References of "Debacker, Virginie"
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See detailGroundwater quality assessment of one former industrial site in Belgium using a TRIAD-like approach.
Crévecoeur, Sophie; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Joaquim-Justo, Célia ULg et al

in Environmental Pollution (2011), 159(10), 2461-2466

Contaminated industrial sites are important sources of pollution and may result in ecotoxicological effects on terrestrial, aquatic and groundwater ecosystems. An effect-based approach to evaluate and ... [more ▼]

Contaminated industrial sites are important sources of pollution and may result in ecotoxicological effects on terrestrial, aquatic and groundwater ecosystems. An effect-based approach to evaluate and assess pollution-induced degradation due to contaminated groundwater was carried out in this study. The new concept, referred to as “Groundwater Quality TRIAD-like” (GwQT) approach, is adapted from classical TRIAD approaches. GwQT is based on measurements of chemical concentrations, laboratory toxicity tests and physico-chemical analyses. These components are combined in the GwQT using qualitative and quantitative (using zero to one subindices)integration approaches. The TRIAD approach is applied for the first time on groundwater from one former industrial site located in Belgium. This approach will allow the classification of sites into categories according to the degree of contaminant-induced degradation. This new concept is a starting point for groundwater characterization and is open for improvement and adjustment. [less ▲]

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See detailDioxin-like compounds in porpoises and seals from the southern North Sea: relationship with biological and ecological factors
Das, Krishna ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2008), 70

The North Sea represents a major ecosystem for the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina). The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) occurs more occasionally in the southern ... [more ▼]

The North Sea represents a major ecosystem for the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina). The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) occurs more occasionally in the southern part of the North Sea. Their population over this last decade has experienced major fluctuations likely linked to prey availability and seal epizootics. Despite being banned more than 30 years ago, levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in marine mammals are still of concern due to historical contamination of the North Sea. [less ▲]

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See detailLevels and effects of PCDD/Fs and co-PCBs in sediments, mussels, and sea stars of the intertidal zone in the southern North Sea and the English Channel.
Danis, Bruno; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Trujilo Miranda, Carmen et al

in Ecotoxicology & Environmental Safety (2006), 65(2), 188-200

There is considerable concern regarding dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) in the marine environment. These ubiquitous contaminants are highly resistant to degradation, highly accumulated by marine organisms ... [more ▼]

There is considerable concern regarding dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) in the marine environment. These ubiquitous contaminants are highly resistant to degradation, highly accumulated by marine organisms, and extremely toxic. Concentrations of DLCs, including 7 polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins, 10 polychlorodibenzofurans, and 4 coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls, were determined in sediments, mussels (Mytilus edulis), and sea stars (Asterias rubens) from five intertidal stations distributed along the Belgian coast and the English Channel. The induction of a biomarker, cytochrome P450 immunopositive protein (CYP1A IPP), was also measured in sea star pyloric caeca. Although no significant differences were found between the considered stations, DLC levels were found to be relatively high in biota, especially when the toxicity of these compounds is considered. Particular concern arises from TEQ values determined in mussels from all locations. Sea stars were found to be more discriminant between the stations. CYP1A IPP induction was found to be significantly related to DLC levels measured in sea stars and allowed significant discrimination between the considered stations. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation and interpretation of CALUX as a tool for the estimation of dioxin-like activity in marine biological matrixes.
Windal, Isabelle; Van Wouwe, Nathalie; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Environmental Science & Technology (2005), 39(6), 1741-1748

Among the different analytical tools proposed as an alternative to the very expensive gas chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS) analyses of polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and ... [more ▼]

Among the different analytical tools proposed as an alternative to the very expensive gas chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS) analyses of polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and polychlorodibenzofurans, Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (CALUX) in vitro cell bioassay is very promising. It allows the analyses of a high number of samples since it is relatively fast, inexpensive, and sensitive. However, this technique is not yet widely applied for screening or environmental monitoring. The main reasons are probably the lack of validation and the difficulty in interpreting the global biological response of the bioassay. In this paper, the strict quality control criteria set up for the validation of CALUX are described. The validation has shown good repeatability (relative standard deviation (RSD) = 9%) and good within-lab reproducibility (RSD = 15%) of the results. The quantification limit, in the conditions applied in this paper, is 1.25 pg CALUX-TEQ/g fat. Comparison of CALUX and GC-HRMS analysis was made for various marine matrixes (fishes, mussels, starfishes, sea birds, and marine mammals). Good correlations are usually observed, but there are systematic differences between the results. Attempts are made to identify the origin of the discrepancy between the two methods. [less ▲]

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See detailNorth Sea seabirds and marine mammals: pathology and ecotoxicology
Debacker, Virginie ULg; Coignoul, Freddy ULg; Das, Krishna ULg et al

Report (2004)

Les Bancs de Flandres accueillent, en hiver, une importante population d'oiseaux pélagiques. Dans le passé, ils étaient également largement fréquentés par les mammifères marins. De nos jours, on ne les ... [more ▼]

Les Bancs de Flandres accueillent, en hiver, une importante population d'oiseaux pélagiques. Dans le passé, ils étaient également largement fréquentés par les mammifères marins. De nos jours, on ne les observe que très rarement et, chaque année, quelques-uns d'entre eux et des centaines d'oiseaux sont trouvés échoués le long de la côte flamande. Ces espèces doivent être protégées, et le but de ce projet de recherche est d'étudier l'état de santé de leurs populations, son évolution temporelle, les pathologies observées et les contaminants associés, ainsi que les causes possibles de mortalités inhabituelles. La nuisance d'origine humaine la plus importante pour les oiseaux marins semble être la pollution par les hydrocarbures, mais les causes effectives des échouages des oiseaux qui ne sont pas mazoutés, et de la rareté des mammifères, restent inconnues (autres pollutions chimiques, diminution de la nourriture disponible, maladies... ?). [less ▲]

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See detailValidation and discussion of CALUX analysis for marine samples
Windal, Isabelle; Van Wouwe, Nathalie; Carbonnelle, Sophie et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2003)

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See detailDioxins, furans and dioxin-like PCBs in juvenile harbour porpoises (Phocoena Phocoena) from the North sea
Beans, Cristina; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Jauniaux, Thierry ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2003)

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See detailHeavy metals in marine mammals
Das, Krishna ULg; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Pillet, Stéphane et al

in Vos, Joseph G.; Bossart, Gregory D.; Fournier, Michel (Eds.) et al Toxicology of marine mammals (2003)

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See detailInfluence of Age, Sex and Body Condition on Zinc, Copper, Cadmium and Metallothioneins in Common Guillemots (Uria aalge) Stranded at the Belgian Coast.
Debacker, Virginie ULg; Schiettecatte, Laure-Sophie; Jauniaux, Thierry ULg et al

in Marine Environmental Research (2001), 52(5), 427-444

The common guillemots, Uria aalge, found stranded at the Belgian coast, display high levels of Cu in both liver and kidneys. The condition index of the animals, defined as the ratio of liver to kidneys ... [more ▼]

The common guillemots, Uria aalge, found stranded at the Belgian coast, display high levels of Cu in both liver and kidneys. The condition index of the animals, defined as the ratio of liver to kidneys mass (Wenzel & Adelung, 1996), influences both the metal concentration and its binding to metallothioneins (MT): the lower the condition index, the more emaciated the animals, and the higher the total Cu concentration and the concentration of Cu bound to MT. In less robust individuals, our results suggest that Cu could displaces Zn from MT rendering the Zn ions available to induce a new MT synthesis. Sex related effects also emerged as significantly higher hepatic MT as well as Cu- and Zn-MT concentrations were found in emaciated male guillemots compared to females. In both organs, Cd concentrations remained low and typically demonstrated an age-dependent renal accumulation, with no noticeable effect of the condition index. As a whole, these results suggest that, for guillemots found stranded at the Belgian coast, Cu binding to hepatic and renal MT could function as a protective mechanism, rendering the metal ions unavailable to exert any cytotoxic activity. [less ▲]

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See detailCombined Effects of Experimental Heavy-Metal Contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and Starvation on Quail's Body Condition: Parallelism with a Wild Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) Population Found Stranded at the Belgian Coast
Debacker, Virginie ULg; Rutten, Astrid; Jauniaux, Thierry ULg et al

in Biological Trace Element Research (2001), 82(1-3, Summer), 87-107

Combined effects of heavy-metal contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and starvation were tested on common quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) and used as a model for comparison with a wild common guillemot ... [more ▼]

Combined effects of heavy-metal contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and starvation were tested on common quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) and used as a model for comparison with a wild common guillemot (Uria aalge) population found stranded at the Belgian coast. Appropriate heavy-metal levels were given to the quails to obtain concentrations similar to those found in the seabirds's tissues. The contaminated animals were then starved for 4 d to simulate the evident malnutrition symptoms observed at the guillemot's level. In such conditions, food intake and total-body weight are shown to decrease in contaminated individuals with simultaneous significant hepatic and renal increase of the heavy-metal concentrations. Like guillemots, higher heavy-metal levels were observed in those contam- inated quails that had also developed a cachectic status characterized by a general atrophy of their pectoral muscle and complete absence of subcutaneous and/or abdominal fat depots. Although likely the result of a general protein catabolism during starvation, it is suggested that these higher metal levels could as well enhance a general muscle wasting process (cachectic status). [less ▲]

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See detailHeavy Metals Contamination and Body Condition of Wintering Guillemots (Uria Aalge) at the Belgian Coast from 1993 to 1998
Debacker, Virginie ULg; Jauniaux, Thierry ULg; Coignoul, Freddy ULg et al

in Environmental Research (2000), A84(3), 310-317

A sample of 166 common guillemots (Uria aalge) recovered from Belgian beaches during five wintering seasons, from 1993-1994 to 1997-1998, were examined. At necropsy, postmortem examination including body ... [more ▼]

A sample of 166 common guillemots (Uria aalge) recovered from Belgian beaches during five wintering seasons, from 1993-1994 to 1997-1998, were examined. At necropsy, postmortem examination including body mass, fat reserves, presence or not of intestinal contents, eventual status of oiling, and pathological changes (cachexia, acute hemorrhagic gastroenteropathy (GEAH)) was attributed to each individual. Mild to severe cachexia, a pathology characterized by moderate to severe atrophy of the pectoral muscle as well as reduced amounts or absence of subcutaneous and/or abdominal fat, was observed for most specimens (85.8%). Heavy metal analyses (Cu, Zn, Fe, Cd, Ni, Cr, and Pb) of the tissues (typically liver, kidney, and pectoral muscle) were performed, and total lipids were determined (liver and pectoral muscle). The guillemots collected at the Belgian coast exhibited higher Cu and Zn concentrations compared to individuals collected in more preserved areas of the North Sea such as the northern colonies. A general decrease of their total body mass as well as liver, kidney, and pectoral muscle mass was associated to increasing cachexia severity. Moreover, significantly increasing heavy metal levels (Cu and Zn) in the tissues as well as depleted muscle lipid contents were observed parallel to increasing cachexia severity. On the contrary the organs' total metal burden barely correlates to this status. These observations tend to indicate a general redistribution of heavy metals within the organs as a result of prolonged starvation and protein catabolism (cachectic status). Such a redistribution could well be an additional stress to birds already experiencing stressfull conditions (starvation, oiling). [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterisation and potential role of metallothioneins in marine mammals
Das, Krishna ULg; Jacob, Valérie; Debacker, Virginie ULg et al

in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology (2000, July), 126A(Supp. 1), 37

In the framework of a North Sea and adjacent areas monitoring, metallothioneins (MTs) have been studied in livers and kidneys of 8 marine mammals species collected on the Belgian coast and in the ... [more ▼]

In the framework of a North Sea and adjacent areas monitoring, metallothioneins (MTs) have been studied in livers and kidneys of 8 marine mammals species collected on the Belgian coast and in the Northeast Atlantic between 1993 and 2000: the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena , the harbour seal Phoca vitulina, the white beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris, the white sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis and the striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba. The participation of this protein in metal detoxification has been investigated since high levels of cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) have been measured in livers and kidneys of those marine mammals. It appears that MT concentrations vary widely in marine mammals tissues (from 50 to more than 2000 µg.g–1 dw) underlying the numerous parameters involved: species, tissue, physiological status, pregnancy, age, diet and metal level. The percentage of the cytosolic Cd bound to MTs can reach almost 100%. On the contrary, the percentage of hepatic and renal Hg bound to MT is very low (generally less than 10 %) and this metal is mainly associated with selenium (HgSe) under a detoxified form in the insoluble fraction of the tissues. Characterisation of renal MTs of white-sided dolphin has been performed: the protein has two isoforms (MT-1 and MT-2) with a molecular weight estimated around 6800. MT-1 can bind Cu, Zn, Hg and Cd while MT-2 only binds Zn, Hg and Cd suggesting different metabolic functions for the two isoforms. MT-2 was also more abundant than MT-1. To conclude, MTs appear to play a minor role in the binding and detoxification of Hg by marine mammals. On the contrary, close and dynamic interactions occur between Cd and MTs. White-sided dolphin metallothioneins has two isoforms likely characterised by different metabolic functions in relation with cellular homeostasis and cadmium detoxification. [less ▲]

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See detailMarine mammals stranded on the Belgian and Dutch coasts: Approach of their feeding ecology by stable isotope and heavy metal measurements
Das, Krishna ULg; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

Poster (2000, April)

The harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, the harbour seal Phoca vitulina and the white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris are commonly found stranded on the Belgian and Dutch coasts. More ... [more ▼]

The harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, the harbour seal Phoca vitulina and the white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris are commonly found stranded on the Belgian and Dutch coasts. More occasionally, oceanic species such as the white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus or the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are also found stranded. For the last 10 years, trace analyses (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, Se, Hg) have been performed in their organs as well as complementary stable isotope ratio determinations (d15N and d13C) in order to trace their respective metal level and trophic position. Sperm whales, fin whales and white-sided dolphins display strong differences in their d13C and d15N values compared to harbour porpoises, harbour seals or white-beaked dolphins. The isotopic data from white-sided dolphins, sperm whales and fin whales suggest that they do not feed mainly within this area. On the contrary, porpoises, seals and white-beaked dolphins display close isotopic data reflecting a similar nutrition within the North Sea. However significant differences appear between these species: harbour porpoises display a significantly lower d15N (mean: 16.4 0/00 against 18.70/00 and 18.8 0/00 respectively) and d3C (mean-17 0/00 against –16 0/00 and –15.70/00 respectively) than harbour seals and white-beaked dolphins reflecting a lower trophic position of the porpoises.Moreover, Harbour porpoise isotopic compositions seem to have changed over the last five years, which could reflect a switch in their diet. In marine mammals, heavy metals are mainly absorbed through the diet and so potential relations between stable isotopes and heavy metals have been investigated. For example, it is suggested that harbour porpoises occasionally feed on cadmium contaminated preys as squids and that harbour seals and white-beaked dolphins are more restrictive on fish. [less ▲]

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See detailMetallothioneins in Marine Mammals
Das, Krishna ULg; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ULg

in Cellular and Molecular Biology (2000), 46(2),

Metallothioneins (MTs) have been detected in livers and kidneys of 10 marine mammals species (Pinnipeds and Odontocetes). Characterization of renal MTs of striped dolphin has shown that the protein has ... [more ▼]

Metallothioneins (MTs) have been detected in livers and kidneys of 10 marine mammals species (Pinnipeds and Odontocetes). Characterization of renal MTs of striped dolphin has shown that the protein has two isoforms (MT-1 and MT-2) with a molecular weight estimated around 6,800. MT concentrations also vary widely in marine mammals tissues (from 58 to 1,200 microg x g(-1) ww) underlying the numerous parameters involved: physiological status, pregnancy, age, diet. The participation of this protein in metal detoxification has been investigated since high levels of cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) have been measured in livers and kidneys of marine mammals. It has been suggested that those animals can mitigate at least in part, the toxic effects of Cd and Hg through binding to MTs. The percentage of the cytosolic Cd bound to MTs can reach almost 100%. On the contrary, the percentage of hepatic and renal Hg bound to MT is very low (generally less than 10%) and this metal is mainly associated with selenium (HgSe) under a detoxified form in the insoluble fraction of the tissues. MTs appear to play a minor role in the binding and detoxification of Hg by marine mammals. On the contrary, close and dynamic interactions occur between Cd and MTs. Cytosolic MTs appear as a potential short term way of detoxification of Cd accumulated from diet. Long-term detoxification would imply a sequestration of the metal under a precipitated form (e.g. in lysosomes). [less ▲]

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See detailTuna and dolphin associations in the Northeast Atlantic: Evidence of different ecological niches from stable isotope and heavy metal measurements
Das, Krishna ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Loizeau, Véronique et al

in Marine Pollution Bulletin (2000), 40

Associations of tunas and dolphins in the wild are quite frequent events and the question arises how predators requiring similar diet in the same habitat share their environmental resources. As isotopic ... [more ▼]

Associations of tunas and dolphins in the wild are quite frequent events and the question arises how predators requiring similar diet in the same habitat share their environmental resources. As isotopic composition of an animal is related to that of its preys, stable isotopes (13C/12C and 15N/14N) analyses were performed in three predator species from the Northeast Atlantic: the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis, and the albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, and compared to their previously described stomach content. Heavy metals (Cd, Zn, Cu and Fe) are mainly transferred through the diet and so, have been determined in the tissues of the animals. Tunas muscles display higher delta15N than in common and striped dolphins (mean: 11.4 0/00 vs. 10.3 0/00 and 10.4 0/00, respectively) which reflects its higher trophic level nutrition. Higher delta13C are found in common (-18.4 0/00) and striped dolphin (-18.10/00) muscles than in albacore tuna (-19.3 0/00) likely in relation with its migratory pattern. The most striking feature is the presence of two levels of cadmium concentrations in the livers of the tunas (32 mg kg-1 dry weight vs. 5 mg kg-1 dry weight). These two groups also differ by their iron concentrations and their delta15N and delta 13C liver values. These results suggest that in the Biscay Bay, tunas occupy two different ecological niches likely based on different squid input in their diet. [less ▲]

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See detailMarine mammals from the North Sea: Approach of their feeding ecology through stable isotope and cadmium measurements
Das, Krishna ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Debacker, Virginie ULg et al

Poster (2000)

The fertile waters of the North Sea represent one major life site for at least three different marine mammal species: the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena , the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, and the ... [more ▼]

The fertile waters of the North Sea represent one major life site for at least three different marine mammal species: the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena , the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, and the white-beaked dolphin, Lagenorhynchus albirostris. More occasionally, oceanic species such as the white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus or the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus can be sighted or found stranded. Very few data dealing with marine mammal diet in the North Sea are available. In order to contribute to the feeding ecology of these North Sea marine mammals, Cd as well as 15N and 13C measurements have been performed in their tissues. Sperm whales and white-sided dolphins display high renal Cd levels (258 µg.g-1 and 88 µg.g-1 dry weight respectively). Mean Cd concentrations measured in harbour porpoise, harbour seal, white beaked dolphin and fin whale kidneys remain low (mean: 5, 0.9, 0.5 and 4 µg.g-1 respectively). However, some adult porpoises display renal Cd concentrations higher than 10 µg.g-1. Mean 13C measured in the muscles of sperm whales, fin whales and white-sided dolphins are more negative compared to harbour porpoise, harbour seal or white-beaked dolphin mean value. Cd contaminated porpoises display significant lower muscle 13C than other porpoises. Both low d13C and high Cd levels suggest a greater reliance of white-sided dolphins, sperm whales on oceanic cephalopods. It appears that some harbour porpoises can also feed on oceanic squids suggesting dynamic interactions between the North Sea and the North Atlantic porpoise populations. [less ▲]

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See detailHeavy metals, organochlorines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sperm whales stranded in Southern North sea during the 1994/1995 winter,
Hoolsbeek, L.; Joiris, C. R.; Debacker, Virginie ULg et al

in Marine Pollution Bulletin (1999), 38

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See detailEcotoxicological and pathological studies of common guillemots Uria aalge beached on the Belgian coast during six successive wintering periods (1989-90 to 1994-95)
Debacker, Virginie ULg; Holsbeek, Ludo; Tapia, German et al

in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (1997), 29(3), 159-168

During 6 successive wintering periods, 727 common guillemots Uria aalge were recovered from Belgian beaches. One-third of the birds were already dead; the rest passed through rehabilitation centres where ... [more ▼]

During 6 successive wintering periods, 727 common guillemots Uria aalge were recovered from Belgian beaches. One-third of the birds were already dead; the rest passed through rehabilitation centres where they eventually died. All birds were monitored for general condition (body mass, fat reserves), eventual status of oiling and pathological changes (cachexia, acute hemorrhagic gastroenteropathy); 339 birds were sampled for trace metals (total and organic Hg, Cu, Zn, Fe, Cd) and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) analysis. Oiling is still a major cause of death for wintering pelagic seabirds: half of the birds showed signs of external or internal oiling, probably a still greater number of oiled birds never reach the shores. Although a low body mass can be considered a normal winter condition for wintering guillemots, pathology results showed that three-quarters of the studied animals were in a state of cachexia with emaciated pectoral muscle and lowered muscle lipid content. Elevated levels of Cu, Zn, Hg and PCBs were linked to the state of cachexia and may well represent an additional stress factor leading to the debilitation and death of part of the wintering guillemot population. [less ▲]

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See detailBiological oceanography and marine food webs: role of marine mammals and seabirds
Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ULg; Debacker, Virginie ULg; Gobert, Sylvie ULg

in Jauniaux, Thierry; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie; Coignoul, Freddy (Eds.) Marine Mammals, Seabirds and Pollution of Marine Systems (1997)

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