This paper discusses activity concentrations of (210)Po, (210)Pb, (40)K and (137)Cs in edible wild berries and mushrooms collected from Øvre Dividalen national park, Northern Norway and derives committed effective ingestion doses to man based on high consumption rates of these wild foods. Edible wild berries and mushrooms accumulated similar levels of (210)Pb, but mushrooms accumulated higher levels of (210)Po and (40)K than berries. There appears to be a clear difference in the ability of Leccinum spp. of fungi to accumulate (210)Po and/or translocate (210)Po to mushrooms compared to Russula spp. of fungi. Activity concentrations of (137)Cs in edible wild berries and mushrooms from Øvre Dividalen national park reflected the lower levels of fallout of this radionuclide in Northern Norway compared to more central areas following the Chernobyl accident. For mushrooms, ingestion doses are dominated by (210)Po, while for berries, (40)K is typically the main contributor to dose. Based on high consumption rates, ingestion doses arising from the combination of (210)Po, (210)Pb and (40)K were up to 0.05 mSv/a for berries and 0.50 mSv/a for mushrooms. Consumption of such wild foods may result in a significant contribution to total annual doses when consumed in large quantities, particularly when selecting mushrooms species that accumulate high activity concentrations of (210)Po.
Increasing human activities in the Arctic raise the risk of petroleum pollution, thus posing an elevated risk for Arctic organisms to be chronically exposed to petroleum compounds. The endocrine disrupting properties of some of these compounds (i.e. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs]) present in crude oil may have negative effects on the long and energy intensive reproductive development of polar cod (Boreogadus saida), an Arctic keystone species. In the present study, selected reproductive parameters were examined in feral polar cod exposed to crude oil via a natural diet (0.11, 0.57 and 1.14µg crude oil/g fish/day [corresponding to low, medium and high treatments, respectively]) for 31 weeks prior to spawning. Fish maturing in the current reproductive period made up 92% of the experimental population while 5% were immature and 3% were identified as resting fish. Phase I metabolism of PAHs, indicated by ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity, showed a dose-dependent increase in high and medium crude oil treatments at week 6 and 22, respectively. Decreasing EROD activity and increasing PAH bile metabolite concentrations over the experimental period may be explained by reproductive maturity stage. Significant alterations in sperm motility were observed in crude oil exposed males compared to the controls. The investigated somatic indices (gonad and hepatic), germ cell development and plasma steroid levels (estradiol-17ß [females], testosterone [males and females] and 11-ketotestosterone [males]) were not significantly altered by chronic dietary exposure to crude oil. The environmentally realistic doses polar cod were chronically exposed to in this study were likely not high enough to induce adverse effects in this ecologically important fish species. This study elucidated many baseline aspects of polar cod reproductive physiology and emphasized the influence of maturation state on biomarkers of PAH biotransformation (EROD and PAH bile metabolites).
Whether the ovarian fluid (OF) represents a selective environment influencing cryptic female choice was tested using an external fertilizer experiencing intense sperm competition and large effects of OF on sperm swimming behavior-the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). We physically separated the OF from the eggs of reproductively active females and reintroduced either their own OF or fluid from another female to the eggs. The eggs were then fertilized in vitro in a replicated split-brood design with sperm from two males under synchronized sperm competition trials, while also measuring sperm velocity of the individual males in the individual OFs. We found large effects of males, but no effect of females (i.e., eggs) on paternity, determined from microsatellites. More important, we found no effect of OF treatments on the relative paternity of the two competing males in each pair. This experimental setup does not provide support for the hypothesis that OF plays an important role as medium for cryptic female choice in charr. Power analyses revealed that our sample size is large enough to detect medium-sized changes in relative paternity (medium-sized effect sizes), but not large enough to detect small changes in relative paternity. More studies are needed before a conclusion can be drawn about OF's potential influence on paternity under sperm competition-even in charr.