Organochlorine contaminants in seven species of Arctic seabirds from northern Baffin Bay
Migration, Nitrogen-15, Scavenging, Seabirds, Stable isotopes, Trophic level
Organochlorine contaminants (OCs) were determined in liver and fat of seven species of seabirds (Alle alle, Uria lomvia, Cepphus grylle, Rissa tridactyla, Pagophila eburnea, Larus hyperboreus, and Fulmaris glacialis) collected in May/June 1998 from the Northwater Polynya in northern Baffin Bay. OC concentrations ranged over an order of magnitude between seabird species and OC groups, with PCBs having the highest concentrations followed by DDT, chlordane, HCH and ClBz. Positive relationships between δ15N (estimator of trophic level) and OC concentrations (lipid basis) were found for all OC groups, showing that trophic position and biomagnification significantly influence OC concentrations in Arctic seabirds. Concentrations of a number of OCs in particular species (e.g., HCH in P. eburnean) were lower than expected based on δ15N and was attributed to biotransformation. P. eburnea and F. glacialis, which scavenge, and R. tridactyla, which migrate from the south, were consistently above the δ15N-OC regression providing evidence that these variables can elevate OC concentrations. Stable isotope measurements in muscle may not be suitable for identifying past scavenging events by seabirds. OC relative proportions were related to trophic position and phylogeny, showing that OC biotransformation varies between seabird groups. Trophic level, migration, scavenging and biotransformation all play important roles in the OCs found in Arctic seabirds. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Buckman, Andrea H.; Norstrom, Ross J.; Hobson, Keith A.; Karnovsky, Nina J.; Duffe, Jason; and Fisk, Aaron T.. (2004). Organochlorine contaminants in seven species of Arctic seabirds from northern Baffin Bay. Environmental Pollution, 128 (3), 327-338.