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High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Abstract

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is subject to pollution from multiple sources. We studied development of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) embryos from the refuge from 2000 through 2003. Mean annual deformity rate of pooled painted turtle clutches over four years ranged from 45 to 71%, while that of snapping turtle clutches ranged from 13 to 19%. Lethal deformities were more common than minor or moderate deformities in embryos of both species. Adult painted turtles had a higher deformity rate than adult snapping turtles. Snapping turtles at JHNWR had high levels of PAH contamination in their fat. This suggests that PAHs are involved in the high level of deformities. Other contaminants may also play a role. Although the refuge offers many advantages to resident turtle populations, pollution appears to place a developmental burden on the life history of these turtles. - This paper presents findings on the prevalence of developmental abnormalities in turtles at a national wildlife refuge that have direct relevance to studies on the effects of contamination on development and morphology of vertebrates.
Authors:
Bell, Barbara; [1]  Spotila, James R; [1]  Congdon, Justin [2] 
  1. Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States)
  2. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E., Aiken, SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Aug 15, 2006
Product Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Pollution (1987); Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2005.10.020; PII: S0269-7491(05)00538-5; Copyright (c) 2005 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ADULTS; EMBRYOS; FATS; MORPHOLOGY; POLLUTION; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; TURTLES
OSTI ID:
20775894
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: ISSN 0269-7491; ENPOEK; TRN: GB06R1450080077
Submitting Site:
GBN
Size:
page(s) 457-465
Announcement Date:
Oct 14, 2006

Citation Formats

Bell, Barbara, Spotila, James R, and Congdon, Justin. High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. United Kingdom: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2005.10.020.
Bell, Barbara, Spotila, James R, & Congdon, Justin. High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2005.10.020.
Bell, Barbara, Spotila, James R, and Congdon, Justin. 2006. "High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge." United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2005.10.020. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10.1016/j.envpol.2005.10.020.
@misc{etde_20775894,
title = {High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge}
author = {Bell, Barbara, Spotila, James R, and Congdon, Justin}
abstractNote = {The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is subject to pollution from multiple sources. We studied development of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) embryos from the refuge from 2000 through 2003. Mean annual deformity rate of pooled painted turtle clutches over four years ranged from 45 to 71%, while that of snapping turtle clutches ranged from 13 to 19%. Lethal deformities were more common than minor or moderate deformities in embryos of both species. Adult painted turtles had a higher deformity rate than adult snapping turtles. Snapping turtles at JHNWR had high levels of PAH contamination in their fat. This suggests that PAHs are involved in the high level of deformities. Other contaminants may also play a role. Although the refuge offers many advantages to resident turtle populations, pollution appears to place a developmental burden on the life history of these turtles. - This paper presents findings on the prevalence of developmental abnormalities in turtles at a national wildlife refuge that have direct relevance to studies on the effects of contamination on development and morphology of vertebrates.}
doi = {10.1016/j.envpol.2005.10.020}
journal = {Environmental Pollution (1987)}
issue = {3}
volume = {142}
place = {United Kingdom}
year = {2006}
month = {Aug}
}