Common tern cIutch size, reproductive success and growth of young recorded from an abandoned barge on the Providence River, an area of heavy metal contamination, were equal to, or greater than, .from less contaminated areas. Concentrations of copper and zinc were higher in livers of nestling terns from the Providence River than from other, less contaminated, areas. However, concentrations of magnesium, manganese, and iron and the frequency of nickel were equal, or lower, at Providence than other, less contaminated, locations. Among-colony trends in residues of copper, zinc and nickel in prey samples were similar to trends .found in nestling livers. Uric acid concentrations in nestling blood were twice as high in the Providence River than another colony and may have resulted from moderate levels of chromium in the diet.
Additional publication details
Reproductive success and heavy metal contamination in Rhode Island common terns
Environmental Pollution (Series A)
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center