This podcast is part of the series: Planet H2O
McWane Science Center
Biomagnification is the accumulation of a substance up the food chain by transfer of the pollutant in smaller organisms that are food for larger organisms in the chain. It generally refers to the sequence of processes which results in higher concentrations in organisms at higher levels in the food chain (at higher trophic levels). These processes result in an organism having higher concentrations of a substance than is present in the organism’s food. There is evidence that some carnivores at the ends of longer food chains (e.g. larger fish, birds of prey, HUMANS) can then accumulate the water pollutant from eating down in the food chain.
Clean fresh water is vital to life on our planet. What can happen if our waters become polluted? How can that affect us as humans if it is happening in the water and to the organisms in that water? One of the ways pollution impacts humans is through food chains. We have to remember that we are part of the environment and as a result, part of the food chain. We eat many of the aquatic organisms, fish and shellfish, which can be detrimentally affected by water pollution.