The sample egg technique and eggshell thickness-residue regression analysis were comparatively evaluated as tools in estimating critical levels of DDE in birds? eggs that seriously affect reproductive successa nd population starts....In comparing critical values of DDE that were derived from the two methods, the estimates were lower using the sample egg technique for both the Brown Pelican (3 ?g/g vs 8 ?g/g) and the Black-crowned Night-Heron (12?g/g/ vs 54 ?g/g) assuming a critical value of eggshell thinning at 20%....Extension of the regression line beyond the eggshell thickness-DDE residue data base is likely to result in spurious critical values of DDE. When sufficient thickness and residue data are available for estimating critical values of DDE from the regression equation, the estimates are meaningful but are likely to be inflated because adverse effects unrelated to eggshell thinning such as parental behavior and embryotoxicity unrelated to eggshell deficiencies are not taken into account.....Establishing critical levels of pollutants in eggs and tissues is a necessary procedure in assessing effects of these chemicals on individuals and populations of sensitive species. There are inherent difficulties in quantifying the effects of any pollutant on population trends and declines in productivity. The sample egg technique is apparently a more sensitive method for estimating critical levels of DDE, but some subjective interpretation is required for results obtained by both methods.
Additional publication details
DDE in birds' eggs: Comparisons of two methods for estimating critical levels