John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Using the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) as a bioindicator of PCBs and PBDEs in the dinghushan biosphere reserve, China

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The Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve is a nature reserve and a site for the study of tropical and subtropical forest ecosystems. Rapid industrialization and intensive electronic waste‐recycling activities around the biosphere reserve have resulted in elevated levels of industrial organic contaminants in the local environment that may cause adverse effects on wildlife that inhabits this area. In the present study, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and 2 alternative brominated flame retardants (BFRs)—decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) and 1,2‐bis(2,4,6‐tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE)—were investigated in the biosphere reserve and a reference site by using the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) as a bioindicator. Residue concentrations in kingfishers from the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve ranged from 490 ng/g to 3000 ng/g, 51 ng/g to 420 ng/g, 0.44 ng/g to 90 ng/g, and 0.04 ng/g to 0.87 ng/g lipid weight for ∑PCBs, ∑PBDEs, DBDPE, and BTBPE, respectively. With the exception of the BTBPE, these levels were 2 to 5 times higher than those detected in kingfishers from the reference site. The contaminant patterns from the biosphere reserve were also different, with larger PCB contributions in comparison with the reference site. The estimated predator–prey biomagnification factors (BMFs) showed that most of the PCB and PBDE congeners and BTBPE were biomagnified in kingfishers from the biosphere reserve. The calculated toxic equivalent quantity (TEQ) concentrations of major coplanar PCB congeners in kingfishers from the biosphere reserve ranged from 18 pg/g to 66 pg/g wet weight, with some of these TEQ concentrations reaching or exceeding the levels known to impair bird reproduction and survival. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:xx–xx. © 2013 SETAC

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