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Sci Total Environ. 2019 Apr 10;660:531-540. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.203. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

When less is more: a comparison of models to predict fluoride accumulation in free-ranging kangaroos.

Author information

1
Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Hwy, Werribee 3030, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address: drcedeath@gmail.com.
2
School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
3
Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Hwy, Werribee 3030, Victoria, Australia.
4
The Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group, School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
5
Portland Aluminium, Quarry Rd, Portland, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

Vegetation contaminated by industrial fluoride emissions can cause disease in herbivorous mammals. Spatially explicit exposure models offer a quantitative approach for evaluating and managing the potentially toxic effects of chronic fluoride consumption on wildlife. We monitored eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) inhabiting a high-fluoride environment in the buffer zone of an aluminium smelter in southeastern Australia between 2010 and 2013. We measured fluoride levels at 19 pasture sites and determined the foraging range of 37 individual kangaroos. A series of generalised linear models were developed to estimate bone fluoride accumulation as a function of pasture exposure. Model outputs were compared to identify the most appropriate predictive tool for kangaroo bone fluoride accumulation relative to exposure. Accounting for age there was a negative association between bone fluoride concentration and distance of the central emission point from both the mean centre of foraging range and the point of death. The mean foraging range centre was the best predictor, with point of death just as suitable (and simpler), whereas more complex parameters such as monthly and cumulative fluoride exposure were poor predictors of bone fluoride concentration. The more complex dietary fluoride exposure estimates did not improve predictive capability compared with the simple, spatial models. We conclude that in actively managed wildlife populations, simple, locally validated models can provide estimates of bone fluoride accumulation sufficient to support decision-making.

KEYWORDS:

Eastern grey kangaroo; Fluoride; Risk prediction; Wildlife exposure modeling; Wildlife toxicology

PMID:
30640120
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.203
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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