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Title: Tracking the sources of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in birds: Foraging in waste management facilities results in higher DecaBDE exposure in males

Differences in feeding ecology are now recognized as major determinants of inter-individual variations in contaminant profiles of free-ranging animals, but exceedingly little attention has been devoted to the role of habitat use. Marked inter-individual variations and high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (e.g., DecaBDE) have previously been documented in ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) breeding in a colony near Montreal (QC, Canada). However, the environmental sources of these compounds, and thus the reasons causing these large inter-individual variations remain unidentified. In the present study, we used GPS-based telemetry (±5 to 10 m precision) to track ring-billed gulls from this colony to reconstruct their movements at the landscape level. We related habitat use of individual gulls (n=76) to plasma concentrations (ng/g ww) and relative contributions (percentages) to Σ{sub 38}PBDEs of major congeners in the internationally restricted PentaBDE and current-use DecaBDE mixtures. Male gulls that visited waste management facilities (WMFs; i.e., landfills, wastewater treatment plants and related facilities; 25% of all GPS-tracked males) exhibited greater DecaBDE (concentrations and percentages) and lower PentaBDE (percentages) relative to those that did not. In contrast, no such relationships were found in females. Moreover, in males, DecaBDE (concentrations and percentages) increased with percentages of time spent inmore » WMFs (i.e., ~5% of total foraging time), while PentaBDE (percentages) decreased. No relationships between percentages of time spent in other habitats (i.e., urban areas, agriculture fields, and St. Lawrence River) were found in either sex. These findings suggest that animals breeding in the vicinity of WMFs as well as mobile species that only use these sites for short stopovers to forage, could be at risk of enhanced DecaBDE exposure. - Highlights: • The study was conducted on breeding gulls with high levels of flame retardants. • Ring-billed gulls were GPS-tracked to associate habitat use with plasma PBDEs. • Males that visited waste management facilities had greater DecaBDE. • DecaBDE also increased with time spent in waste management facilities in males. • No relationships between habitat use and PBDEs were found in females.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;
  1. Centre de recherche en toxicologie de l’environnement (TOXEN), Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, P.O. Box 8888, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 (Canada)
  2. Centre for Forest Research, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boulevard de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada J9X 5E9 (Canada)
  3. Groupe de recherche en écologie comportementale et animale, Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, P.O. Box 8888, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22483291
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 138; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 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; ACCURACY; AGRICULTURE; BIRDS; BREEDING; CONCENTRATION RATIO; CURRENTS; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; ECOLOGY; FEEDING; FLAMES; FORAGE; GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM; HABITAT; HAZARDS; PARTICLE TRACKS; PHENYL ETHER; SANITARY LANDFILLS; SEX; ST LAWRENCE RIVER; TELEMETRY; URBAN AREAS; WATER TREATMENT