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Food Chains and Food Webs

What is biological magnification?


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September 30, 2014 7:26PM

Biological Magnification, also called bioaccumulation -- is the process whereby certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals move up the food chain.

These substances work their way into rivers or lakes, and are eaten by aquatic organisms such as fish, which in turn are eaten by large birds, animals or humans. The substances, called bioaccumulants, become concentrated in tissues or internal organs as they move up the chain.

It occurs when compounds are poorly excreted by an organism thereby leading to a buildup of said compound as the organism consumes more and more organisms/substances containing the compound.