Several organochlorine pollutants were studied over the period of one annual cycle in caged juvenile and wild-collected adult herring gulls (Lagus argentatus) from Lake Michigan. Fish, mostly alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), comprised the major year-round food items in the wild; alewives were also fed to the caged juveniles. Fish residues averaged around 3 mg/kg of p,p'-DDE, 2 mg/kg p,p'DDT + p,p'-TDE, and 2 mg/kg apparent PCBs. Juvenile body-burdens of DDE and PCBs showed a continual buildup after fledging, then a temporary dynamic equilibrium, related only in part to annual lipid deposition. Maximum body-burdens were reached in both juveniles and adults when winter fat deposits were declining prior to the breeding season?followed by a return to dynamic equilibrium. Residues of DDT and TDE followed closely the annual pattern of lipid deposition in both juveniles and adults. Total body-burdens in both age classes were similar after the buildups to equilibrium in juveniles in their eighth month after fledging. Seasonal variations of residues of DDE and PCBs were characterised by two phases in adults and three in juveniles, which gradually assumed the adult cyclic pattern. The maximum body-burdens attained by caged juveniles fed a diet of Lake Michigan alewives were 290 mg/kg DDE, 19 mg/kg DDT + TDE, and 200 mg/kg apparent PCBs. Residues in wild adults at the same time were 300, 4, and 200 mg/kg of the same residues. Apparent PCBs and DDE were highly accumulative, although DDE levels resulted from dietary DDE, as well as conversion from DDT.
Additional publication details
Dynamics of storage of organochlorine pollutants in herring gulls