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Patterns of organic contaminants in eggs of an insectivorous, an omnivorous, and a piscivorous bird nesting on the Hudson River, New York, USA

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

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Abstract

Belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), spotted sandpiper (Actitus macularia), and tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs were collected in 2004 from the upper Hudson River, New York, USA. This area is one of the most polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated locations in North America. Multivariate analyses indicated among species differences in the concentration and composition of PCB congeners, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD), and dibenzofuran (PCDF, PCDD-F when combined with PCDDs) congeners, and chlorinated pesticides. Total PCB concentrations followed the typical food chain biomagnification paradigm of higher concentrations in piscivorous bird eggs and lower concentrations in eggs of species that feed at lower trophic levels. Concentrations in the insectivorous swallows (geometric mean=6.8μg/g wet wt) were approximately half the concentrations present in the piscivorous kingfisher (11.7μg/g) or omnivorous sandpiper (12.6μg/g). In contrast, PCB toxic equivalents (TEQs) were higher in swallows (1,790 pg/g wet wt) than in either kingfishers (776pg/g) or sandpipers (881pg/g). This difference can be mainly attributed to higher PCB77 concentrations in swallows relative to the other two species. Also contrary to the accepted food-chain paradigm, the sum of PCDD-F concentrations and the sum of their TEQs were higher in swallows than in either sandpipers or kingfishers. Metabolic pathway differences in the respective food chains of the three species probably accounted for the differences observed in PCB TEQ, total PCDD-F, and PCDD-F TEQ concentrations among species.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Patterns of organic contaminants in eggs of an insectivorous, an omnivorous, and a piscivorous bird nesting on the Hudson River, New York, USA
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume
29
Issue:
10
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
Socieity of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Publisher location:
Brussels, Belgium
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
11 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
2286
Last page:
2296
Country:
United States
State:
New York
Other Geospatial:
Hudson River