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Mercury concentrations in breast feathers of three upper trophic level marine predators from the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Marine Pollution Bulletin

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.02.034

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Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element distributed globally through atmospheric transport. Agattu Island, located in the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska, has no history of point-sources of Hg contamination. We provide baseline levels of total mercury (THg) concentrations in breast feathers of three birds that breed on the island. Geometric mean THg concentrations in feathers of fork-tailed storm-petrels (Oceanodroma furcata; 6703 ± 1635, ng/g fresh weight [fw]) were higher than all other species, including snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus; 2105 ± 1631, ng/g fw), a raptor with a diet composed largely of storm-petrels at Agattu Island. There were no significant differences in mean THg concentrations of breast feathers among adult Kittlitz’s murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris; 1658 ± 1276, ng/g fw) and chicks (1475 ± 671, ng/g fw) and snowy owls. The observed THg concentrations in fork-tailed storm-petrel feathers emphasizes the need for further study of Hg pollution in the western Aleutian Islands.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mercury concentrations in breast feathers of three upper trophic level marine predators from the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Series title:
Marine Pollution Bulletin
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.02.034
Volume
82
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
5 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Marine Pollution Bulletin
First page:
189
Last page:
193
Number of Pages:
5
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Other Geospatial:
Aleutian Islands