Mercury bioaccumulation in bats reflects dietary connectivity to aquatic food webs

Mercury bioaccumulation in bats reflects dietary connectivity to aquatic food webs Mercury (Hg) is a persistent and widespread heavy metal with neurotoxic effects in wildlife. While bioaccumulation of Hg has historically been studied in aquatic food webs, terrestrial consumers can become contaminated with Hg when they feed on aquatic organisms (e.g., emergent aquatic insects, fish, and amphibians). However, the extent to which dietary connectivity to aquatic ecosystems can explain patterns of Hg bioaccumulation in terrestrial consumers has not been well studied. Bats (Order: Chiroptera) can serve as a model system for illuminating the trophic transfer of Hg given their high dietary diversity and foraging links to both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Here we quantitatively characterize the dietary correlates of long-term exposure to Hg across a diverse local assemblage of bats in Belize and more globally across bat species from around the world with a comparative analysis of hair samples. Our data demonstrate considerable interspecific variation in hair total Hg concentrations in bats that span three orders of magnitude across species, ranging from 0.04 mg/kg in frugivorous bats (Artibeus spp.) to 145.27 mg/kg in the piscivorous Noctilio leporinus. Hg concentrations showed strong phylogenetic signal and were best explained by dietary connectivity of bat species to aquatic food webs. Our results highlight that phylogeny can be predictive of Hg concentrations through similarity in diet and how interspecific variation in feeding strategies influences chronic exposure to Hg and enables movement of contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Pollution Elsevier

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/mercury-bioaccumulation-in-bats-reflects-dietary-connectivity-to-0XLRNUkfY9
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0269-7491
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.envpol.2017.10.010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is a persistent and widespread heavy metal with neurotoxic effects in wildlife. While bioaccumulation of Hg has historically been studied in aquatic food webs, terrestrial consumers can become contaminated with Hg when they feed on aquatic organisms (e.g., emergent aquatic insects, fish, and amphibians). However, the extent to which dietary connectivity to aquatic ecosystems can explain patterns of Hg bioaccumulation in terrestrial consumers has not been well studied. Bats (Order: Chiroptera) can serve as a model system for illuminating the trophic transfer of Hg given their high dietary diversity and foraging links to both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Here we quantitatively characterize the dietary correlates of long-term exposure to Hg across a diverse local assemblage of bats in Belize and more globally across bat species from around the world with a comparative analysis of hair samples. Our data demonstrate considerable interspecific variation in hair total Hg concentrations in bats that span three orders of magnitude across species, ranging from 0.04 mg/kg in frugivorous bats (Artibeus spp.) to 145.27 mg/kg in the piscivorous Noctilio leporinus. Hg concentrations showed strong phylogenetic signal and were best explained by dietary connectivity of bat species to aquatic food webs. Our results highlight that phylogeny can be predictive of Hg concentrations through similarity in diet and how interspecific variation in feeding strategies influences chronic exposure to Hg and enables movement of contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems.

Journal

Environmental PollutionElsevier

Published: Feb 1, 2018

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Access to DeepDyve database
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off