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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Dec 15;573:1390-1396. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.091. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

Persistent organic pollutants and porphyrins biomarkers in penguin faeces from Kopaitic Island and Antarctic Peninsula.

Author information

1
Aquatic Systems Department, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and EULA-Chile Centre, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile.
2
Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, St. John, New Brunswick E2L 4L5, Canada; Fundación MERI, Santiago 7650720, Chile.
3
Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, Faculty of Ecology and Natural Resources, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago 8370371, Chile.
4
Instituto de Investigación Pesquera, Dpto. de Estudios Ambientales, Talcahuano 4260000, Chile.
5
Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile.
6
Departamento de Botánica, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile.
7
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada.
8
Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, St. John, New Brunswick E2L 4L5, Canada.
9
Aquatic Systems Department, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and EULA-Chile Centre, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción 4070386, Chile. Electronic address: ricbarra@udec.cl.

Abstract

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels were determined in the faeces of three Antarctic Peninsula penguin species to assess viability as a non-invasive approach for sampling PCBs in Antarctic biota. These determinations were complemented with stable isotope and porphyrins assessments, and together this methodology determined the role of diet and metabolic disruption in penguins. Up to 60% of the collected faecal samples evidenced low molecular weight PCBs, of which, the more volatile compounds were predominant, in agreement with previous results. The highest PCB levels were reported in the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua; 35.3ngg-1 wet weight average), followed by the chinstrap (Pygoscelis antarctica; 6.4ngg-1 wet weight average) and Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae; 12.9ngg-1 wet weight average). Stable isotope analyses (δ15N and δ13C) demonstrated that gentoo feeding and foraging habits differed from those of Adélie and chinstrap penguins. A strong positive correlation was found between PCB concentrations and δ15N, indicating the role of diet on the observed pollutant levels. Porphyrins metabolite levels were also directly correlated with PCB concentrations. These results suggest that PCB levels impair the health of Antarctic penguins.

KEYWORDS:

Antarctica; Faeces; PCB; Penguin; Porphyrin; Stable isotope

PMID:
27450255
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.091
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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