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    We investigated the potential effects of different land use and other environmental factors on animals living in a contaminated environment. The study site in Kabwe, Zambia, is currently undergoing urban expansion, while lead contamination from former mining activities is still prevalent. We focused on a habitat generalist lizards (Trachylepis wahlbergii). The livers, lungs, blood, and stomach contents of 224 lizards were analyzed for their lead, zinc, cadmium, copper, nickel, and arsenic concentrations. Habitat types were categorized based on vegetation data obtained from satellite images. Multiple regression analysis revealed that land use categories of habitats and three other factors significantly affected lead concentrations in the lizards. Further investigation suggested that the lead concentrations in lizards living in bare fields were higher than expected based on the distance from the contaminant source, while those in lizards living in green fields were lower than expected. In addition, the lead concentration of lungs was higher than that of the liver in 19% of the lizards, implying direct exposure to lead via dust inhalation besides digestive exposure. Since vegetation reduces the production of dust from surface soil, it is plausible that dust from the mine is one of the contamination sources and that vegetation can reduce exposure to this.


    Rio Doya, Shouta M M Nakayama, Hokuto Nakata, Haruya Toyomaki, John Yabe, Kaampwe Muzandu, Yared B Yohannes, Andrew Kataba, Golden Zyambo, Takahiro Ogawa, Yoshitaka Uchida, Yoshinori Ikenaka, Mayumi Ishizuka. Land Use in Habitats Affects Metal Concentrations in Wild Lizards Around a Former Lead Mining Site. Environmental science & technology. 2020 Nov 17;54(22):14474-14481

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    PMID: 32490671

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