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See detailValidated ready-to-use GC-MS/MS method for dioxin analysis in food and feed following the new EU Regulations
L'Homme, Benjamin ULg; Sandy, Chris; Scholl, Georges ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (in press)

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See detailMercury and persistent organic pollutant concentrations in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins from Lower Keys and Coastal Everglades (South Florida)
Damseaux, France ULg; Kiszka, Jeremy; Heithaus, Michael et al

Poster (2016, February 12)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Florida ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE). The objective of this study was 1) to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, DLCs and PCDD/Fs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from the LFK (8 males and 16 females) and from the FCE (13 males and 9 females). Pollutants were analysed by the mean of Direct Mercury analyser (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-MS (DLCs and PCDD/Fs). The PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from the LFK and FCE. The most present congeners where the CB no. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180 (ΣPCBs LFK males: 13420.5 ng.g-1 lipids, ΣPCBs LFK females: 9683.4 ng.g-1 lipids, ΣPCBs FCE males: 5637.9 ng.g-1 lipids, ΣPCBs FCE females: 1426.9 ng.g-1 lipids). PCBs concentrations were significantly higher in individuals from the LFK than those from the FCE but significantly lower than those from other locations in the south-eastern US. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in FCE male dolphins (LFK: 2936.0 ng.g-1 dw, FCE: 10048.3 ng.g-1 dw). These high concentrations were the highest recorded in the south-eastern US and are most likely due to the presence of mangrove ecosystems. This study highlights the complexity of contaminant dynamics (inorganic vs. organic), even at small spatial scales. [less ▲]

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See detailToxicokinetics of selenium in the slider turtle Trachemys scripta
Dyc, Christelle; Far, Johann ULg; Gandar, Frederic ULg et al

in Ecotoxicology (2016), 25

Selenium (Se) is an essential element that can be harmful for wildlife. However, its toxicity in poikilothermic amniotes, including turtles, remains poorly investigated. The present study aims at ... [more ▼]

Selenium (Se) is an essential element that can be harmful for wildlife. However, its toxicity in poikilothermic amniotes, including turtles, remains poorly investigated. The present study aims at identifying selenium toxicokinetics and toxicity in juvenile slider turtles (age: 7 months), Trachemys scripta, dietary exposed to selenium, as selenomethionine SeMet, for eight weeks. Non-destructive tissues (i.e. carapace, scutes, skin and blood) were further tested for their suitability to predict selenium levels in target tissues (i.e. kidney, liver and muscle) From conservation perspective. 130 juvenile yellow-bellied slider turtles were assigned in three groups of 42 individuals each (i.e. control, SeMet1 and SeMet2). These groups were subjected to a feeding trial including an eight-week supplementation period SP8 and a following four-week elimination period EP4. During the SP8, turtles fed on diet containing 1.1 ± 0.04, 22.1 ± 1.0 and 45.0 ± 2.0 µg.g-1 of selenium (control, SeMet1 and SeMet2, respectively). During the EP4, turtles fed on non-supplemented diet. At different time during the trial, six individuals per group were sacrificed and tissues collected (i.e. carapace, scutes, skin, blood, liver, kidney, muscle) for analyses. During the SP8 (Figure 1), both SeMet1 and SeMet2 turtles efficiently accumulated selenium from a SeMet dietary source. The more selenium was concentrated in the food, the more it was in the turtle body but the less it was removed from their tissues. Moreover, SeMet was found to be the more abundant selenium species in turtles’ tissues. Body condition (i.e. growth in mass and size, feeding behaviour and activity) and survival of the SeMet1 and SeMet2 turtles seemed to be unaffected by the selenium exposure. There were clear evidences that reptilian species are differently affected by and sensitive to selenium exposure but the lack of any adverse effects was quite unexpected. [less ▲]

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See detailCompensatory Metabolism Promotes Cancer Cell Adaptation to HDAC5 Silencing
Hendrick, Elodie ULg; Peixoto, Paul; Polese, Catherine et al

Poster (2015, December 03)

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See detailSpatial variations in the concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins from South Florida
Das, Krishna ULg; Damseaux, France ULg; Heithaus, M.R. et al

Poster (2015, December)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant top predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida including heavily developed and remote coastal waters. The objective of this study was to ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant top predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida including heavily developed and remote coastal waters. The objective of this study was to quantify total mercury (T-Hg) and persistent organic pollutant (POPs: NDL-PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs) levels in bottlenose dolphins found off the highly populated island of Key West (n = 27) and from the undeveloped Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE; n = 20). T-Hg and POPs were analyzed in skin and blubber tissues, respectively, using a Direct Mercury analyzer (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-HRMS (DLCs). The 7 ICES PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from Key West (8229 ng.g-1 lipids) and the FCE (2289 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of PCDD/Fs remained low (Key West: 104 pg.g-1 lipids, FCE: 102 pg.g-1 lipids). POP concentrations were higher in individuals from Key West compared to those from the FCE. However, POP concentrations in Key West dolphins were lower than those from other locations in Florida and around the world. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in FCE dolphins (Key West: 2941 ng.g-1 dw versus, FCE: 9314 ng.g-1 dw), with the highest concentrations reported from the southeastern US. PCB concentrations remained under previously suggested threshold for adverse health effects (including immunosuppression) in marine mammals of 17 000 ng/kg lipid. To conclude, sources of T-Hg and POPs differed between Key West and the FCE as reflected by their concentrations in skin and blubber of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins highlighting their role as sentinels of their environment. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial variations in concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, from the Lower Florida Keys and the coastal Everglades (South Florida)
Damseaux, France ULg; Kiszka, Jeremy; Heithaus, Michael et al

Conference (2015, October 09)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Everglades National Park (ENP). The objective of this study was 1) to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, DLCs and PCDD/Fs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from the LFK (T-Hg : nmales = 10; POPs : nmales = 16, nfemales = 8) and the ENP (T-Hg : nmales = 13, nfemales = 9; POPs : nmales = 11, nfemales = 8). T-Hg and POPs were analysed by the mean of Direct Mercury analyser (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-MS (DLCs and PCDD/Fs). The PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from the LFK and ENP. The most present congeners where the CB no. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180 (Σ 6 PCBs LFK males: 13420.5 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs LFK females: 9683.4 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs ENP males: 5637.9 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs ENP females: 1426.9 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of DL PCBs remained low for both locations (LFK: 739 ng.g-1 lipids, ENP: 183 ng.g-1 lipids). PCBs concentrations were significantly higher in individuals from the LFK than those from the ENP. PCBs concentrations in LFK and ENP dolphins were significantly lower than those from other locations in the south-eastern US. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in ENP male dolphins (LFK: 2936.0 ng.g-1 dw, ENP: 10048.3 ng.g-1 dw). These high concentrations were the highest recorded in the south-eastern US and are most likely due to the presence of mangrove ecosystems. This study highlights the complexity of contaminant dynamics (inorganic vs. organic), even at small spatial scales. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of anthropogenic particles in fish stomachs: an isolation method adapted to identification by Raman spectroscopy
Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology (2015), 69

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See detailIsolation and identification of anthropogenic particles in fish stomachs by Raman spectroscopy: a new method
Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2015, August)

Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation is often circumvented by ... [more ▼]

Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation is often circumvented by the difficulty to separate MP from bulk samples. Visual examination is often used as one or the only step to sort these particles. However, color, size and shape are insufficient and often unreliable criteria. Here we present an isolation method of MP specially adapted to a subsequent analysis by Raman spectroscopy. This method avoids fluorescence problems allowing the identification anthropogenic particles (AP) from stomach contents of fish by Raman spectroscopy. It was validated with commercial samples of microplastics and cotton along with stomach contents from three different Clupeiformes fishes: Clupea harengus, Sardina pilchardus and Engraulis encrasicolus. The optimized digestion and isolation protocol showed no visible impact on microplastics and cotton particles while the spectroscopic analysis allowed precise identification of microplastics and textile fibers. This approach allowed us to isolate 35 particles. These were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy: eleven were microplastics and thirteen were made of cellulose or lignin, or both (mostly fibers). Some particles were not identified but contained artificial colorants. This isolation protocol will help to assess the presence, quantity and composition of AP in planktivorous fish stomachs. [less ▲]

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See detailTravelling-wave ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry as an alternative strategy for screening of multi-class pesticides in fruits and vegetables
Goscinny, Séverine ULg; Joly, Laure; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

in Journal of Chromatography. A (2015), 1405

This paper reports a novel approach to screening multi-class pesticides by ion mobility timeof- flight mass spectrometry detection. Nitrogen was selected as mobility gas. After optimization of the ... [more ▼]

This paper reports a novel approach to screening multi-class pesticides by ion mobility timeof- flight mass spectrometry detection. Nitrogen was selected as mobility gas. After optimization of the different ion mobility parameters, determination of matrix effect on the drift times was conducted using different matrix extracts. The results showed that drift time values are not influenced by the matrix and also are independent of the concentration within the working range for 100 pesticides tested, making drift time a powerful additional identification tool. Based on statistics, 2% variation criteria provides a good fit for all the pesticides targeted, and could be considered as a maximum acceptable criteria associated with the drift time parameter for identification purpose. This 2% value is in agreement with already reported criteria, for instance, for GC or LC retention time in European documents. Finally, the well-known feature of mobility to separate complex mixtures was also tested to obtain purified extracted mass spectra of pesticides in fruit extract. [less ▲]

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See detailMetabolomic analysis of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cultivated under day/night conditions
Willamme, Rémi ULg; Alsafra, Zouheir; Arumugam, Rameshkumar et al

in Journal of Biotechnology (2015)

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See detailEco-toxicological analysis of free-ranging cetaceans from the North-western Mediterranean Sea
Pinzone, Marianna ULg; Ody, Denis; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

Conference (2015, March 25)

The numerous anthropogenic activities occurring nowadays in the North-western Mediterranean Sea strongly affect top predators such as marine mammals, especially through the bioaccumulation of lipophilic ... [more ▼]

The numerous anthropogenic activities occurring nowadays in the North-western Mediterranean Sea strongly affect top predators such as marine mammals, especially through the bioaccumulation of lipophilic contaminants. In order to assess the eco-toxicological status of local living cetaceans blubber biopsies were collected between 2006 and 2013. Selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (31PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analyzed in 49 long-finned pilot whales Globicephala melas, 61 sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus and 70 fin whales Balaenoptera physalus. δ13C, δ15N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC-MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ15N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ13C instead was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰, −17.8±0.3‰ and −18.7±0.4‰ respectively. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38666±25731ng.g-1 lw and 22849±15566ng.g-1 lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412ng.g-1 lw and 347±173ng.g-1 lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46081±37506ng.g-1 lw and 37647±38518ng.g-1 lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180ng.g-1 lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208ng.g-1 lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549ng.g-1 lw). The PCA analysis confirmed how p,p’DDT and p,p’DDE were influential in differentiating the species, as a consequence of their migratory behavior and distribution. Pollutant concentrations were significantly higher than both their Southern Hemisphere and North Atlantic counterparts, possibly due to the particular Mediterranean geomorphology, which influences pollutants distribution and recycle. Dioxin-like  PCBs accounted for over 80% of the total TEQ. This study demonstrated (1) an important exposure to pollutants of Mediterranean toothed-whales, often surpassing the estimated threshold toxicity value of 17000ng.g−1 lw for blubber in marine mammals; and (2) how their geographical distribution can influence the pollutants profile and concentrations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe living of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in day/night cycles
Willamme, Rémi ULg; Alsafra, Zouheir; Alsafra, Rameshkumar et al

Poster (2015, March 13)

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See detailInfluences of blubber composition and profile in the assessment of POPs levels in free-ranging cetaceans
Pinzone, Marianna ULg; Budzinski, Hélène; Tasciotti, Aurelie et al

Poster (2015, February 28)

Investigating the food and feeding ecology of free-ranging cetaceans has always been very challenging. Still now, mass stranding events represent almost the only opportunity to collect valid information ... [more ▼]

Investigating the food and feeding ecology of free-ranging cetaceans has always been very challenging. Still now, mass stranding events represent almost the only opportunity to collect valid information on these large and elusive animals. Biopsy darting is a non-lethal tissue sampling technique which permits the collection of tissues from living and healthy individuals. However, important discussions exist about how efficient this method is in chemical analyses where the percentage lipid content of the tissue is of great importance. Biopsies of skin and blubber were conducted on 49 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), 61 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and 70 fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. Lipid content, δ13C, δ15N values and ΣPCBs were analysed and compared with previous studies conducted on stranded and biopsied individuals. Lipids extraction was operated via ASE; δ13C, δ15N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC-MS respectively. δ15N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ13C instead was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰, −17.8±0.3‰ and −18.7±0.4‰ respectively. Pilot whales presented the highest concentrations of ΣPCBs (38666 ± 25731ng.g-1 lw) followed by sperm whales (22849 ± 15566ng.g-1 lw) and fin whales (5721±5180ng.g-1 lw). Lipids percentage differed significantly between species. Sperm whales showed the lowest lipid content with an average of 12±9%, whereas for long-finned pilot whales it was 22±21% and for fin whales 31±14%. Lipid content of the two odontocetes varied between years of sampling, whilst for fin whales remained similar. The PCBs concentrations, especially in sperm whales, were in discordance with previous studies conducted in the same area and our δ13C, δ15N values. We hypothesized that (1) the extreme low lipid content found in the blubber, (2) the extraction procedure and (3) the biopsies technique, could explain such different pattern. Several papers demonstrated how POPs concentrations in cetaceans blubber are strongly influenced by its thickness, stratification and lipid profile. Therefore, the particular characteristics of blubber composition of deep—diving income breeders such as sperm whales, may not allow an efficient representation of POPs concentrations through the use of biopsies. [less ▲]

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See detailWhen microplastic is not plastic: the ingestion of artificial cellulose fibers by macrofauna living in seagrass macro-phytodetritus.
Remy, François ULg; Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg et al

in Environmental Science & Technology (2015), 49

Dead leaves of the Neptune grass, Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, in the Mediterranean coastal zone, are colonized by an abundant “detritivorous” invertebrate community that is heavily predated by fishes ... [more ▼]

Dead leaves of the Neptune grass, Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, in the Mediterranean coastal zone, are colonized by an abundant “detritivorous” invertebrate community that is heavily predated by fishes. This community was sampled in August 2011, November 2011 and March 2012 at two different sites in the Calvi Bay (Corsica). Ingested artificial fibers (AFs) of various sizes and colors were found in 27.6% of the digestive tracts of the nine dominant species regardless of their trophic level or taxon. No seasonal, spatial, size or species-specific significant differences were revealed; suggesting that invertebrates ingest AFs at constant rates. Results showed that, in the gut contents of invertebrates, varying by trophic level, and across trophic levels, the overall ingestion of AFs was low (approximately 1 fiber per organism). Raman spectroscopy revealed that the ingested AFs were composed of viscose, an artificial, cellulose-based polymer. Most of these AFs also appeared to have been colored by industrial dyes. Two dyes were identified: Direct Blue 22 and Direct Red 28. The latter is known for being carcinogenic for vertebrates, potentially causing environmental problems for the P. oceanica litter community. Techniques such as Raman spectroscopy are necessary to investigate the particles composition, instead of relying on fragment size or color to identify the particles ingested by animals. [less ▲]

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See detailPOPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors
Pinzone, Marianna ULg; Budzinski, Hélène; Tasciotti, Aurélie et al

in Environmental Research (2015), 142

The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are ... [more ▼]

The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats, such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Therefore, selected persistent organic pollutants, POPs (29 PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, nine PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs), were analysed in the blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales, 61 sperm whales and 70 fin whales collected in the north-western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. The contamination profile and species feeding ecology were combined through the use of stable isotopes. δ13C, δ15N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC-MS, respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ15N values were 12.2 ± 1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5 ± 0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, which positions sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ13C of the two odontocetes were similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰ for sperm whales and −17.8±0.3‰ for pilot whales, whereas the result for fin whales reflected more depleted (−18.7±0.4‰). This outcome indicates a partial overlap in the feeding habits of toothed whales and confirms the differences in feeding behaviour of the mysticete. Pilot whales had higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38666 ± 25731 ng.g-1 lw and 22849 ± 15566 ng.g-1 lw, respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng.g-1 lw and 347±173 ng.g-1 lw, respectively) and ΣDDTs (46081±37506 ng.g-1 lw and 37647±38518 ng.g-1 lw, respectively). Fin whales had the lowest values, which reflected its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng.g-1 lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng.g-1 lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng.g-1 lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more related to sex than trophic level. Males presented a higher contaminant burden than females. The discriminant analysis (DA) confirmed how DDTs and highly chlorinated PCBs could differentiate the three species. The pollutant concentrations of our species were significantly higher than both their southern hemisphere and North Atlantic counterparts. This result is possibly due to Mediterranean geomorphology, which influences the distribution and recycling of pollutants. Dioxin-like PCBs accounted for over 80% of the total TEQ. This study demonstrated (1) the pollutants of Mediterranean cetaceans often surpassed the estimated threshold toxicity value of 17000 ng.g−1 lw for blubber in marine mammals and (2) how the final pollutant burden in these animals is strongly influenced not only by trophic position but also by numerous other factors, including sex, age, body size and geographical distribution. [less ▲]

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See detailPOPs in free-ranging pilot whales and sperm whales from the Mediterranean Sea: influence of ecological factors
Pinzone, Marianna ULg; Tasciotti, Aurelie; Ody, Denis et al

Conference (2014, December 13)

The pilot whale Globicephala melas and the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus are large toothed whales, which permanently inhabit the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea, where they feed mainly on cephalopods ... [more ▼]

The pilot whale Globicephala melas and the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus are large toothed whales, which permanently inhabit the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea, where they feed mainly on cephalopods. Here they are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (29PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analyzed in blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales and 61 sperm whales sampled in NWMS from 2006 to 2013. δ13C, δ15N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC-MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ15N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales and 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ13C instead was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰ and −17.8±0.3‰ respectively. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38666±25731ng.g-1 lw and 22849±15566ng.g-1 lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412ng.g-1 lw and 347±173ng.g-1 lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46081±37506ng.g-1 lw and 37647±38518ng.g-1 lw respectively). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that could probably be more related to sex than trophic level, with males presenting higher contaminant burden than females. The PCA analysis confirmed how p,p’DDT and p,p’DDE were influential in differentiating the two species, as a consequence of their migratory behavior and distribution. Pollutant concentrations of our species were significantly higher than both their Southern Hemisphere and North Atlantic counterparts, possibly due to the particular Mediterranean geomorphology, which influences pollutants distribution and recycle. Dioxin-like PCBs accounted for over 80% of the total TEQ. This study demonstrated (1) an important exposure to pollutants of Mediterranean toothed-whales, often surpassing the estimated threshold toxicity value of 17000ng.g−1 for blubber in marine mammals1; and (2) how the final pollutant burden in these animals is strongly influenced by numerous ecological factors. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial variation in the concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from South Florida
Damseaux, France ULg; Kiszka, Jeremy; Heithaus et al

Poster (2014, December 12)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant apex predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida, especially in the Lower Florida Keys (Key West) and the coastal waters of Everglades ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant apex predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida, especially in the Lower Florida Keys (Key West) and the coastal waters of Everglades National Park (ENP). The objective of this study was to assess variation in contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) and persistent organic pollutants (NDL-PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs) in bottlenose dolphins found offshore of the densely populated Key West (n = 27) and from undeveloped ENP (n = 20). T-Hg and POPs were analysed in skin and blubber, respectively, by the mean of Direct Mercury analyser (for THg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-HRMS (DLCs). The 7 ICES PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from Key West (8229 ng.g-1 lipids) and the ENP (2289 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of PCDD/Fs remained low (Key West: 104 pg.g-1 lipids, ENP: 102 ng.g-1 lipids). POP concentrations were higher in individuals from Key West compared to those from the ENP. However, POPs concentrations in Key West dolphins were lower than those from other locations in Florida and around the world. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in ENP dolphins (Key West: 2941 ng.g-1 dw versus ENP: 9314 ng.g-1 dw) highlighting the specific cycle of Hg in mangrove ecosystems. To conclude, sources of T-Hg and POPs differed between Key West and ENP as reflected by their concentrations in skin and blubber of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins highlighting their role as sentinels of their environment. [less ▲]

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