Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Reduced trace element concentrations in fast-growing juvenile Atlantic salmon in natural streams.

Authors: Ward, Darren M; Nislow, Keith H; Chen, Celia Y; Folt, Carol L

Published In Environ Sci Technol, (2010 May 01)

Abstract: To assess the effect of rapid individual growth on trace element concentrations in fish, we measured concentrations of seven trace elements (As, Cd, Cs, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn) in stream-dwelling Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from 15 sites encompassing a 10-fold range in salmon growth. All salmon were hatched under uniform conditions, released into streams, and sampled approximately 120 days later for trace element analysis. For most elements, element concentrations in salmon tracked those in their prey. Fast-growing salmon had lower concentrations of all elements than slow growers, after accounting for prey concentrations. This pattern held for essential and nonessential elements, as well as elements that accumulate from food and those that can accumulate from water. At the sites with the fastest salmon growth, trace element concentrations in salmon were 37% (Cs) to 86% (Pb) lower than at sites where growth was suppressed. Given that concentrations were generally below levels harmful to salmon and that the pattern was consistent across all elements, we suggest that dilution of elements in larger biomass led to lower concentrations in fast-growing fish. Streams that foster rapid, efficient fish growth may produce fish with lower concentrations of elements potentially toxic for human and wildlife consumers.

PubMed ID: 20356034 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Cesium/analysis; Ecosystem; Environmental Monitoring; Humans; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Lead/analysis; Regression Analysis; Rivers; Salmo salar/growth & development*; Stomach/drug effects; Trace Elements/analysis*; Water Movements; Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis; Water/chemistry

to Top