Wide range of metallic and organic contaminants in various tissues of the Antarctic prion, a planktonophagous seabird from the Southern Ocean

Abstract : Trace elements (n=14) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs, n=30)were measured in blood, liver, kidney, muscle and feathers of 10 Antarctic prions (Pachyptila desolata) from Kerguelen Islands, southern Indian Ocean, in order to assess their concentrations, tissue distribution, and inter-tissue and inter-contaminant relationships. Liver, kidney and feathers presented the highest burdens of arsenic, cadmium and mercury, respectively. Concentrations of cadmium, copper, iron, and zinc correlated in liver and muscle, suggesting that uptake and pathways of metabolism and storage were similar for these elements. The major POPs were 4,4’-DDE, mirex, PCB-153 and PCB-138. The concentrations and tissue distribution patterns of environmental contaminants were overall in accordance with previous results in other seabirds. Conversely, some Antarctic prions showed surprisingly high concentrations of BDE-209. This compound has been rarely observed in seabirds before, and its presence in Antarctic prions could be due to the species feeding habits or to the ingestion of plastic debris. Overall, the study shows that relatively lower trophic level seabirds (zooplankton-eaters) breeding in the remote southern Indian Ocean are exposed to a wide range of environmental contaminants, in particular cadmium, selenium and some emerging-POPs, which merits further toxicological investigations.
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Aymeric Fromant, Alice Carravieri, Paco Bustamante, Pierre Labadie, Hélène Budzinski, et al.. Wide range of metallic and organic contaminants in various tissues of the Antarctic prion, a planktonophagous seabird from the Southern Ocean. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2016, 544, pp.754-764. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.114⟩. ⟨hal-01260941⟩

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