Polychlorinated biphenyls may alter marine trophic pathways by reducing phytoplankton size and production

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Science  25 Aug 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4357, pp. 737-739
DOI: 10.1126/science.97784


Polychlorinated biphenyls at concentrations of 1 to 10 micrograms per liter reduced phytoplankton biomass and size in natural estuarine phytoplankton communities grown within dialysis bags in situ in an estuarine marsh. In polychlorinated biphenyls-contaminated waters, these changes could increase the number of trophic levels and divert the flow of biomass from harvestable fish to jellyfish and other gelatinous predators.