Effects of toxic emissions (heavy metals and sulfur dioxide) on reproductive parameters of adult pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca Pall.) and morphophysiological characteristics of their progeny have been studied in the vicinity of the Middle Ural Copper-Smelting Plant. In polluted areas, the fecundity of adult birds is lower, mortality among the progeny is higher, and changes in the physiological parameters of birds are observed. The effects of toxic load are better manifested in nestlings than in adult birds. They include an increase in the liver index, the reduction of hemoglobin concentration, and an increase in the proportion of immature erythrocytes in the peripheral blood. The proportion of anemic birds also increases. The weakening of nestlings facilitates their infestation by the larvae of parasitic flies. Changes in the differential blood count of nestlings reflect the combined impact of toxic pollutants and parasites.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2005
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