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Assessment of trace metals in droppings of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from different locations of the Antarctic Peninsula area

José E. Celis1*, Winfred Espejo2, Ricardo Barra2, Daniel Gonzalez-Acuña1, Francisca Gonzalez1 & Solange Jara2   

  1. 1 Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 537, Chillán, Chile;
    2 Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
  • 出版日期:1965-03-30 发布日期:1965-03-30
  • 通讯作者: José E. Celis

Assessment of trace metals in droppings of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from different locations of the Antarctic Peninsula area

José E. Celis1*, Winfred Espejo2, Ricardo Barra2, Daniel Gonzalez-Acuña1, Francisca Gonzalez1 & Solange Jara2   

  1. 1 Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 537, Chillán, Chile;
    2 Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
  • Online:1965-03-30 Published:1965-03-30
  • Contact: José E. Celis

摘要: In recent decades, polar regions of the planet have witnessed an increase in human presence. Antarctica is considered one of the most pristine regions of the world, but it could be affected by pollution owing to anthropogenic activities, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula. Human presence can increase the levels of some trace metals in Antarctic environments, an issue that needs to be evaluated. To acquire data of trace metal contamination in the Antarctic Peninsula region, concentrations (dry weight) of Cd, Pb, As, Cu, Hg and Zn in fresh excrement of Adélie penguins were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. During the 2012/2013 austral summer, samples were collected from four important nesting sites on the Antarctic Peninsula: Arctowski Base, Kopaitic Island (both sites in the northern Antarctic Peninsula), Yalour Island and Avian Island (both sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula). Data showed that Adélie penguin excreta had significantly higher levels (mg·kg-1) of As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Cu at Arctowski Base and Kopaitic Island, both sites that have major anthropogenic activities that probably contributed to increased metal levels. The levels of trace metals in Adélie penguins were similar to those reported in excreta of Antarctic species in previous studies, and lower than those in excreta of other Antarctic animals. Data suggest that metals ingested by these penguin species that feed in the sea, end up in terrestrial ecosystems.

关键词: heavy metals, seabirds, penguins, excreta, guano, marine pollution, Antarctica

Abstract: In recent decades, polar regions of the planet have witnessed an increase in human presence. Antarctica is considered one of the most pristine regions of the world, but it could be affected by pollution owing to anthropogenic activities, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula. Human presence can increase the levels of some trace metals in Antarctic environments, an issue that needs to be evaluated. To acquire data of trace metal contamination in the Antarctic Peninsula region, concentrations (dry weight) of Cd, Pb, As, Cu, Hg and Zn in fresh excrement of Adélie penguins were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. During the 2012/2013 austral summer, samples were collected from four important nesting sites on the Antarctic Peninsula: Arctowski Base, Kopaitic Island (both sites in the northern Antarctic Peninsula), Yalour Island and Avian Island (both sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula). Data showed that Adélie penguin excreta had significantly higher levels (mg·kg-1) of As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Cu at Arctowski Base and Kopaitic Island, both sites that have major anthropogenic activities that probably contributed to increased metal levels. The levels of trace metals in Adélie penguins were similar to those reported in excreta of Antarctic species in previous studies, and lower than those in excreta of other Antarctic animals. Data suggest that metals ingested by these penguin species that feed in the sea, end up in terrestrial ecosystems.

Key words: heavy metals, seabirds, penguins, excreta, guano, marine pollution, Antarctica