Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 218, Issue 1–4, pp 603–610 | Cite as

Uptake and Accumulation of Anthropogenic Os in Free-Living Bank Voles (Myodes glareolus)

  • Ilia Rodushkin
  • Emma Engström
  • Dieke Sörlin
  • Douglas Baxter
  • Birger Hörnfeldt
  • Erik Nyholm
  • Frauke Ecke
Article

Abstract

Osmium tetroxide (OsO4) is one of the most toxic air contaminants but its environmental effects are poorly understood. Here, for the first time, we present evidence of osmium uptake in a common herbivore (bank vole, Myodes glareolus) in boreal forests of northern Sweden. Voles (n = 22) and fruticose arboreal pendular lichens, the potential main winter food source of the vole, were collected along a spatial gradient to the west of a steelwork in Tornio, Finland at the Finnish–Swedish border. 187Os/188Os isotope ratios increased and osmium concentrations decreased in lichens and voles along the gradient. Osmium concentrations in lichens were 10,000-fold higher than those in voles. Closest to the steelwork, concentrations were highest in kidneys rather than skin/fur that are directly exposed to airborne OsO4. The kidney-to-body weight ratio was higher at the two localities close to the steelwork. Even though based on a small sample size, our results for the first time demonstrate that osmium is taken up, partitioned, and accumulated in mammal tissue, and indicate that high kidney-to-body weight ratios might be induced by anthropogenic osmium.

Keywords

Boreal forest Herbivore Kidney-to-body weight ratio Metal uptake Spatial gradient 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The project was funded via a grant of VINNOVA (Grant no. P32060-1) and of the Board of Faculty, Luleå University of Technology, to F. Ecke.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilia Rodushkin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emma Engström
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dieke Sörlin
    • 2
  • Douglas Baxter
    • 2
  • Birger Hörnfeldt
    • 3
  • Erik Nyholm
    • 4
  • Frauke Ecke
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of GeosciencesLuleå University of TechnologyLuleåSweden
  2. 2.ALS Scandinavia ABLuleåSweden
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental StudiesSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  5. 5.Department of Aquatic Sciences and AssessmentSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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