Effects of arsenate on growth and physiology in mallard ducklings

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



Arsenic (As) has been found at elevated concentrations in irrigation drainwater and in aquatic plants utilized by waterfowl. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) duckings received an untreated diet (controls) or diets containing 30, 100 or 300 ppm As added as sodium arsenate. After 10 weeks blood and tissue samples were collected for biochemical and histological examination. Arsenic accumulated significantly in brain and liver of ducklings fed 100 or 300 ppm but did not result in histopathological lesions. The 300-ppm dietary As concentration decreased overall growth (weight gain) in males, whereas all concentrations of As decreased overall growth and rate of growth in females. Food consumption was less during the first three weeks in all 300-ppm group and during the second week for the 100-ppm compared to controls. Plasma sorbitol dehydrogenase activity and plasma glucose concentration were higher in the 300-ppm group compared to controls. Plasma triglyceride concentration increased in all As-treated groups. Brain ATP was lower in the 300-ppm group and sodium/potassium-dependent ATPase activity was higher in the 30- and 100-ppm groups. Hepatic glutathione peroxidase activity was lower in the 300-ppm group and malondialdehyde lower in all treatment groups. All treatment levels caused elevation in hepatic glutathione and ATP concentrations. These findings, in combination with altered duckling behavior (increased resting time) suggesting that concentrations of As that have been found in aquatic plants (up to 430 ppm dry weight) could adversely affect normal duckling development.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of arsenate on growth and physiology in mallard ducklings
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume 9
Issue 6
Year Published 1990
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 785-795
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page 785
Last page 795
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional metadata about this publication, not found in other parts of the page is in this table