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Glossary of "Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet (2nd ed.)" by Botkin & Keller (1998)

  • Also called biological concentration. The tendency for some substances to concentrate with each trophic level. Organisms preferentially store certain chemicals and excrete others. When this occurs consistently among organisms, the stored chemicals increase as a percentage of the body weight as the material is transferred along a food chain or trophic level. For example, the concentration of DDT is greater in herbivores than in plants and greater in plants than in the nonliving environment.


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