Trace elements and ingested plastic debris in wintering dovekies (Alle alle)

We provide the first report on winter concentrations of 32 trace metals from dovekies (Alle alle), a small, Arctic seabird that has a seasonal shift in diet from small zooplankton in the breeding season to larger zooplankton and small fish in the non-breeding season. Concentrations of selected trace elements, as well as stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope concentrations for a sample of 25 dovekies, were similar between adult males and females, and there was evidence that dovekies feeding at higher trophic levels had higher hepatic Hg. We also found plastic debris in nine of 65 (14%) gizzards examined. Our study helps provide a more complete picture of the foraging ecology and contaminant profile of dovekies, an important species in Arctic marine food webs.

Danielle T. Fife, Gregory J. Robertson, Dave Shutler and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 91, Issue 1, Pages 368–371, February 2015

The article


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