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Temporal trends of mercury differ across three northern white-tailedeagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) subpopulations
Univ of Antwerp.
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Environmental research and monitoring.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1654-8762
Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark.
2019 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 687, p. 77-86Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The spatiotemporal trends of mercury (Hg) are crucial for the understanding of this ubiquitous and toxic contaminant. However, uncertainties often arise from comparison among studies using different species, analytical and statisticalmethods. The long-termtemporal trends of Hg exposurewere reconstructed for a key sentinel species, the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Body feathers were sampled from museum collections covering 150 years in time (from 1866 to 2015) from West Greenland (n = 124), Norway (n = 102), and Sweden (n= 87). A significant non-linear trend was observed in the Norwegian subpopulation, with a 60% increase in exposure occurring from1866 to 1957 followed by a 40% decline until 2015. In the Swedish subpopulation, studied at a later period, the Hg exposure showed a drastic decline of 70% from 1967 to 2011. In contrast, no significant trend could be observed in the Greenland subpopulation. The additional analysis of dietary proxies (δ13C and δ15N) in general increased performance of the temporal trend models, but this was dependent on the subpopulation and study period. The downward trend of Hg coincided with the decreasing δ13C and δ15N in the Norwegian subpopulation, suggesting a potential dietary mitigation of Hg contamination. Hg exposure in both the Greenland andNorwegian subpopulationswas consistently belowthe suggested threshold for adverse health effects (40.0 μg g−1),while the maximumexposure in the Swedish subpopulationwas distinctively elevated (median: 46.0 μg g−1) and still remains well above natural background concentrations (maximum 5.0 μg g−1).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 687, p. 77-86
Keywords [en]
δ13C, δ15N
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Man and the environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3344DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3344DiVA, id: diva2:1357595
Projects
EcoStress
Note

Thirteen more authors were involved.

The ECOSTRESS project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (project number 255681) and the FRAMCentre Flagship Program “Hazardous substances – effects on ecosystems and human health ” (project: Impacts of environmental contaminants and natural stressors on northern raptors: RAPTOR), as well as the BONUS BALTHEALTH project, which received funding from BONUS (Art. 185), funded jointly by the EU, Innovation Fund Denmark (grants 6180-00001B and 6180-00002B), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant FKZ 03F0767A), Academy of Finland (grant 311966) and Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA).

Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-05Bibliographically approved

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