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dc.contributor.authorde Medeiros Costa, Gerlanees_ES
dc.contributor.authorLázaro, Wilkinson L.es_ES
dc.contributor.authorSanpera, Carolinaes_ES
dc.contributor.authorSánchez-Fortún, Moiseses_ES
dc.contributor.authordos Santos Filho, Manoeles_ES
dc.contributor.authorDíez, Sergies_ES
dc.identifier.citationScience of the Total Environment 141730 (2020)es_ES
dc.description.abstractThe evaluation of mercury (Hg) toxicity in wildlife species has prompted a search for sensitive indicators to accurately measure the body burden of Hg. Despite the extensive use of feathers as an indicator of Hg in birds, they do not appear to be an entirely suitable indicator of the extent of contamination in certain conditions and bird species since Hg levels are influenced by the growth period, timing of the last moult and migration. This research aimed to evaluate rhamphotheca as a potential indicator of environmental Hg concentrations in seabirds. We used culled yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) and determined THg in rhamphotheca (n = 40) and feathers (n = 80). We distinguished between upper and lower rhamphotheca, and divided each one into 16 equal portions along the culmen to analyse their THg content spatially. In each bird, THg was also determined in primary (P1) and secondary (S8) feathers and compared with rhamphotheca. The median (25th, 75th percentile) rhamphotheca Hg concentration was 13.44 (9.63, 17.46) μg/g, which was twofold higher than in the feathers 7.56 (4.88, 12.89) μg/g. Median THg in rhamphotheca was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in females 15.05 (10.35, 23.04) μg/g than in males 12.34 (8.57, 15.19) μg/g, whereas no differences (p > 0.05) were found in the feathers. No significant differences in Hg levels were found between upper and lower beak mandibles or along either. In contrast, significant differences in Hg concentrations were found between the P1 and S8 feathers (mean, 12.04 vs. 6.04 μg/g). No correlation was found between Hg content in rhamphotheca and feathers. Mercury levels in rhamphotheca exhibited stronger significant relationships with weight (R2 = 0.568), length (R2 = 0.524) and culmen (R2 = 0.347) than the levels in the feathers, which showed no correlation. Overall, our results suggest that rhamphotheca is a suitable tissue indicator for Hg monitoring in gulls; however, further studies are needed to extend our research to other bird species.es_ES
dc.description.sponsorshipPartial funding was obtained from Project CGL 2016-80963-R (AEI/ FEDER, UE). G. de Medeiros Costa would like to express his gratitude to Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES/Brazil) for a scholarship under the Sandwich Doctorate Program Abroad (PDSE), Process 88881.189396/2018-01.es_ES
dc.subjectHg exposurees_ES
dc.subjectYellow-legged gulles_ES
dc.subjectLarus michahellises_ES
dc.subjectTissue indicatores_ES
dc.titleRhamphotheca as a useful indicator of mercury in seabirdses_ES
dc.description.peerreviewedPeer reviewedes_ES
oprm.item.hasRevisionno ko 0 false*
dc.contributor.orcidDíez, Sergi [0000-0002-9870-2179]es_ES
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