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Bioaccumulation and detoxification of heavy metals in a coastal high trophic feeder with a restricted home range, the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor)

Citation

Finger, A and Lavers, JL and Dann, P and Scarpaci, C and Nugegoda, D and Orbell, JD, Bioaccumulation and detoxification of heavy metals in a coastal high trophic feeder with a restricted home range, the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor), Handbook of the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania 4th Congress, 6-8 July 2016, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 223-223. (2016) [Conference Extract]

Abstract

Piscivorous species, of which little penguins belong, are particularly at risk of being negatively impacted by pollution due to their large exposure through aquatic food chains. Determining the rate of bioaccumulation from fish to predator is an essential component of assessing such risk. In this study, we report arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead and selenium concentrations in three species of fish, which are known to be a substantial part of the diet of Little Penguins at the urban colony of St Kilda (Melbourne, Australia) - and analyse these findings together with heavy metal concentrations in little penguin blood and faeces, sampled within weeks of the fish collection. Mercury had the highest accumulation factors (fish prey to penguin blood) and the highest Hg concentrations were found in anchovy (0.22 mg/kg). Arsenic, cadmium and lead were consistently higher in faeces than in blood. This study presents the first data on heavy metals in penguin prey items and faeces. It helps shed light on the trophic transfer of pollutants in Port Phillip Bay, a semi-closed and heavily populated coastal area.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:marine pollution gradient, trace metals, seabird ecology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Conservation and Biodiversity
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:112346
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2016-11-04
Last Modified:2016-11-15
Downloads:0

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