Metal accumulation in three species of passerine birds (Emberiza cia, Parus major, and Turdus merula) subjected to air pollution from a coal-fired power plant

  • S. Llacuna
  • A. Gorriz
  • C. Sanpera
  • J. Nadal


Metal accumulation in three passerine bird species, Great Tit (Parus major), Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia), and Blackbird (Turdus merula), was analyzed in a polluted zone where there is a coal-fired power plant (Cercs, Northeast Spain), and a non-polluted zone located 40 km from the source of pollution. Rainwater from the polluted area was acidic (pH 5.2) but the calcareous composition of the soil in this zone buffered the soil and water pools; there were no significant differences between soil pH in the two areas. Metal accumulation in organs and tissues was dependent upon the species and the diet. Blackbirds did not show any significant difference between sites, but Rock Buntings from the polluted zone had higher levels of Cr in feathers and Al in bone, and lower levels of Mn in muscle. Great Tits from the polluted zone showed significantly higher levels of Cr in feathers than those from the unpolluted area. Concerning interspecific differences, Blackbird accumulated significantly more metals than Great Tit or Rock Bunting: higher levels of Cd and Cu in the liver, higher levels of Cr, Pb, Zn and S in bone, and higher levels of S in muscle.


Waste Water Water Pollution Bird Species Metal Accumulation Polluted Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Llacuna
    • 1
  • A. Gorriz
    • 1
  • C. Sanpera
    • 2
  • J. Nadal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department de Biologia Animal, Unitat de VertebratsUniversitat de Barcelona, Facultat de BiologiaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i EcologiaUniversitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Facultat de VeterinariaBellaterraSpain

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