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Title: Assessment of contaminant levels and trophic relations at a World Heritage Site by measurements in a characteristic shorebird species

The River Elbe is responsible for influxes of contaminants into the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site. We investigated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), oxychlordane (OxC), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (α-, β-, γ-HCHs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in blood and feathers from Eurasian oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus; n=28) at the Elbe and compared it with a non-riverine site about 90 km further north. (1) Mean levels of all contaminants in feathers and serum were significantly higher at the river (∑PCBs: 27.6 ng/g feather, 37.0 ng/ml serum; ∑DDTs: 5.3 ng/g feather, 4.4 ng/ml serum) compared with the non-riverine site (∑PCBs: 6.5 ng/g feather, 1.2 ng/ml serum; ∑DDTs: 1.4 ng/g feather, 0.5 ng/ml serum). Mean ∑HCH and HCB levels were <1.8 ng/g in feather and <1.8 ng/ml in serum at both sites. (2) Levels of most detectable compounds in serum and feathers were significantly related, but levels were not consistently higher in either tissue. (3) There was no significant relationship between trophic level in individual oystercatchers (expressed as δ15N) or the degree of terrestrial feeding (expressed as δ13C) and contaminant loads. (4) PBDEs were not detected in significant amounts at either site. The results of this study indicate thatmore » the outflow from one of Europe′s largest river systems is associated with significant historical contamination, reflected by the accumulation of contaminants in body tissues in a coastal benthivore predator. - Highlights: • Contaminants in Oystercatchers from the Elbe river and a non-riverine site were measured. • Mean levels of contaminants were higher at the river than at the non-riverine site. • Levels of most contaminants in serum and feathers were significantly related. • No relationship between trophic level (δ15N) and contaminant level was found. • One of Europe′s largest river systems is associated with major historical contamination.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1]
  1. Research and Technology Centre (Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum), University of Kiel, Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum (Germany)
  2. Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)
  3. Laboratory for Oceanology-MARE Research Center, University of Liege, Allée de la Chimie 17, B6C, Institut de Chimie, 4000 Liege (Sart-Tilman) (Belgium)
  4. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umeå (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22447567
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 136; 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:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ANIMAL TISSUES; BLOOD; BUILDUP; CHARGES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONTAMINATION; DDT; EARTH PLANET; EUROPE; FEATHERS; FEEDING; GLOBAL ASPECTS; METABOLITES; PHENYL ETHER; PLANT TISSUES; POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS; RIVERS; STABLE ISOTOPES; WADDEN SEA