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Plasma levels of pollutants are much higher in loggerhead turtle populations from the Adriatic Sea than in those from open waters (Eastern Atlantic Ocean)

AuthorsBucchia, Matteo; Mateo, Rafael ; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E. ; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime ; Luzardo, Octavio P.
KeywordsAdriatic Sea
Canary Islands
Organochlorine pesticides
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Caretta caretta
Loggerhead turtles
Issue Date2015
CitationScience of the Total Environment 523: 161-169 (2015)
AbstractIn this paper we determined the levels of 63 environmental contaminants, including organic (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and PAHs) and inorganic (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Hg and Zn) compounds in the blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from two comparable populations that inhabit distinct geographic areas: the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean basin) and the Canary Islands (Eastern Atlantic Ocean). All animals were sampled at the end of a period of rehabilitation in centers of wildlife recovery, before being released back into the wild, so they can be considered to be in good health condition. The dual purpose of this paper is to provide reliable data on the current levels of contamination of this species in these geographic areas, and secondly to compare the results of both populations, as it has been reported that marine biota inhabiting the Mediterranean basin is exposed to much higher pollution levels than that which inhabit in other areas of the planet. According to our results it is found that current levels of contamination by organic compounds are considerably higher in Adriatic turtles than in the Atlantic ones (∑. PCBs, 28.45 vs. 1.12. ng/ml; ∑. OCPs, 1.63 vs. 0.19. ng/ml; ∑. PAHs, 13.39 vs. 4.91. ng/ml; p<. 0.001 in all cases). This is the first time that levels of PAHs are reported in the Adriatic loggerheads. With respect to inorganic contaminants, although the differences were not as great, the Adriatic turtles appear to have higher levels of some of the most toxic elements such as mercury (5.74 vs. 7.59. μg/ml, p<. 0.01). The results of this study confirm that the concentrations are larger in turtles from the Mediterranean, probably related to the high degree of anthropogenic pressure in this basin, and thus they are more likely to suffer adverse effects related to contaminants.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.047
e-issn: 1879-1026
issn: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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