The potential exists for human exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other contaminants originating from abandoned Mid-Canada Radar Line (MCRL) sites in sub-arctic Canada. We examined patterns of differences with respect to body burden of organochlorines (lipid-adjusted) between residents of the Ontario First Nations of Fort Albany (the site of MCRL Site 050) and Kashechewan (no radar base) and Hamilton (an industrial, southern Ontario community) to assess whether the presence of Site 050 influenced organochlorine body burden with respect to the people of Fort Albany. PCBs (Aroclor 1260 and summation operator14 PCBs congeners [CBs]) and DDE in the plasma of Fort Albany and Kashechewan subjects were elevated relative to Hamilton participants. PCB and DDE-plasma levels in First Nation women were of comparable magnitude to those reported for Inuit women living in the west/central Northwest Territories. Significantly lower DDE/DDT ratios observed for Fort Albany indicates exposure to higher levels of DDT compared to Kashechewan. The probable source of DDT exposure for Fort Albany people is the DDT-contaminated soil surrounding buildings of Site 050. The results of the correspondence analysis (CA) indicated that people from Hamilton had relatively higher pesticides and lower CB body burdens, while people from Fort Albany and Kashechewan exhibited relatively higher CBs and lower pesticide levels (CA-1). The separation of Fort Albany and Kashechewan from Hamilton was also clear using questionnaire data (i.e., plotting dietary principal component [PC]-1 scores against PC-2); PC-1 was correlated with the consumption of a traditional diet. Separation of Kashechewan and Albany residents occurred because the people of Kashechewan ate more traditional meats and consumed shorebirds. Only one significant relationship was found between PC analysis and contaminant loadings; PC-1 versus CA-3 for Kashechewan. The presence of Site 050 on Anderson Island appears to have influenced organochlorine body burden of the people of Fort Albany. ANCOVA results revealed that it was not activity on Anderson Island that was important, but activity on Site 050 was the influential variable. When these results are considered with the DDE/DDT ratio data and the CB 187 results (Fort Albany and Kashechewan residents differed significantly), the findings are suggestive that Site 050 did influence organochlorine body burden of people from Fort Albany.
The presence of organotin compounds, e.g., tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPhT) including the di- and monosubstituted breakdown products, was studied in a representative marine food web in order to assess the accumulation potential at different trophic levels in Danish coastal waters. This included samples of two species of seaweed, four species of invertebrates, four species of fish, five species of birds and two species of mammals. All organisms were sampled away from harbour areas and the organotin concentrations found in this study can therefore be considered to reflect a general level in organisms living in Danish coastal waters. All the samples analysed contained organotin compounds. The highest hepatic concentrations of butyltins were found in flounder (60-259 ng g-1 wet weight [ww], as Sn), eider duck (12-202 ng g-1 ww) and harbour porpoise (134-2283 ng g-1 ww). The lowest concentrations were found in seaweed and a plant-feeding bird. TPhT or its degradation products were also found in most of the samples with the highest concentrations in flounder (9.8-74 ng g-1 ww), cod (23-28 ng g-1 ww) and great black-backed gull (19-24 ng g-1 ww). This indicates an input of TPhT in the region, probably from the use as antifouling agent. A high variance in accumulation potential was found between the species, even between species at the same trophic level, which probably reflects the species-specific differences in exposure routes and the capabilities to metabolise and eliminate the organotin compounds. This study gives evidence of the importance of biomagnification of butyltin in harbour porpoises and, to a lesser extent, in fish and birds.
Among the waterfowl affected by white phosphorus (P4) at a military base in Alaska are tundra (Cygnus columbianus) and trumpeter (C. buccinator) swans. To estimate the toxicity of P4 to swans and compare the toxic effects to those of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), we dosed 30 juvenile mute swans (C. olor) with 0 to 5.28 mg P4/kg body weight. The calculated LD50 was 3.65 mg/kg (95% CI: 1.40 to 4. 68 mg/kg). However, many of the swans still had P4 in their gizzards after dying, as determined by "smoking gizzards" and characteristic odor, and a lower LD50 might be calculated if all of the P4 had passed into the small intestines. We attribute the retention of P4 in swans to the possibility that P4 pellets were mistaken for the similarly sized grit in their gizzards. Most swans took 1 to 4.5 days to die in contrast to the few hours normally required in mallards and death appeared to be related more to liver dysfunction than to hemolysis. White phosphorus affected several plasma constituents, most notably elevated aspartate aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, and alanine aminotransferase.
To gain insights into the effects of adaptive governance on natural capital, we compare three well-studied initiatives; a landscape in Southern Sweden, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and fisheries in the Southern Ocean. We assess changes in natural capital and ecosystem services related to these social-ecological governance approaches to ecosystem management and investigate their capacity to respond to change and new challenges. The adaptive governance initiatives are compared with other efforts aimed at conservation and sustainable use of natural capital: Natura 2000 in Europe, lobster fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, North America, and fisheries in Europe. In contrast to these efforts, we found that the adaptive governance cases developed capacity to perform ecosystem management, manage multiple ecosystem services, and monitor, communicate, and respond to ecosystem-wide changes at landscape and seascape levels with visible effects on natural capital. They enabled actors to collaborate across diverse interests, sectors, and institutional arrangements and detect opportunities and problems as they developed while nurturing adaptive capacity to deal with them. They all spanned local to international levels of decision making, thus representing multilevel governance systems for managing natural capital. As with any governance system, internal changes and external drivers of global impacts and demands will continue to challenge the long-term success of such initiatives.
Cites: Curr Biol. 2008 Jun 24;18(12):R514-518579091
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 15;105(28):9489-9418621698
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 15;105(28):9477-8218621700
Investigations were carried out at two stations of Ornithological Unit, IBPN FEB RAS, located in Nizhnekolymsk District, Yakutia, starting from May 15-20 in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1990; at the northern coast of Pukhovoy Bay, Southern Island of Novaya Zemlya starting from June 1 in 1994; at Cape Beliy Nos, the Yugorsky Peninsula, starting from June 1 in 1995-1997. Classic associations are detected in interspecies flocks of sandpipers between the following species: the Pacific golden plover and the curlew sandpiper, the pectoral sandpiper and the long-billed dowitcher, the pectoral sandpiper and the dunlin, the grey plover and the dunlin. However, total amount of birds that form associations is not large. In species of group "A" (the grey plover, the Pacific golden plover, the pectoral sandpiper), no difference has been observed in migratory birds behavior within inter- or conspecific flocks. Species of group "B" (the dunlin, the curlew sandpiper, the long-billed dowitcher), on the contrary, change their behavior sharply depending on whether they belong to an association or not. Species of group "A" do not get any advantages when forming an association. Unlike them, species of group "B" profit from associating: a part of time spent in foraging substantially increases; more time is spent on rest and less time is spent on reconnaissance and vigilance (readiness for actions); safety of birds is enhanced. On the other hand, in species of group "B" there are also disadvantages related with associating: i.e., interspecies competition for food; foraging in suboptimal habitats which, in turn, may lead to notable increase of time spent by birds in foraging. An assumption is put forward that in species of group "B" advantages and limitations of associating cancel each other to a certain extent, and this explains rather small number of birds forming associations.
We studied the relationship between increasing age and blood concentrations of four persistent organochlorines (OCs), hexachlorbenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorbiphenyl (PCB-153), in arctic-breeding glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). We measured OC concentrations in 31 individuals of known age and took repeated blood samples of 64 individuals in different years, either one year apart or three or four years apart. The age of individuals was not related to the blood concentrations for any of the four compounds, and in birds whose values were measured repeatedly, there was no effect of the length of time (number of years) between sampling events on the relative change in OC concentration. This indicates that steady-state levels were reached before the age of first breeding. However, breeding area significantly influenced the changes in OC concentration between sampling events. In areas in which birds fed on prey from higher trophic levels, the OC concentrations showed large increases between sampling events; in areas in which birds fed at lower trophic levels, OC concentrations increased relatively little or not at all. This indicates that individual birds had different equilibrium concentrations, which are reached at different ages depending on the intake of OCs through the food. It also indicates that some individuals had not reached steady-state concentrations at the onset of reproduction. Changes in body condition and amount of blood lipids were of lesser importance than trophic level and influenced the concentrations of HCB and oxychlordane more strongly than DDE and PCB-153. In conclusion, this study indicates that steady-state concentrations of persistent OCs are reached early in life in most glaucous gulls, considering the long life span of the species.
Elevated seawater temperatures are linked to the development of harmful algal blooms (HABs), which pose a growing threat to marine birds and other wildlife. During late 2015 and early 2016, a massive die-off of Common Murres (Uria aalge; hereafter, murres) was observed in the Gulf of Alaska coincident with a strong marine heat wave. Previous studies have documented illness and death among seabirds resulting from exposure to the HAB neurotoxins saxitoxin (STX) and domoic acid (DA). Given the unusual mortality event, corresponding warm water anomalies, and recent detection of STX and DA throughout coastal Alaskan waters, HABs were identified as a possible factor of concern. To evaluate whether algal toxins may have contributed to murre deaths, we tested for STX and DA in a suite of tissues obtained from beach-cast murre carcasses associated with the die-off as well as from apparently healthy murres and Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla; hereafter, kittiwakes) sampled in the preceding and following summers. We also tested forage fish and marine invertebrates collected in the Gulf of Alaska in 2015-2017 to evaluate potential sources of HAB toxin exposure for seabirds. Saxitoxin was present in multiple tissue types of both die-off (36.4 %) and healthy (41.7 %) murres and healthy kittiwakes (54.2 %). Among birds, we detected the highest concentrations of STX in liver tissues (range 1.4-10.8?µg 100?g-1) of die-off murres. Saxitoxin was relatively common in forage fish (20.3 %) and invertebrates (53.8 %). No established toxicity limits currently exist for seabirds, but concentrations of STX in birds and forage fish in our study were lower than values reported from most other bird die-offs in which STX intoxication was causally linked. We detected low concentrations of DA in a single bird sample and in 33.3 % of invertebrates and 4.0 % of forage fish samples. Although these results do not support the hypothesis that acute exposure to STX or DA was a primary factor in the 2015-2016 mortality event, additional information about the sensitivity of murres to these toxins is needed before we can discount their potential role in the die-off. The widespread occurrence of STX in seabirds, forage fish, and invertebrates in the Gulf of Alaska indicates that algal toxins should be considered in future assessments of seabird health, especially given the potential for greater occurrence of HABs in the future.
Two hundred pigeon breeders from the county of Funen were invited to participate in the study. No definite cases of allergic alveolitis were found among the 68 participants. 40% had experienced airway and/or general symptoms in connection with pigeon exposure. However, most of these symptoms could be explained as irritation of the airway and chronic bronchitis. Precipitating antibodies to pigeon serum and to an aqueous pigeon bloom extract were determined. The antibody titers did not differ in pigeon breeders with or without symptoms. Smokers had lower antibody titers to pigeon antigens and a lower level of total serum IgG, but reported symptoms in connection with pigeon exposure as often as non smokers.
Anthropogenic contaminants have been a concern in the Canadian arctic for over 30 years due to relatively high concentrations of bioaccumulating and biomagnifying organochlorine contaminants (OCs) and toxic metals found in some arctic biota and humans. However, few studies have addressed the potential effects of these contaminants in Canadian arctic wildlife. Prior to 1997, biological effects data were minimal and insufficient at any level of biological organization. The present review summarizes recent studies on biological effects related to contaminant exposure, and compares new tissue concentration data to threshold effects levels. Weak relationships between cadmium, mercury and selenium burdens and health biomarkers in common eider ducks (Somateria mollissima borealis) in Nunavut were found but it was concluded that metals were not influencing the health of these birds. Black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) examined near PCB-contaminated Saglek Bay, Labrador, had enlarged livers, elevated EROD and liver lipid levels and reduced retinol (vitamin A) and retinyl palmitate levels, which correlated to PCB levels in the birds. Circulating levels of thyroid hormones in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were correlated to PCB and HO-PCB plasma concentrations, but the impact at the population level is unknown. High PCB and organochlorine pesticide concentrations were found to be strongly associated with impaired humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in polar bears, implying an increased infection risk that could impact the population. In beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), cytochromes P450 (phase I) and conjugating (phase II) enzymes have been extensively profiled (immunochemically and catalytically) in liver, demonstrating the importance of contaminants in relation to enzyme induction, metabolism and potential contaminant bioactivation and fate. Concentrations of OCs and metals in arctic terrestrial wildlife, fish and seabirds are generally below effects thresholds, with the possible exception of PCBs in burbot (Lota lota) in some Yukon lakes, Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), glaucous and great black-backed gulls (Larus hyperboreus and L. marinus), and TEQs of dioxin-like chemicals in seabird eggs. PCB and DDT concentrations in several arctic marine mammal species exceed effects thresholds, although evidence of stress in these populations is lacking. There is little evidence that contaminants are having widespread effects on the health of Canadian arctic organisms, with the possible exception of polar bears. However, further research and better understanding of organohalogen exposure in arctic biota is needed considering factors such as tissue levels that exceed effects thresholds, exposure to "new" organohalogen contaminants of concern, contaminated regions, and climate change.