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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem
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Bioaccumlation in tuna Bluefin tuna are among the fishes that were exposed to radioactive material released into the sea by the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant (Section 47.1). These tuna breed in the western Pacific, and some migrate to the Eastern Pacific when they are 1 to 2 years old. Daniel Madigan suspected that migrating tuna would transport radioactive material to the waters off the coast of California. To test this hypothesis, he and his collaborators analyzed the concentration of cesium radioisotopes (137Cs and 134Cs) in bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna caught near San Diego in August 2011. Yellowfin tuna do not cross the Pacific; they spend their lives in California's coastal waters. The scientists compared these data with the radioisotope content of bluefin tuna that had been caught near San Diego in 2008. FIGURE 48.9 shows their results.

Chapter 48, Problem 3DAA, Bioaccumlation in tuna Bluefin tuna are among the fishes that were exposed to radioactive material

FIGURE 48.9 Radioactive cesium (Cs) concentration in two species of tuna caught along the coast of California.

137Cs has a half-life of 30 years and some persists in the Pacific from weapons testing. 134Cs has a half-life of 2 years and was undetectable in the Pacific prior to the accident at Fukushima. Becquerels (Bq) is a measure of radioactivity.

Bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna are similarly sized top predators. Why did Madigan compare species that were similar in this way?

Summary Introduction

To determine: How the researcher choose to compare isotope content of bluefin tuna to that of yellowfin tuna knowing that both are similarly sized top predators.

Concept introduction: Bioaccumulation is the concentration of a pollutant inside an organism’s tissues causing the amount of the pollutants to increase over time. Trophic level also affects the pollutant concentration by the process of biological magnification. The concentration of the chemical in the ecosystem increases as the pollutants move up the food chain. Bioaccumulation and biological magnification even in low concentrations (depending on toxic potential) can have detrimental effects on a species.

Explanation

The powerful earthquake occurred in the northeast coast of Japan in March 2011 caused tsunami that killed 15,000 people. During this time, the nuclear power plant on the shore of the city Fukushima became damaged and released some radioactive materials into the air and sea. The water was polluted with cesium 137 (137Cs), a radioactive material having a half-life of 30 years.

The bluefin tuna are among the fishes that were exposed to radioactive materials released into the sea. These tuna fishes breed in the western Pacific and some migrate to the Eastern Pacific when they are 1 to 2 years old. Researcher D suspected that the tuna might have transported the radioactive material off the coast of California...

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