Sediments from the Wisconsin River, WI, USA are contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-p-dioxin (TCDD) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Wet weight concentrations of TCDD and PCBs in eggs were at background levels and highest in the piscivorous hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus; geometric MEAN=7 pg/g TCDD and 0.92 I?g/g PCBs) and lowest in the omnivorous wood duck (Aix sponsa) (<1 pg/g and 0.07 I?g/g); concentrations in eggs of the insectivorous tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) were intermediate (<1 pg/g and 0.33 I?g/g). Positive accumulation rates of TCDD (8a??19 pg/day) and PCBs (0.4a??0.7 I?g/day) in tree swallow nestlings suggest that the Wisconsin River is the source of these contaminants for tree swallow nestlings. The lower representation of trichlorobiphenyls and tetrachorobiphenyls in hooded merganser eggs compared to wood duck or tree swallow eggs suggests that the hooded merganser or its diet has a greater ability to metabolize lower-numbered PCB congeners than wood ducks or tree swallows.
Additional publication details
Dioxins and congener-specific polychlorinated biphenyls in three avian species from the Wisconsin River, Wisconsin