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Closed Access item Blood biomarkers and contaminant levels in feathers and eggs to assess environmental hazards in heron nestlings from impacted sites in Ebro basin (NE Spain)

Authors:Barata Martí, Carlos
Fabregat, M. C.
Cotín, J.
Huertas, David
Solé, Montserrat
Quirós, Laia
Sanpera, Carolina
Jover, Lluís
Ruiz, Xavier
Grimalt, Joan O.
Piña, Benjamín
Keywords:Total oxyradical scavenging capacity, Esterases, Lactate dehydrogenase oxidative stress, Organochlorine compounds, Mercury, Ardeida
Issue Date:Mar-2010
Publisher:Elsevier
Citation:Environmental Pollution 158(3): 704-710(2010)
Abstract:Blood biomarkers and levels of major pollutants in eggs and feathers were used to determine pollution effects in nestlings of the Purple Heron Ardea purpurea and the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, sampled on three Ebro River (NE Spain) areas: a reference site, a site affected by the effluents of a chlor-alkali industry and the river Delta. The two impacted heron populations showed mutually different pollutant and response patterns, suggesting different sources of contamination. In the population nesting near the chlor-alkali plant, elevated levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) in eggs, and mercury in feathers in A. purpurea chicks were related with reduced blood antioxidant defenses and increased levels of micronuclei. In Ebro Delta, high levels of plasmatic lactate dehydrogenase in A. purpurea chicks and high frequency of micronuclei in blood of both species were tentatively associated with intensive agricultural activities taking place in the area. These results provide the first evidence of a biological response in heron chicks to the release of pollutants at a chlor-alkali plant. High levels of organochlorine and mercury levels in eggs and feathers were related with altered blood biomarkers of heron nesting chicks.
Description:7 pages, 2 figures, 3 tables
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2009.10.018
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/20418
ISSN:0269-7491
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