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Environ Pollut. 2014 Jan;184:414-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

Persistent organic pollutant concentrations in fledglings of two arctic seabird species.

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Department of Biological Sciences, 50 Sifton Road, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada. Electronic address:


Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and stable isotopes were measured in muscle from fledglings of two arctic seabird species, Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) and Black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). The purpose was to compare POP concentrations between species, in an age class that is highly vulnerable to POPs but little studied, relate to diet using stable isotopes, and quantify differences across life stages (egg to adult). Northern fulmar fledglings had significantly higher POP concentrations than kittiwake, consistent with results reported for adults of these species. Surprisingly, carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes did not differ between species, which does not match data for, or the known feeding ecology, of the adults. Fulmar/kittiwake POP concentration ratios varied across life stages indicating variable POP exposure and accumulation with age in seabirds, indicating that of the use of avian species-specific thresholds should only be done with caution in ecosystem-based POP risk management.


Black-legged kittiwake; Contaminants; Northern fulmar; Stable isotopes

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