Despite global occurrence of several perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) the potential ecological effects of such substances on natural populations are not known. In endangered lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus fuscus) on the Norwegian Coast, the blood concentrations of PFCs were as high as legacy organochlorines (OCs), and here we examined whether PFCs show associations similar to those of OCs to factors potentially affecting population growth, by evaluating relationships between contaminant concentrations and demographic parameters (reproductive performance and the probability of adults returning between breeding seasons). PFCs were not adversely associated with demographic parameters, while the most persistent OCs; notably PCB and p,p'-DDE, were adversely associated with early chick survival, and adult return rate. This study thus suggests that when the concentrations of PFCs and OCs are of similar magnitude in a gull population, OCs are more likely to cause adverse ecological effects.
Department of Archaeology & Natural History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2007 Feb 28;362(1478):219-28
In the highlands of New Guinea, the development of agriculture as an indigenous innovation during the Early Holocene is considered to have resulted in rapid loss of forest cover, a decrease in forest biodiversity and increased land degradation over thousands of years. But how important is human activity in shaping the diversity of vegetation communities over millennial time-scales? An evaluation of the change in biodiversity of forest habitats through the Late Glacial transition to the present in five palaeoecological sites from highland valleys, where intensive agriculture is practised today, is presented. A detailed analysis of the longest and most continuous record from Papua New Guinea is also presented using available biodiversity indices (palynological richness and biodiversity indicator taxa) as a means of identifying changes in diversity. The analysis shows that the collapse of key forest habitats in the highland valleys is evident during the Mid - Late Holocene. These changes are best explained by the adoption of new land management practices and altered disturbance regimes associated with agricultural activity, though climate change may also play a role. The implications of these findings for ecosystem conservation and sustainability of agriculture in New Guinea are discussed.
Cites: Asia Pac Viewp. 2001;42(2-3):209-1819170258