European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 59, Issue 6, pp 899–903 | Cite as

Temporal kinetics of fluoride accumulation: from fetal to adult deer

Short Communication

Abstract

In June 2011, a volcano deposited about 100 million tons of tephra over parts of Chile and over 36 million ha of Argentina. Initially, fluoride was considered irrelevant; however, recently wild deer exhibited strong fluorosis, with fluoride level increasing 38-fold among severely affected deer. Whereas mothers averaged 2,151 ppm, their late-term fetuses had only 19.8 ppm, indicating a barrier to fluoride transport in utero. Levels among four age classes increased significantly, at a rate of about 1,000 ppm/year. The temporal kinetics of accumulation suggests that sources of available fluoride are highly effective. Thus, compared to prior background levels (63 ppm in adults) and to fetuses starting at about 20 ppm, 1-year-old calves averaged 1,035 ppm (maximum 1,830 ppm), 2-year olds averaged 2,151 ppm (maximum 2,513 ppm), and older deer averaged 2,806 ppm (maximum 5,175 ppm). As osteofluorosis occurs in deer with >4,000 ppm, accumulation of 1,000 ppm/year would result in adults reaching levels causing osteopathology in 1–2 years. Importantly, impacts may be further exacerbated by regional iodine and selenium deficiencies. Iodine deficiency may increase incidences of dental fluorosis and severity of damages, while selenium deficiency impacts iodine metabolism. Fluorosis will affect population dynamics, morbidity, predation susceptibility, and other ecosystem components like scavenger and plant communities.

Keywords

Cervids Cervus elaphus Fluorosis Kinetics Pathology Tephra Volcanic eruption 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner T. Flueck
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jo Anne M. Smith-Flueck
    • 4
  1. 1.National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.National Park AdministrationSan Carlos de BarilocheArgentina
  3. 3.Swiss Tropical and Public Health InstituteUniversity BaselBaselSwitzerland
  4. 4.Instituto de Análisis de Recursos NaturalesUniversidad Atlántida ArgentinaSan Carlos de BarilocheArgentina

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