can use, for instance, the ECOTRACE module that is able to predict movements and accumulation of pollutants in a food web, or custom bioaccumulation equations. After this first phase, we aim at integrating this approach into a more detailed spatial and multiscale discrete model of marine ecosystem that is under development by our research group. The discrete model will be informed and validated with the information obtained through the continuous model of ECOPATH. Simulation results could provide an indicator for assessing the human risk related to the assumption of contaminated fish, with finer-grained information from the discrete model.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11581/250657
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