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Intraspecific variation in trophic feeding levels and organochlorine concentrations in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from Bjornoya, the Barents Sea


, : Intraspecific variation in trophic feeding levels and organochlorine concentrations in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from Bjornoya, the Barents Sea. Ecotoxicology 11(2): 119-125

Biomagnification contributes to high concentrations of persistent organochlorines (OC) in some Arctic vertebrates. Glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) on Bjornoya in the western Barents Sea were studied to compare the intraspecific variation in OC concentration with variation in trophic feeding levels, estimated from ratios of nitrogen isotopes. Liver tissue samples from 40 adult glaucous gulls were analysed for hexachlorobenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolite p,p'-DDE, Mirex, and nine congeners of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). The ratios of the heavier to lighter isotope of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N), expressed as [delta]13C and [delta]15N, were measured in liver and muscle. Hepatic concentrations of the nine PCB congeners ([sum] 9 PCB) ranged from 16 [mu]g/g lipid weight to 292 [mu]g/g lipid weight. The [delta]15N ranged from 14.0[permill] to 15.3[permill] in muscle. Seven of the 14 OC measured, [sum] DDT, and [sum] 9 PCB were positively correlated to [delta]15N from muscle tissue. No correlations were found between OC and [delta]13C. The present results indicate that OC concentrations are partly dependent on the foraging strategy of the gull. The r2 of the linear regressions suggests that up to 18% of the variation in the OC concentrations could be explained by variation in food preference.

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PMID: 11990768


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