, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 127-135

Metals in tern eggs in a New Jersey estuary: A decade of change

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We compared levels of eight heavy metals in common tern eggs collected in 1982 (n=24) from coastal New Jersey with archived specimens collected from the same colonies in 1971 (N=9). Levels of all metals, except cobalt, showed a significant decrease over the 11 year period, with lead and nickel showing the greatest decline. Mercury levels declined over 50% based on geometric means. Cadmium and mercury showed the lowest levels in both years. Pair-wise correlation coefficients on log-transformed data revealed lower correlations in 1971, whereas most metal pairs showed significant correlations in 1982. Mercury levels showed significant positive correlations with cobalt, cadmium, and nickel in 1971, but were not correlated with levels of any other metal in 1982.