We collected female greater scaup (Aythya marila) on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska during two breeding seasons to determine if concentrations of 18 trace elements in livers and eggs were elevated and if hepatic concentrations correlated with body condition or affected reproductive status. Fifty-six percent, 5%, and 42% of females, respectively, had elevated hepatic cadmium (Cd: >3 ??g g-1 dry weight [dw]), mercury (Hg: >3 ??g g-1 dw), and selenium (Se: >10 ??g g-1 dw). Somatic protein and lipid reserves were not correlated with hepatic Cd or Hg, but there was a weak negative correlation between protein and Se. Hepatic Cd, Hg, and Se were similar in females that had and had not initiated egg production. In a sample of six eggs, 33% and 100%, respectively, contained Se and Hg, but concentrations were below embryotoxicity thresholds. We conclude that trace element concentrations documented likely were not adversely impacting this study population. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Additional publication details
Relationships between hepatic trace element concentrations, reproductive status, and body condition of female greater scaup