MERCURY LEVELS IN EGGS, TISSUES, AND FEATHERS OF HERRING-GULLS LARUS-ARGENTATUS FROM THE GERMAN WADDEN SEA COAST

Citation
Sa. Lewis et al., MERCURY LEVELS IN EGGS, TISSUES, AND FEATHERS OF HERRING-GULLS LARUS-ARGENTATUS FROM THE GERMAN WADDEN SEA COAST, Environmental pollution, 80(3), 1993, pp. 293-299
Citations number
54
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environmental Sciences
Journal title
ISSN journal
0269-7491
Volume
80
Issue
3
Year of publication
1993
Pages
293 - 299
Database
ISI
SICI code
0269-7491(1993)80:3<293:MLIETA>2.0.ZU;2-Y
Abstract
The relationships between mercury levels in eggs, tissues, and feather s of male and female herring gulls caught at their nests at a colony o n the German Wadden Sea Coast were investigated, and an assessment of mercury intake and excretion of these birds was made. Samples of the l iver, ovary, pectoral muscle, and body feathers, as well as the primar y feather (in some cases), and eggs were taken from 37 adult herring g ulls. Analysis of total mercury in all samples showed that body-feathe r and tissue levels were independent of sex. There was, however, a sig nificant difference between levels of mercury in the primary feathers of male and female birds. Egg levels were not correlated to pectoral m uscle, ovary, or feather levels although they were positively correlat ed with mercury levels in the liver. Liver levels were in turn correla ted with mercury levels in the ovary. The ratio of mean feather to mea n egg concentration ranged from 3.7 to 5.5 according to which feather. was used It was estimated that herring gulls from the Wadden coast in gested between 825 and 1337 mug of mercury in the year prior to analys is. It was also estimated that female birds may excrete over 20% more mercury via their eggs than could be excreted by male birds.