Patterns of PCB congener bioaccumulation were examined in archived herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs collected from Big Sister Island in Green Bay, Lake Michigan, and Scotch Bonnet Island in Lake Ontario from 1971 to 1982 as part of the Canadian Wildlife Service's Great Lakes Herring Gull Monitoring Program. Concentrations of 97 PCB congeners were measured. From 1971 to 1982, ecological half-lives of most congeners, particularly the tri- through hexachlorobiphenyls, were greater in eggs from Green Bay than Lake Ontario. Comparing sum PCB levels in eggs collected in 1971 and 1982, concentrations declined 80% at Scotch Bonnet Island and 74% at Big Sister Island. PCB congener patterns were different in eggs from the two colonies. Principal components analysis showed that inter-site differences in congener patterns became more apparent after 1976. This indicated that regional PCB sources were the most influential in determining patterns of biologically-available PCBs during the 1971 to 1982 period in these two lakes, via recycling of historical PCBs from sediments or gradually decreasing loading. Trend analysis of selected congeners specific to Aroclors 1242, 1254, and 1260 revealed that the rapid decline of less chlorinated congeners, observed from 1971 to 1976 in Lake Ontario, was explained by a decrease in loading of Aroclor 1242 to the lake. At both colonies, ecological half life of the congeners was significantly (p < 0.001) correlated with log K(ow) and with -log HLC. Changes in PCB composition, after 1976 in Lake Ontario and from 1971 to 1982 in Green Bay, could be explained by differences in the physical behavior of individual congeners affecting removal by volatilization and sedimentation.

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Keywords Eggs, Green Bay, Herring gull, Lake Ontario, Larus argentatus, Monitoring, Polychlorinated biphenyls
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Journal Journal of Great Lakes Research
Hebert, C.E, Norstrom, R.J. (Ross J.), Zhu, J. (Jiping), & Macdonald, C.R. (Colin R.). (1999). Historical changes in PCB patterns in Lake Ontario and Green Bay, Lake Michigan, 1971 to 1982, from herring gull egg monitoring data. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 25(1), 220–233. doi:10.1016/S0380-1330(99)70730-6