Contamination of ivory gulls (Pagophila eburnea) at four colonies in Svalbard in relation to their trophic behaviour
- 303 Downloads
The ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) is a high-Arctic species considered endangered in most parts of its breeding range. Ivory gulls must cope with not only the reduction in sea ice cover triggered by climate change but also increasing contaminant loads due to changes in global contaminant pathways and the release of previously stored pollutants from melting snow and ice. This top predator may be affected by biomagnification processes of a variety of compounds with concentrations dramatically increasing from water to higher trophic levels. The objective of this study was therefore to assess the contaminant bioaccumulation of this species in four colonies located on Barentsøya, Svalbard, in link with its trophic behaviour. To that end, contaminants, including organochlorines (OCs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), were determined in the blood (plasma and whole blood) of ivory gulls sampled over several years. Carbon- and nitrogen-stable isotopes were also determined in different tissues (feathers, plasma and red blood cells, or whole blood) to infer the trophic level (δ15N) and feeding habitat (δ13C) during both the breeding and moulting periods. The most quantitatively abundant contaminants found in the ivory gull were p,p′-DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), ΣPCB (polychlorobiphenyl), and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulphonate). Several compounds including most of the PFASs, trans-nonachlor, cis-nonachlor, and BDE-28 were correlated with nitrogen values. This study highlighted variability in trophic behaviour among individuals during the breeding and the moulting periods. Overall, similar feeding habitats and strategies were used between breeding sites which was echoed by similar contaminant levels.
KeywordsIvory gull Perfluorinated alkyl substances Persistent organic pollutants Arctic Isotopes
The authors wish to thank the European Commission for its financial support through a Marie Curie fellowship to M. Lucia, as well as Gael Guillou from the “plateforme analyses isotopiques” (UMR LIENSs) for technical support during stable isotope analyses. We thank Linda Hanssen and Arntraut Götsch (NILU) for their assitance with the chemical analyses. We also thank Birgit Braune for her help with English. The fieldwork was supported by the Norwegian Polar Institute’s centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE) and the SEAPOP program (seapop.no). Thanks to Vidar Bakken, Audun Igesund, Cecilie Miljeteig, Knut Olsen, Maria Gavrilo, Olivier Gilg and Odd Kindberg for help in the field.
- ACIA (2004) Impacts of a warming arctic: arctic climate impact assessment. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Bourgeon S, Leat EHK, Magnusdóttir E, Fisk AT, Furness RW, Strøm H, Hanssen SA, Petersen Æ, Olafsdòttir K, Borgå K, Gabrielsen GW, Bustnes JO (2012) Individual variation in biomarkers of health: influence of persistent organic pollutants in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) breeding at different geographical locations. Environ Res 118:31–39CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- de Wit CA, Fisk A, Hobbs K, Muir D, Gabrielsen G, Kallenborn R, Krahn M, Norstrom R, Skaare J (2004) AMAP Assessment 2002: Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, OsloGoogle Scholar
- Goutte A, Barbraud C, Meillère A, Carravieri A, Bustamante P, Labadie P, Budzinski H, Delord K, Cherel Y, Weimeskirch H, Chastel O (2014a) Demographic consequences of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in a vulnerable long-lived bird, the Wandering Albatross. Proc R Soc B 281:20133313CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Goutte A, Angelier F, Bech C, Clément-Chastel C, Dell’Omo G, Gabrielsen GW, Lendvai AZ, Børge M, Noreen E, Pinaud D, Tartu S, Chastel O (2014c) Annual variation in the timing of breeding, pre-breeding foraging areas and corticosterone levels in an Arctic population of Black-legged Kittiwakes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 496:233–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Herzke D, Nygård T, Berger U, Huber S, Røv N (2009) Perfluorinated and other persistent halogenated organic compounds in European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) from Norway: a suburban to remote pollutant gradient. Sci Total Environ 408:340–348CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Leat EHK, Bourgeon S, Magnusdottir E, Gabrielsen GW, Grecian WJ, Hanssen SA, Olafsdottir K, Petersen A, Phillips RA, Strøm H, Ellis S, Fisk AT, Bustnes JO, Furness RW, Borgå K (2013) Influence of wintering area on persistent organic pollutants in a breeding migratory seabird. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 491:277–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Leslie HA, Thomsen C, Brandsma S, Van Velzen M, Leonards PEG, de Boer J (2007) Decabromodiphenylether in human whole blood and serum. Proceedings of the BFR, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- Peakall DB (1985) Behavioral responses of birds to pesticides and other contaminants. Residue Rev 96:45–77Google Scholar
- Vanden Heuvel JP, Thompson JT, Frame SR, Gillies PJ (2006) Differential activation of nuclear receptors by perfluorinated fatty acid analogs and natural fatty acids: a comparison of human, mouse, and rat peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α, -β, and - γ, liver X receptor-β, and retinoid X receptor-α. Toxicol Sci 92:476–489CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar