Mercury in the eggs of aquatic birds from the Gulf of Gdansk and Wloclawek Dam (Poland)
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- Grajewska, A., Falkowska, L., Szumiło-Pilarska, E. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2015) 22: 9889. doi:10.1007/s11356-015-4154-y
The aim of this paper was to assess the influence of diet on the concentrations of total mercury (HgTOT) in the eggs of aquatic birds. Trophic level was determined using stable isotopes (δ15N, δ13C). Analysis was carried out on eggs (laid in 2010–2012) belonging to two species of terns nesting at the River Vistula outlet on the Gulf of Gdansk and on herring gulls nesting both in Gdynia harbour and on the Vistula dam in Wloclawek. The results show that seafood diet causes the highest load of mercury, that which is transferred into terns eggs. The amounts of accumulated mercury obtained were found to be different in the particular egg components with Hgalbumen > Hgyolk > Hgmembrane > Hgshell. In the herring gull eggs, three stages of embryo development with varying levels of mercury were determined. It was observed that mercury received from the albumen and yolk was most effectively removed when developing embryo into down.