SREL Reprint #0895




Fate of Anthracene in an Artificial Stream: A Case Study

Peter F. Landrum, Steven M. Bartell, John P. Giesy, Gordon J. Leversee, John W. Bowling, John Haddock, Katie LaGory, Sara Gerould, and Mary Bruno



The fate of anthracene, a representative polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, was followed in a large outdoor stream microcosm.  The major nonadvective route for the removal of anthracene was phototolytic degradation to anthraquinone (half-life 43 min).  The anthraquinone also photolyzed rapidly in this shallow stream system.  Excluding the plastic channel liner, the sediment acts as the major sink for anthracene, absorbing 0.2% of the 14-day input dose.  The periphyton community was the second most important sink, absorbing 0.045% of the input dose.  All other compartments were of significantly less importance on a mass basis.  Anthracene (11 g liter-1) caused photo-induced 100% mortality of the bluegill sunfish in 9 hr in the upstream reach.  Fish at the downstream station survived for ~ 26 hr and all died within 1 hr of each other.  Other organisms, clams and dragonfly larvae, started to die off toward the end of the 14 day input period.


SREL Reprint #0895

 Landrum, P.F., S.M. Bartell, J.P. Giesy, G.J. Leversee, J.W. Bowling, J. Haddock, K. LaGory, S. Gerould, and M. Bruno. 1984. Fate of anthracene in an artificial stream: a case study. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 8:183-201.

To request a reprint