American black ducks (Anas rubripes) and mallards (A. platyrhynchos) were fed diets varying in concentrations of aluminum (Al). calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) for 10 weeks to identify toxic effects of Al under conditions representative of areas with acid precipitation. Femur and liver tissues were analyzed for Al. Ca, and P concentrations and structural characteristics. At two weeks of age, both species demonstrated pronounced differences in femur Al and P concentrations and femur mass from dietary Al and interaction between Ca:P regimen and Al:Low Ca:Low P enhanced Al storage and decreased P and mass in femurs. Femur Ca was lowest in the Low Ca:Low P regimen but was not affected by dietary Al. At 10 weeks, femur and liver Al continued to vary with dietary Al. Elevated Al and reduced Ca lowered modulus of elasticity. Femur P increased with elevated dietary P in black ducks. Elevated dietary P negated some of the effects of dietary A! on femur mass in black ducks. Reduced Ca concentrations weakened bones of both species and lowered both Ca and P. An array of clinical signs including lameness, discoloration of the upper mandible, complete and greenstick fractures, and death were responses to elevated Al and Ca:P regimen. Black ducks seemed to display these signs over a wider range of diets than mallards. Diets of 1,000 mg/kg Al had toxic effects on both species, particularly when combined with diets low in Ca and P.
Additional Publication Details
Acid precipitation and food quality: Effects of dietary Al, Ca and P on bone and liver characteristics in American black ducks and mallards
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology