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Environ Pollut. 2008 Jun;153(3):529-36. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) as bioindicators in Canadian areas of concern in the Great Lakes Basin. II. Changes in hatching success and hatchling deformities in relation to persistent organic pollutants.

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1
Population Assessment Unit, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Box 5050, Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 4A6. shane.desolla@ec.gc.ca

Abstract

Hatching success and deformities in snapping turtle hatchlings (Chelydra serpentina) were evaluated using eggs collected from 14 sites in the Canadian lower Great Lakes, including Areas of Concern (AOC), between 2001 and 2004. Eggs were analyzed for PCBs, PBDEs, and pesticides. Between 2002 and 2004, hatchling deformity rates were highest in two AOCs (18.3-28.3%) compared to the reference sites (5.3-11.3%). Hatching success was poorest in three AOCs (71.3-73.1%) compared to the reference sites (86.0-92.7%). Hatching success and deformity rates were generally poorer in 2001 compared to 2002-2004, irrespective of the study location and could be due to egg handling stress in 2001. Hatching success and deformities were generally worst from the Wheatley Harbour, St. Lawrence River (Cornwall), Detroit River, and Hamilton Harbour AOCs. Associations between contaminant burdens with embryonic development were sufficiently poor that the biological relevance is questionable. Stressors not measured may have contributed to development abnormalities.

PMID:
18039552
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2007.09.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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