Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 253–258

Cadmium and lead in common terns (Aves: Sterna hirundo): Relationship between levels in parents and eggs

  • Joanna Burger
  • Michael Gochfeld


We analyzed cadmium and lead levels in feathers of mated pairs of common terns (Sterna hirundo) and in their eggs to determine if metal levels in eggs correlated with female levels, and whether there were intrapair and intermetal correlations. Eggs had significantly lower lead levels (89 ng g-1) and cadmium levels (4.0 ng g-1) than adult feathers (500 and 50 ng g-1 respectively). Adult females had higher metal levels than males. Cadmium and lead levels were correlated across families for females, males and eggs. Lead, but not cadmium, levels were correlated in females and their eggs.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna Burger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Gochfeld
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA
  2. 2.Environmental and Community MedicineUMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA

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