Feather analysis is an ethical and effective method for assessing the exposure of wild birds to environmental contamination due to trace elements and organic pollutants. We used feather to monitor the exposure to three toxic and non-essential metals (Hg, Cd, and Pb) and rare earth elements (REEs) of Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) breeding in different coastal areas (Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo, and Apulia) along the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea. Feathers (n = 113) were collected from April to June. Feather concentrations evidenced a significant exposure to Hg (13.05 ± 1.71 mg kg−1 dw) and REEs (447.3 ± 52.8 ng g−1 dw) in the Kentish plover breeding in Veneto (n = 21) compared to the other coastal areas, with several individuals showing Hg concentrations above the adverse effect (5 mg kg−1 dw) and high-risk (9.14 mg kg−1 dw) thresholds reported for birds. Higher REE concentrations compared to Marche (n = 29), Abruzzo (n = 11) and Apulia (n = 13) were also reported for birds breeding in Emilia-Romagna (474.9 ± 41.9 ng g−1 dw; n = 29). The exposure to Cd and Pb was low in all the coastal areas, and only a few samples (n = 6 and n = 4 for Cd and Pb, respectively) exceeded the adverse effect thresholds (0.1 and 4 mg kg−1 for Cd and Pb, respectively). A significant sex-related difference was observed for REE-concentrations, with females showing higher concentration than males. These data highlight the need to monitor the exposure of the Kentish plover to Hg and REEs, especially in the northern basin of the Adriatic Sea, since these elements might negatively affect species' reproductive success and threaten its conservation.

Mercury and rare earth elements (REEs) show different spatial trends in feathers of Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) breeding along the Adriatic Sea coast, Italy

Picone, Marco
;
Giurin, Alessia;Giuseppe Distefano, Gabriele;Corami, Fabiana;Turetta, Clara;Volpi Ghirardini, Annamaria;Panzarin, Lucio;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Feather analysis is an ethical and effective method for assessing the exposure of wild birds to environmental contamination due to trace elements and organic pollutants. We used feather to monitor the exposure to three toxic and non-essential metals (Hg, Cd, and Pb) and rare earth elements (REEs) of Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) breeding in different coastal areas (Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo, and Apulia) along the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea. Feathers (n = 113) were collected from April to June. Feather concentrations evidenced a significant exposure to Hg (13.05 ± 1.71 mg kg−1 dw) and REEs (447.3 ± 52.8 ng g−1 dw) in the Kentish plover breeding in Veneto (n = 21) compared to the other coastal areas, with several individuals showing Hg concentrations above the adverse effect (5 mg kg−1 dw) and high-risk (9.14 mg kg−1 dw) thresholds reported for birds. Higher REE concentrations compared to Marche (n = 29), Abruzzo (n = 11) and Apulia (n = 13) were also reported for birds breeding in Emilia-Romagna (474.9 ± 41.9 ng g−1 dw; n = 29). The exposure to Cd and Pb was low in all the coastal areas, and only a few samples (n = 6 and n = 4 for Cd and Pb, respectively) exceeded the adverse effect thresholds (0.1 and 4 mg kg−1 for Cd and Pb, respectively). A significant sex-related difference was observed for REE-concentrations, with females showing higher concentration than males. These data highlight the need to monitor the exposure of the Kentish plover to Hg and REEs, especially in the northern basin of the Adriatic Sea, since these elements might negatively affect species' reproductive success and threaten its conservation.
2024
252
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5058521
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