Background, Aims and Scope. Fish-eating seabirds are recognized to be at risk of accumulating toxic contaminants due to their high position in the trophic web and to their low ability to metabolize xenobiotic compounds. Penguins are widely distributed in Antarctica and represent an important fraction of the Antarctic biomass. They feed mainly on krill and, depending on krill availability, also on fish. It has been reported that predators may be a sink for volatile and toxic chemicals and this may pose a serious environmental problem. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins (PCDDs), -furans (PCDFs), and -biphenyls (PCBs), including non-ortho congeners, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and p,p'-DDE, were quantified in three species of Antarctic Pygoscelids in order to evaluate their accumulation patterns. The potential toxicity of twenty-two dioxin-like congeners was assessed and expressed as 2,3,7,8-tetra CDD equivalents (TEQs). Differences between males and females were investigated. Methods. Blood samples of the Adelie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae, Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica and Gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua were collected at Admiralty Bay, King George Is (62 degrees 10'39" S, 58 degrees 26'46" W) in February 2004. Halogenated hydrocarbons were identified and quantified using gas chromatography coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometry analyses. Results are expressed on a wet weight basis. Results and Discussion. HCB, p,p'-DDE and Sigma PCBs were higher in Adelie penguins (6.7 +/- 6.1, 8.2 +/- 3.3 and 9.8 +/- 3.8 ng/g, respectively) than in Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, both of which showed values in the same order of magnitude, but approximately 40% lower than Adelie penguins. Hexa-CBs ranged 35-45% of the residue. Low-chlorinated PCBs (nos. 70+76+95+56+60+101) accounted for 40-60% in the three species. PCB101 made up 15% of,the residue in Adelie penguins. PBDEs were 291 +/- 477, 107 +/- 104 and 116 +/- 108 pg/g in Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, respectively; the most abundant congeners were BDE47 in Adelie and Chinstrap penguins and BDE17 in Gentoo penguins. PCDDs were 22 +/- 32, 6.5 +/- 7.4 and 18 +/- 23 pg/g in Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, respectively. PCDFs were higher in Addie penguins and lower in Chinstrap penguins. PCDDs/Fs and PBDEs were higher in males than in females of Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins; differences in concentrations were likely related to the partial detoxification that occurs in females during egg formation. Of the four non-ortho PCBs measured, PCB126 occurredat the highest concentrations and contributed the majority of the non-ortho PCB-TEQ in Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins. The highest TEQs were found in the Gentoo penguin and due mainly to PCDDs and non-ortho PCBs. Conclusions. POP concentrations in penguins were lower than those found in seabird species from other areas of the world. Different chemical accumulation patterns were observed in relation to species and sex; the Adelie penguin showed the highest POP levels. Dissimilar ecological or metabolic features may be involved; the diverse timing of reproduction steps can be responsible for those differences; moreover, Adelie penguins feed on krill (a fatty resource) more abundantly than the other two species during the rearing period. Recommendation and Outlook. The South Shetland Islands might be subjected to a higher chemical impact with respect to the rest of Antarctica, due to their being near South America. Because penguins are fish-eating birds showing low detoxifying capacities and key-species in Antarctic ecosystems, further studies on their xenobiotic metabolism should be carried out.

Corsolini, S., Borghesi, N., Schiavone, A., Focardi, S. (2006). Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, Polychlorinated Dibenzo-dioxins, -furans, and -biphenyls in Three Species of Antarctic Penguins. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL, 14(6), 421-429 [10.1065/espr2006.01.017].

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, Polychlorinated Dibenzo-dioxins, -furans, and -biphenyls in Three Species of Antarctic Penguins

CORSOLINI, S.;BORGHESI, N.;FOCARDI, S.
2006

Abstract

Background, Aims and Scope. Fish-eating seabirds are recognized to be at risk of accumulating toxic contaminants due to their high position in the trophic web and to their low ability to metabolize xenobiotic compounds. Penguins are widely distributed in Antarctica and represent an important fraction of the Antarctic biomass. They feed mainly on krill and, depending on krill availability, also on fish. It has been reported that predators may be a sink for volatile and toxic chemicals and this may pose a serious environmental problem. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins (PCDDs), -furans (PCDFs), and -biphenyls (PCBs), including non-ortho congeners, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and p,p'-DDE, were quantified in three species of Antarctic Pygoscelids in order to evaluate their accumulation patterns. The potential toxicity of twenty-two dioxin-like congeners was assessed and expressed as 2,3,7,8-tetra CDD equivalents (TEQs). Differences between males and females were investigated. Methods. Blood samples of the Adelie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae, Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica and Gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua were collected at Admiralty Bay, King George Is (62 degrees 10'39" S, 58 degrees 26'46" W) in February 2004. Halogenated hydrocarbons were identified and quantified using gas chromatography coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometry analyses. Results are expressed on a wet weight basis. Results and Discussion. HCB, p,p'-DDE and Sigma PCBs were higher in Adelie penguins (6.7 +/- 6.1, 8.2 +/- 3.3 and 9.8 +/- 3.8 ng/g, respectively) than in Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, both of which showed values in the same order of magnitude, but approximately 40% lower than Adelie penguins. Hexa-CBs ranged 35-45% of the residue. Low-chlorinated PCBs (nos. 70+76+95+56+60+101) accounted for 40-60% in the three species. PCB101 made up 15% of,the residue in Adelie penguins. PBDEs were 291 +/- 477, 107 +/- 104 and 116 +/- 108 pg/g in Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, respectively; the most abundant congeners were BDE47 in Adelie and Chinstrap penguins and BDE17 in Gentoo penguins. PCDDs were 22 +/- 32, 6.5 +/- 7.4 and 18 +/- 23 pg/g in Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, respectively. PCDFs were higher in Addie penguins and lower in Chinstrap penguins. PCDDs/Fs and PBDEs were higher in males than in females of Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins; differences in concentrations were likely related to the partial detoxification that occurs in females during egg formation. Of the four non-ortho PCBs measured, PCB126 occurredat the highest concentrations and contributed the majority of the non-ortho PCB-TEQ in Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins. The highest TEQs were found in the Gentoo penguin and due mainly to PCDDs and non-ortho PCBs. Conclusions. POP concentrations in penguins were lower than those found in seabird species from other areas of the world. Different chemical accumulation patterns were observed in relation to species and sex; the Adelie penguin showed the highest POP levels. Dissimilar ecological or metabolic features may be involved; the diverse timing of reproduction steps can be responsible for those differences; moreover, Adelie penguins feed on krill (a fatty resource) more abundantly than the other two species during the rearing period. Recommendation and Outlook. The South Shetland Islands might be subjected to a higher chemical impact with respect to the rest of Antarctica, due to their being near South America. Because penguins are fish-eating birds showing low detoxifying capacities and key-species in Antarctic ecosystems, further studies on their xenobiotic metabolism should be carried out.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/10682
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