Next Article in Journal
Awareness of Endometriosis Symptoms—A Cross Sectional Survey among Polish Women
Next Article in Special Issue
Pharmaceutical Products and Pesticides Toxicity Associated with Microplastics (Polyvinyl Chloride) in Artemia salina
Previous Article in Journal
‘You Learn How to Hate’: Adapting a Healthy Relationship Curriculum Using a Trauma-Informed Race Equity Lens
Previous Article in Special Issue
Impact of Pesticide Exposure among Rural and Urban Female Population. An Overview
 
 
Article

Mercury Levels in Feathers of Penguins from the Antarctic Peninsula Area: Geographical and Inter-Specific Differences

1
Área de Toxicología, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain
2
Área de Toxicología Ambiental, Centro Nacional de Sanidad Ambiental, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ctra. Majadahonda-Madrid, 28220 Majadahonda, Spain
3
Departamento de Ecología Funcional y Evolutiva, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, CSIC, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120 Almería, Spain
4
Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William A. Toscano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189918
Received: 31 July 2021 / Revised: 3 September 2021 / Accepted: 17 September 2021 / Published: 21 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Threads in Environmental Toxicology)
Polar regions, symbols of wilderness, have been identified as potential sinks of mercury coming from natural and anthropogenic sources at lower latitudes. Changes in ice coverage currently occurring in some areas such as the Antarctic Peninsula could enhance these phenomena and their impacts on local biota. As long-lived species at the top of food chains, seabirds are particularly sensitive to this highly toxic metal with the capacity to be biomagnified. Specifically, their feathers can be useful for Hg monitoring since they mainly accumulate its most toxic and persistent form, methyl-Hg. To that end, feathers of gentoo (Pygoscelis papua), chinstrap (P. antarcticus), and Adélie penguins (P. adeliae) (n = 108) were collected by passive sampling in seven different locations throughout the Antarctic Peninsula area and analyzed by ICP-MS after microwave-digestion. More than 93% of the samples showed detectable Hg levels (range: 6.3–12,529.8 ng g−1 dry weight), and the highest ones were found in the feathers of chinstrap penguins from King George Island. Hg bioconcentration and biomagnification seem to be occurring in the Antarctic food web, giving rise to high but non-toxic Hg levels in penguins, similar to those previously found in Arctic seabirds. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; penguins; feathers; Antarctic Peninsula; biomonitoring mercury; penguins; feathers; Antarctic Peninsula; biomonitoring
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Motas, M.; Jerez, S.; Esteban, M.; Valera, F.; Cuervo, J.J.; Barbosa, A. Mercury Levels in Feathers of Penguins from the Antarctic Peninsula Area: Geographical and Inter-Specific Differences. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9918. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189918

AMA Style

Motas M, Jerez S, Esteban M, Valera F, Cuervo JJ, Barbosa A. Mercury Levels in Feathers of Penguins from the Antarctic Peninsula Area: Geographical and Inter-Specific Differences. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9918. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189918

Chicago/Turabian Style

Motas, Miguel, Silvia Jerez, Marta Esteban, Francisco Valera, José Javier Cuervo, and Andrés Barbosa. 2021. "Mercury Levels in Feathers of Penguins from the Antarctic Peninsula Area: Geographical and Inter-Specific Differences" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9918. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189918

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop