Marine natural products, the halogenated 1'-methyl-1,2'-bipyrroles, biomagnify in a northwestern Atlantic food web. Academic Article uri icon


  • Halogenated 1'-methyl-1,2'-bipyrroles (MBPs) are putative marine natural products that accumulate in marine mammal blubber in similar concentrations and patterns to biomagnifying organic pollutants. Here we measure concentrations of MBPs and 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) in 40 samples composed of eight fish species, two squid species, and six species of marine mammals. To determine their trophic positions and to further investigate influence of prey preference, we also measured the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions of all samples. Our results show that lipid-normalized MBP concentrations increase with increasing trophic level; therefore, MBPs qualify as another class of biomagnifying marine natural products. The presence of MBPs in pinniped prey and absence in pinniped blubber suggests that these mammals share dietary exposure to MBPs with odontocetes but have an enhanced ability to metabolize these natural products.

publication date

  • August 1, 2010