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The levels of eighteen trace elements (TEs) were evaluated in association with stable isotopes (δ15N, δ34S, and δ13C) in feathers and eggs of five migratory species breeding on the Antarctic Peninsula to test the factors that influence their exposure to contaminants. The feathers of seabirds migrating to the Northern Hemisphere (South polar skua) have concentrations (mean ± SD, μg. g-1) of Li (1.71 ± 2.08) and Mg (1169.5 ± 366.8) one order of magnitude higher than southern migrants, such as Snowy sheathbill Li (0.01 ± 0.005) and Mg (499.6 ± 111.9). Feathers had significantly higher concentrations for 11 of a total of 18 metals measured compared to eggs. South polar skua have higher concentrations of all TEs in eggs compared to antarctic tern. Therefore, the present study showed that migration and trophic ecology (δ15N, δ13C, and δ34S) influence Fe, Mn, Cu, and Se concentrations in feathers of Antarctic seabirds. The concentrations of Cu, Mn, Rb, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr are higher than previously reported, which may be due to increased local and global human activities. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


J A Padilha, G O Carvalho, W Espejo, A R L Pessôa, L S T Cunha, E S Costa, J P M Torres, G Lepoint, K Das, P R Dorneles. Trace elements in migratory species arriving to Antarctica according to their migration range. Marine pollution bulletin. 2023 Mar;188:114693

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PMID: 36773589

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