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Title: Metals in tissues of migrant semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) from Delaware Bay, New Jersey

There is an abundance of field data on levels of metals for feathers in a variety of birds, but relatively few data for tissues, especially for migrant species from one location. In this paper we examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in muscle, liver, brain, fat and breast feathers from migrant semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) collected from Delaware Bay, New Jersey. Our primary objectives were to (1) examine variation as a function of tissue, (2) determine the relationship of metal levels among tissues, and (3) determine the selenium:mercury molar ratio in different tissues since selenium is thought to protect against mercury toxicity. We were also interested in whether the large physiological changes that occur while shorebirds are on Delaware Bay (e.g. large weight gains in 2–3 weeks) affected metal levels, especially in the brain. There were significant differences among tissues for all metals. The brain had the lowest levels of arsenic and cadmium, and was tied for the lowest levels of all other metals except lead and selenium. Correlations among metals in tissues were varied, with mercury levels being positively correlated for muscle and brain, and for liver and breast feathers. Weights vary amongmore » individuals at the Delaware Bay stopover, as they arrive light, and gain weight prior to migration north. Bird weight and levels of arsenic, cadmium, and selenium in the brain were negatively correlated, while they were positively correlated for lead. There was no positive correlation for mercury in the brain as a function of body weight. The selenium:mercury molar ratio varied significantly among tissues, with brain (ratio of 141) and fat having the highest ratios, and liver and breast feathers having the lowest. In all cases, the ratio was above 21, suggesting the potential for amelioration of mercury toxicity. - Highlights: • Metal levels were examined for migrant semipalmated sandpipers. • There were differences in metal levels among internal tissues. • Brain had the lowest levels of arsenic and cadmium. • Bird weight and arsenic, cadmium, and selenium levels in brain were negatively correlated. • Selenium:mercury molar ratio varied among tissues (21–141, suggesting protection)« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [7]
  1. Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ (United States)
  2. (EOHSI), Piscataway, NJ (United States)
  3. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), Piscataway, NJ (United States)
  4. (United States)
  5. Conserve Wildlife, 109 Market Lane, Greenwich, NJ (United States)
  6. NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Endangered and Nongame Species Program, Trenton, NJ (United States)
  7. New Jersey Audubon Society, 11 Hardscrabble Rd, Bernardsville, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22447541
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 133; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ANIMAL TISSUES; ARSENIC; BIRDS; BRAIN; CADMIUM; CHROMIUM; CORRELATIONS; DELAWARE BAY; FATS; FEATHERS; FUNCTIONS; GAIN; LEAD; LIVER; MAMMARY GLANDS; MANGANESE; MERCURY; NEW JERSEY; PLANT TISSUES; SELENIUM; VISIBLE RADIATION; WEIGHT