Slow improvements of metal exposure, health- and breeding conditions of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) after decreased industrial heavy metal emissions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The environment around metal industries, such as smelters, is often highly contaminated due to continuous deposition of metals. We studied nest box breeding populations of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) in a well-studied pollution gradient from a sulfide ore smelter in Northern Sweden, after reduced aerial metal emissions (by 93 – 99%) from the smelter. The deposition of As, Cd, Cu and Zn (based on moss samples) reflected the reduced emissions fairly well. However, nestling pied flycatchers had similar concentrations of these elements and Hg in tissue (bone, liver and blood) and feces in the 2000s, as in the 1980s, when the emissions were substantially higher. The slow improvement of metal accumulation in birds was explained by a food web transfer of metals mainly from the highly polluted soils, and it was concluded that nestlings reflected the slowly cycling soil pool, rather than the current atmospheric deposition. The exposure to high metal concentrations in the close vicinity of the smelter resulted in inhibited ALAD activities, depressed hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and increased mortality of nestlings. Our results indicate that in metal contaminated environments, the concentration in soils plays an important role for the response of pied flycatchers to reduced atmospheric deposition.
Metals, Bird, Reproduction, Health, Blood variable, Recovery, Smelter, Rönnskärsverken, Air pollution
Pharmacology and Toxicology Biological Sciences
Research subject Ecotoxicology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33766OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-33766DiVA: diva2:317923