Season, molt, and body size influence mercury concentrations in grebes

Season, molt, and body size influence mercury concentrations in grebes We studied seasonal and physiological influences on mercury concentrations in western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's grebes (A. occidentalis) across 29 lakes and reservoirs in California, USA. Additionally, at three of these lakes, we conducted a time series study, in which we repeatedly sampled grebe blood mercury concentrations during the spring, summer, and early fall. Grebe blood mercury concentrations were higher among males (0.61 ± 0.12 μg/g ww) than females (0.52 ± 0.10 μg/g ww), higher among Clark's grebes (0.58 ± 0.12 μg/g ww) than western grebes (0.51 ± 0.10 μg/g ww), and exhibited a strong seasonal pattern (decreasing by 60% from spring to fall). Grebe blood THg concentrations exhibited a shallow, inverse U-shaped pattern with body size, and was lowest among the smallest and largest grebes. Further, the relationship between grebe blood mercury concentrations and wing primary feather molt exhibited a shallow U-shaped pattern, where mercury concentrations were highest among birds that had not yet begun molting, decreased approximately 24% between pre-molt and late molt, and increased approximately 19% from late molt to post-molt. Because grebes did not begin molting until mid-summer, lower grebe blood mercury concentrations observed in late summer and early fall were consistent with the onset of primary feather molt. However, because sampling date was a much stronger predictor of grebe mercury concentrations than molt, other seasonally changing environmental factors likely played a larger role than molt in the seasonal variation in grebe mercury concentrations. In the time series study, we found that seasonal trends in grebe mercury concentrations were not consistent among lakes, indicating that lake-specific variation in mercury dynamics influence the overall seasonal decline in grebe blood mercury concentrations. These results highlight the importance of accounting for sampling date, as well as ecological processes that may influence mercury concentrations, when developing monitoring programs to assess site-specific exposure risk of mercury to wildlife. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Pollution Elsevier

Season, molt, and body size influence mercury concentrations in grebes

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/season-molt-and-body-size-influence-mercury-concentrations-in-grebes-0X7fZYYmiW
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0269-7491
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.058
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We studied seasonal and physiological influences on mercury concentrations in western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's grebes (A. occidentalis) across 29 lakes and reservoirs in California, USA. Additionally, at three of these lakes, we conducted a time series study, in which we repeatedly sampled grebe blood mercury concentrations during the spring, summer, and early fall. Grebe blood mercury concentrations were higher among males (0.61 ± 0.12 μg/g ww) than females (0.52 ± 0.10 μg/g ww), higher among Clark's grebes (0.58 ± 0.12 μg/g ww) than western grebes (0.51 ± 0.10 μg/g ww), and exhibited a strong seasonal pattern (decreasing by 60% from spring to fall). Grebe blood THg concentrations exhibited a shallow, inverse U-shaped pattern with body size, and was lowest among the smallest and largest grebes. Further, the relationship between grebe blood mercury concentrations and wing primary feather molt exhibited a shallow U-shaped pattern, where mercury concentrations were highest among birds that had not yet begun molting, decreased approximately 24% between pre-molt and late molt, and increased approximately 19% from late molt to post-molt. Because grebes did not begin molting until mid-summer, lower grebe blood mercury concentrations observed in late summer and early fall were consistent with the onset of primary feather molt. However, because sampling date was a much stronger predictor of grebe mercury concentrations than molt, other seasonally changing environmental factors likely played a larger role than molt in the seasonal variation in grebe mercury concentrations. In the time series study, we found that seasonal trends in grebe mercury concentrations were not consistent among lakes, indicating that lake-specific variation in mercury dynamics influence the overall seasonal decline in grebe blood mercury concentrations. These results highlight the importance of accounting for sampling date, as well as ecological processes that may influence mercury concentrations, when developing monitoring programs to assess site-specific exposure risk of mercury to wildlife.

Journal

Environmental PollutionElsevier

Published: Oct 1, 2017

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 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

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

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off