Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Miljögiftsförekomster i utter (Lutra lutra) från Småland: Nuvarande status och förändringar över tid (1966-2014)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Environmental contaminants in otter (Lutra lutra) in Småland : Present levels and temporal changes (1966-2014) (English)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish otter (Lutra lutra) population decreased markedly after the 1950’s and was considered to be seriously threatened for decades. Pollution from industries and other anthropogenic activities were suspected to be the major cause of the decline. The otter is a top-predator in aquatic systems and therefore particularly susceptible to bioaccumulative and toxic substances. For this reason, the species can be regarded as a valuable indicator of environmental health. Today, the Swedish otter population is increasing and has been reestablished in many areas. However, the otter is still missing in some regions of Sweden, especially in the southeast. The aim of this study was to investigate past and present levels, and temporal trends, of environmental contaminants in otters from Småland.The study is based on data of environmental contaminants in liver and muscle tissue from dead otters found in Småland during 1966-2014. I found that the perfluorinated compounds PFOS and PFOA have increased in otters since the 1970’s which is alarming and should be given special concern in future monitoring. Also, while mercury (Hg) is rather stable, selenium (Se) concentrations are decreasing, resulting in Hg exceeding Se on molar mass basis in several otters. This indicates that all of the available Se is bound to mercury, which may imply that the otters are vulnerable to additional Hg contamination. My conclusions are that the present concentrations of the studied environmental contaminants have probably not affected the otter population in general. However, otters may be exposed to toxic levels of some contaminants in certain areas that are more polluted from anthropogenic activities. This could be harmful to individual otters or their reproduction, and therefore, continued monitoring is highly relevant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 24 p.
Keyword [en]
Aquatic top-predator, environmental contaminants, environmental indicator, Lutra lutra, Sweden
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107650OAI: diva2:848647
External cooperation
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Educational program
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earthscience
Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2015-09-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(953 kB)71 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 953 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 71 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 141 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link