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Biomarkers of contaminant exposure in common terns and black-crowned night herons in the Great Lakes

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

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Abstract

Morphological and biochemical indexes of contaminant exposure were examined in hatching common terns (Sterna hirundo) and black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) from industrialized and non-industrialized locations in the Great Lakes. In 1984, naturally incubated, pipping common tern and black-crowned night heron embryos collected from industrialized locations exhibited smaller femur-length-to-body-weight ratios, elevated hepatic microsomal aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) activities, and lower hepatic DNA concentrations (P lt 0.05). In addition, a high incidence of subcutaneous edema was noted in pipping herons (P lt 0.01). In 1985, reduced hatching success was observed for laboratory-incubated common tern eggs collected from the industrialized sites, compared to non-industrialized sites (P lt 0.01). Day-old hatchlings exhibited reduced femur-length-to-body-weight ratio, developmental anomalies, and elevated hepatic AHH activity (P lt 0.05). For hatching common terns studied in 1984 and 1985, femur-length-to-body-weight ratio was inversely related to AHH activity (r = -0.67, P ltoreq 0.05) and inversely related to log-transformed PCB concentrations (r = -0.70, P ltoreq 0.05) of unincubated eggs from the same colony. The activity of AHH in hatching terns was also directly related (r = 0.71, P ltoreq 0.05) to log-transformed PCB concentrations in unincubated eggs. Other examined contaminants, including DDE, other organochlorine pesticides, and mercury, were not directly related to these effects.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Biomarkers of contaminant exposure in common terns and black-crowned night herons in the Great Lakes
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume
12
Issue:
6
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
1095-1103
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1095
Last page:
1103
Number of Pages:
9